Argentina vs. Brazil score: Otamendi escapes red card for elbow on Raphinha, Vinicius Jr. shines in draw


Brazil and Argentina had to settle for a scoreless draw in their first meeting since Sept. 5 when their match in Brazil had to be suspended seven minutes in due to alleged breaches of COVID-19 protocols. The draw earned Argentina a ticket to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

While Lionel Messi made the starting lineup for Argentina, Neymar dropped out for Brazil after picking up an injury in training. Neymar was replaced by Vinicius Junior as World Cup qualification is secured for Brazil. The Seleção had the better chances but were unable to make them count. . 

After an uninspired first half during which they should’ve been down to 10 men, Argentina made a double change at half seeing Lautaro Martinez and Leandro Paredes come off for Joaquin Correa and Lucas Martinez Quatra to switch things up. The biggest moment for Argentina in the half was a near red card for Nicolas Otamendi, who elbowed Raphinha in the mouth, but even after a review, no cards were given. 

Brazil should’ve gone ahead via Vinicius but his shot went wide as well. The second half saw Cristian Romero go off with a possible hamstring injury leading to more joy for Brazil in attack.

Argentina controlled most of the possession, but they weren’t dangerous with those chances. Alisson nearly gave them a chance with his feet trying to play out of the back. Fred also hit the post on a speculative shot but neither keeper was challenged as the teams seemed happy to play out a draw. Argentina got just enough to book their ticket to Qatar while Brazil is in tinker mode having breezed through qualification.

Here are three takeaways from the match:

1. Alisson opening door for Ederson?

While Brazil have two world-class keepers at their disposal in Alisson and Ederson, only one can start at the World Cup. At the moment, the advantage would go to the Liverpool shot stopper, but when two keepers are so good, the slight mistakes get magnified. There were a few moments in this match where Alisson invited pressure by holding the ball for too long and nearly coughed it up late in the second half. Mistakes like that could lead to Ederson getting a few looks with qualification secured on the back of a strong Copa America campaign.

2. Otamendi is quite lucky

While I may not be a referee, an elbow to the neck is usually a straight red card. But not only was Otamendi able to stay on, he eventually completed the entire match for Argentina playing part in a clean sheet performance. With the dominance that Brazil displayed, if Otamendi went off, this would have been quite a different result.

3. Vinicius Junior makes strong case to start

While Neymar’s slot is locked in the attack when he’s healthy, the other spots are fluid and up for grabs. Neymar has also had enough knocks that you need a contingency plan. Vini’s ability to pull something out of his bag from nowhere makes a dangerous duo alongside Raphinha. The finishing wasn’t there on Tuesday but everything else was for getting into space and on a night where he doesn’t see Emi Martinez, Vini will likely score one or two goals. Figuring out the wings will be one of the top goals of the next few qualifiers.





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