- Seleção returns to Belo Horizonte for the first time since the Mineiraço.
- Argentina are in danger of missing the 2018 World Cup.
- Neymar leads his team to glory.
Brazil’s Seleção made their first appearance at Belo Horizonte since losing 7-1 at the 2014 World Cup semi-final against Germany, but they would overcome the trauma inflicted by Germany to defeat Argentina.
Brazil vs Argentina 3-0
Goals: 1-0 Coutinho (25’) 2-0 Neymar (45’) Paulinho (58’)
La Albiceleste had the first chance of the game, but Brazil’s goalkeeper Alisson did well to stop Lucas Biglia’s shot. Brazil responded immediately, as Liverpool’s attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho produced a stunning goal from 25 yards out to open the scoring. Neymar could have then doubled the score after he slalomed through Argentine’s defence, but the near post stopped his shot, just before halftime he was not denied, however, as he slotted the ball passed Argentine’s keeper Sergio Romero after receiving a wonderful ball by Gabriel Jesus to make it 2-0 just before halftime.
Brazil could have put the match when Neymar spotted Gabriel Jesus in the centre of the box, his shot, however, rolled wide of the goal, and then ten minutes later Paulinho missed another opportunity, as he rounded keeper Romero, but his effort was cleared off the line. Moments later Paulinho would not be denied, as his effort from seven yards out was redirected past Romero. Brazil kept on threatening in the second half, as Neymar had several chances to add to his personal tally, and Roberto Firmino missed a tap in chance in the box.
Argentina are now threaten to drop to seventh place in the World Cup qualification standings. Only the first four teams qualify directly for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The fifth placed team has to play in a playoff match against the fifth placed nation from the Asian Football Confederation.
Man of the Match
Neymar, who is usually in the shadow of his Argentine Barcelona teammate, managed to outshine everyone on the pitch, as he was a constant threat to the oppositions defence. The 24-year-old also became the fourth highest goal scorer of his country after recording his 50th goal with the Seleção.
Brazil vs Argentina – Talking Point
Dani Alves wore the number 4 in tribute to legendary defender Carlos Alberto, who passed away October 25. The eternal captain was all present that evening, as Brazil swept aside rivals Argentina.
- Argentina has never won a World Cup qualifier in Brazil.
- Brazil has never lost a World Cup qualifier at home in fifty tries.
- Neymar scored his 50th goal for the Seleção.
Brazil vs Argentina – Line-ups
Alisson – Alves, Miranda (Silva 86′), Marquinhos, Marcelo – Fernandinho, Renato, Paulinho – Coutinho (Douglas Costa 84′), Gabriel Jesus (Firmino 81′), Neymar
Romero – Zabaleta, Otamendi, Funes Mori, Mas – Perez (Agüero 46’), Mascherano, Biglia – Messi, Di Maria (Correra 71′) – Higuain
Coach: Edgardo Bauza