Two South American superpowers met for the right to play in the Copa America Final on Tuesday night, but only one could move on.
After a game in which Argentina created more chances but simply couldn’t find the net, Brazil won the right to play for the continent’s championship after achieving a 2-0 win over Argentina in Belo Horizonte.
It was yet another disappointment for Argentina and Leo Messi in an international competition, as they have now gone since 1993 without winning a major trophy.
Brazil managed only 4 shots all night, but its hyper-efficient 50% conversion rate was enough to carry them to victory. Their first goal came at the 19th minute to give them an early 1-0 edge when Gabriel Jesus buried a perfect cross from Roberto Firmino.
Argentina had plenty of opportunities to tie up the score after Jesus’s goal. Sergio Agüero looked to have beaten Brazil goalie Alisson Becker shortly after the opener, but his header went off of the crossbar.
Becker then went on to make a stunning save to deny a perfect shot by Leo Messi on a free kick in the 66th minute.
The home side wrapped it up with a goal just five minutes later by Firmino. They didn’t play their best match, but their fortune combined with Argentina’s bad shooting night was enough to get the job done.
Now, they’ll advance to play either Peru or Chile in the competition’s final.