In a historic clash, the Argentine national team intensified the pain for its eternal rival, Brazil, defeating them 1-0 at their home ground inside the Maracanã Stadium on Wednesday. This pivotal victory came during the sixth round of the qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.
🌟 Otamendi’s Heroic Goal
Nicholas Otamendi scored the lone goal of the match in the 63rd minute, securing a significant win for Argentina after their previous loss to Uruguay (2-0). This victory propelled them to the top of the table with 15 points.
🇧🇷 Brazil’s Unprecedented Setback
On the flip side, the Brazilian national team suffered their third consecutive defeat, marking a historical setback in their qualification journey. They now find themselves in sixth place, trailing behind Ecuador and Venezuela (8 points), Colombia (12 points), and Uruguay (13 points), freezing at 7 points.
🔄 Struggles and Substitutions
Argentina faced a challenging start with nervous and unfocused players due to pre-match chaos. Lionel Messi’s incomplete readiness further complicated matters, as he grappled with muscle pain. Messi persevered, but his teammates struggled against Brazil’s aggressive play, leading to three yellow cards for Gabriel Jesus, Rafinha, and Carlos Augusto within the first half-hour.
The guests managed only a weak attempt from Mac Allister, while Brazil’s defensive line, including L. Selso, De Paul, Alvarez, Fernández, and full-backs Acuña and Molina, showed resilience, preventing any major threats.
👉 Argentina vs Brazil 2026 World Cup Qualifiers ⚽🌎
The first half concluded without goals, revealing the resilience of both teams. Brazil, though not dominating, approached Martinez’s goal more closely. Rafinha’s free-kick hit the crossbar, and Romero cleared a goal-bound shot from Gabriel Martinelli, resulting in a goalless halftime.
As the second half unfolded, Brazil improved, with Rodrigo and Jesus finding support from Rafinha, Martinelli, Bruno Guimaraes, and André. Argentina’s defense was tested, but Martinez made crucial saves against Rafinha and Martinelli, maintaining a clean sheet.
In the 63rd minute, amid Brazil’s offensive attempts, Giovanni Lo Celso’s corner found Nicolas Otamendi, who executed a powerful header into the right corner, taking the lead against the run of play.
Responding to Brazil’s offensive push, Scaloni, Argentina’s coach, made strategic substitutions: T. Mancuso for Acuña and N. González for L. Selso, injecting fresh energy. In response, Brazil’s coach, Denis, brought in André and G. Guedes for Rafinha and Gabriel Magalhães, followed by Nino for Marquinhos.
In the 77th minute, both teams further refreshed their lineups, introducing A. Di Maria and L. Martínez for Messi and J. Alvarez for Argentina, and Raphael Veiga and D. Luiz for Martinelli and Guimaraes for Brazil.
🟥 Dramatic Red Card and Final Moments
Gulart’s direct red card in the 81st minute added complexity to Brazil’s already challenging task. This triggered an early exodus of disappointed Brazilian fans from Maracanã, a poignant scene following pre-match disturbances that delayed the game by half an hour.
With Guelinton’s dismissal, Brazil faced an uphill battle for an equalizer. However, Argentina secured a precious win, redeeming themselves in the eyes of their fans, who witnessed the team’s resilience in the face of chaos at Maracanã.
In conclusion, Argentina’s historic win against Brazil in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers showcased their determination and strategic brilliance. Otamendi’s decisive goal turned the tide, leaving Brazil with a string of defeats and raising questions about their qualification hopes.