Brazil 0 – 1 Argentina: Player Rating as Argentina scrape past Selecao to win brutal Maracanã qualifier

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In the first 45 minutes, physics reigned supreme. Neither side looked too eager to find the opening goal, instead the tempo of the game was halted by continuous fouls.

According to Opta, the 22 first-half fouls were the most in the opening interval of any South American qualifier in the current campaign.

After the break, the deadlock was finally broken. Nicolás Otamendi sent the visitors into the lead after diving high above the Brazil defense to stun the Brazilian crowd.

As Brazil looked to level the scores, their chances were thwarted when Joelinton was sent off for a hand to the face of an Argentina player.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, the home team still created a few chances, but the rock-solid Argentine rear guard stood up to it.

A second straight loss for Brazil means they remain sixth in the table for now, just two points above the play-off zone.

Argentina Player Rating

Emiliano Martinez (7/10): He made one big save early in the second half when Gabriel Jesus came through and found Gabriel Martinelli. Argentina scored shortly after.

Marcos Acuna (7/10): A solid game from the Sevilla man who did a bit of everything on the left

Nicolas Otamendi (8/10): A colossal goal from an experienced defender who certainly has his detractors as he slows down with age. He showed none of that on his header as he skipped past two defenders and smashed home the winner.

Cristian Romero (8/10): An absolute monster at the back. The passing was perfect, as was the defending, with Romero making some big saves to keep Brazil at bay.

Nahuel Molina (6/10): He wasn’t as impressive as Acuna was on the other end as he never really seemed to impact the game.

Giovani Lo Celso (7/10): In his first start before the World Cup, the midfielder assisted Otamendi’s goal from a corner to give him a fine moment in an otherwise excellent performance.

Rodrigo de Paul (7/10): He was bloodied early and fouled often, but kept his cool to make a decent move in midfield.

Enzo Fernandez (7/10): Finished almost always as the Chelsea player really helped Argentina dictate the game at certain points. He was also solid defensively, winning six duels and two interceptions.

Alexis McAllister (8/10): Mac Allister, probably the only player to take more of a beating than De Paul, battled through and really helped Argentina see the game out. He really stepped up his game in the second half when Argentina needed him the most.

Lionel Messi (6/10): He never really looked fit. He went to the sideline early with an apparent muscle injury and never made an impact in the game after that.

Julian Alvarez (5/10): Just 18 touches and zero shots in what ended up being a very, very quiet game from the Manchester City man.

Subs

Nicolas Tagliafico (6/10):

Nico Gonzalez (6/10):

Leandro Paredes (6/10):

Angel Di Maria (5/10):

Lautaro Martinez (4/10):

Brazil  Player Rating

Alisson (6/10): Helpless on the Argentine goal — such was the quality of Otamendi’s header. He had nothing else to do.

Emerson (5/10): In the second half I tried to go forward but nothing was happening in the attacking areas – although he saw a lot of the ball.

Marquinhos (5/10): He didn’t have much to do in the first half. Removed at recess.

Gabriel Magalhaes (5/10): Outlept for Argentina’s goal, which was basically his only action in an otherwise lackluster performance.

Carlos Augusto (4/10): Largely uninvolved off the ball and can’t be faulted for any work off it. A random stupid booking marked his only real impact.

Andrew (6/10): I got stuck watching Lionel Messi well. But he’s limited as a playmaker and didn’t really have any passing options.

Bruno Guimaraes (5/10): He seemed to enjoy the physical side of the competition. He was not as effective when playing football.

Raphinha (4/10): He saw a free kick deflected over the crossbar for his side’s only real chance of the first half. He almost put one into his own net in the second. At times he tried to do too much, usually to the detriment of his side.

Gabriel Jesus (5/10): I managed to start despite struggling for fitness with Arsenal. One wonderful run almost opened his side.

Rodrygo (5/10): Dangerous when he got on the ball, which really didn’t happen enough.

Gabriel Martinelli (5/10): Largely stopped as a one-on-one presence. He fired Brazil’s best chance in the second half directly at Martinez.

Subs

Nino (5/10):

Endrick (6/10):

Joelinton (3/10):

Douglas Luiz (N/A):

Raphael Veiga (N/A):

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