Argentina wins the Copa America, and Messi breaks the Hoodoo.
Lionel Messi Wins First Trophy For Argentina As They Beat Brazil To Win Copa America – Argentina won their first Copa America since 1993, and Lionel Messi’s first of his career, thanks to Angel Di Maria’s first-half goal.
Argentina has won the Copa America for the first time in 28 years, thanks to Angel Di Maria’s first-half goal in Saturday’s final at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Di Maria, who was promoted to the starting line-up for the final, coolly lobbed over Brazil goalkeeper Ederson for the 22nd-minute winner.
Argentina had been Copa runners-up at four of the past seven tournaments, losing to rivals Brazil in 2004 and 2007, but finally claimed the country’s 15th continental crown. The triumph also marks Lionel Messi’s maiden piece of major silverware with Argentina, with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner dominant throughout the tournament, finishing with most goals (four) and most assists (five).
Neymar, the Brazilian superstar, drew a lot of attention in a rough match, while Messi was unable to exert his usual effect for La Albiceleste. Brazil had the stronger start, but Everton and Richarlison both had scuffed chances on goal before Argentina scored against the run of play.
The outstanding Rodrigo De Paul’s hopeful ball forward eluded Selecao left-back Renan Lodi, allowing Di Maria in behind and he calmly poked over the onrushing Ederson. Di Maria was a constant threat in the first half, with a left-foot effort blocked by Marquinhos before Messi flashed wide.
With the half-time injection of Roberto Firmino, Brazil pressed and thought they had equalised in the 52nd minute when Richarlison hit the back of the net but was offside in the lead-up. The Everton forward tested Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez at his near post shortly after, with the Aston Villa man saving smartly.
Brazil substitute Gabriel Barbosa had a late volley brilliantly thwarted by Martinez, before an exhausted Messi spurned a golden opportunity to seal the win from De Paul’s through ball.