Argentina defeated Brazil to win the Copa America, its first major title since 1993 and the first major international crown for captain Lionel Messi.
The win at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium adds an international accolade to Messi’s CV, after having won a numerous trophies at club level with Barcelona.
It was an entertaining but hard fought match on both sides as Messi squared off against former Barca teammate Neymar, who was fouled repeatedly throughout the night.
Angel Di Maria gave Argentina the lead and eventual game-winner in the 22nd minute when he pounced on Rodan Lodi’s errant clearance and looped the ball over Ederson for the goal.
Brazil looked to have equalised the match in the 52nd minute when he slotted it past Emiliano Martinez but was ruled offside. Minutes later, Richarlison saw his close-range shot blocked by Martinez.
The hosts kept the pressure on as time ran out with Gabriel Barbosa strike a fine ball off a bounce that was parried away by Martinez in the 86th minute.
Messi’s best chance at a goal came in the 87th minute when he found himself alone against Ederson, only to bundle the ball underneath his feet for the rare error.