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Messi wins first international trophy as Argentina edge Brazil in Copa America final

Lionel Messi, Argentina
(Image credit: N/A)

Argentina ended their 28-year trophy drought with a 1-0 win over Brazil at the Maracana handing Lionel Messi his first piece of international silverware.

Looking to get past their failures of the last few years but met their rivals Brazil who were desperate to claim glory for themselves.

In highly competitive, both sides probed for an opening and of course, with all the attacking talent on the pitch, it was inevitable that we’d see some magic, which came in the 21st minute to give Argentina the lead. Renan Lodi made a mess of a long ball, allowing the former Manchester United man to run through on goal and delicately lob the ball over Ederson and into the back of the net.

Brazil pushed for an equaliser, but were unable to break down a tough Argentinian defence. They went in at half time 1-0 down, having had just one shot on target.

The holders piled on the pressure shortly after the break, and thought they had levelled in the 52nd minute. Richarlison found the bottom corner, but was flagged offside.

The Everton man had another chance not long afterwards. Neymar fed him, but his powerful effort was well saved by Emiliano Martinez in goal.

The game continued to be a feisty affair, with another seven players picking up bookings in the second half. This stifled the attacking quality of both sides, with many of the star men struggling to make an impact.

In the final ten minutes, and things got seriously nervy for Argentina. Substitute Gabriel Barbose twice came close to netting an equaliser, first seeing his effort deflected wide by German Pezzella, and then having a half-volley turned over by Martinez.

Into the dying minutes, and Lionel Messi had a glorious chance to wrap the game up once and for all. Rodrigo De Paul found him with a delightful through ball, but the captain lost control of the ball when he tried to round Ederson.

Thankfully for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, this proved to be irrelevant, as the full time whistle blew without any more action. The game finished 1-0 to Argentina, ensuring that they lifted the trophy.

Lionel Messi, Argentina

(Image credit: N/A)