Neymar

Messi, Argentina beat Brazil to win Copa America, first int’l trophy of career

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At long last, Lionel Messi has won a major international trophy after Argentina bested Brazil 1-0 in a riveting, rough-and-tumble final at the 2021 Copa America on Saturday.

[ MORE: EURO 2020 final preview: Italy v. England ]

After doing much of the heavy lifting through the group stage and earlier knockout rounds (4 goals and five assists, making him the top performer in each category at this year’s Copa America), Messi got a little help from his friends in a cup final. Messi came up short while performing virtually on his own in three of his four previous final defeats, but on Saturday Angel di Maria stepped into the void when Messi had a rather pedestrian (by his own standard) outing against Brazil.

The opening 15 minutes would be undersold if described as chippy, with reckless tackles flying in from both sides. Gonzalo Montiel’s ankle appeared to be bleeding through his sock after an early studs-to-the-shin tackle from Fred, Lucas Paqueta’s sock was torn by a late challenge, and the left leg was Neymar’s shorts was ripped nearly in half. Again, all in the first quarter-hour.

Di Maria opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, courtesy of a massive blunder by Renan Lodi. The long ball from Rodrigo De Paul appeared to be routine for a defender of international caliber, but Lodi completely whiffed on the attempted interception and Di Maria was more than ready to pounce. Ederson was quick off his line to close down the angles, so Di Maria opted for the casual lob from 15 yards out.

Messi’s first meaningful involvement nearly resulted in a second goal for Argentina in the 33rd minute, but Argentina’s superstar went inches wide with a bouncing strike from the edge of the box after weaving his way past a pair of defenders.

21 fouls in the first half, including 12 in the first 17 minutes.

[ MORE: 3 key tactical questions: England v. Italy ]

After a shockingly quiet first half without a truly dangerous scoring chance, Brazil emerged from the intermission on the front foot and with a sense or urgency. Richarlison put the ball in the back of the net in the 53rd minute, but the assistant referee rightly flagged that he was a half-yard offside during the build-up.

Not even a minute later, Richarlison was again the danger man who forced Emiliano Martinez to make a fantastic reaction save from close range.

From there, Brazil grew more desperate by the minute, thus turning the Copa America final into a wide open, end-to-end track meet only snuffed out by some heroic emergency defending at both ends of the field. There was also more violence committed one of the great hatchet men of his generation.

Martinez came up with another key save in the 87th minute after Neymar’s corner kick was flicked on to Gabriel Barbosa at the far post. Barbosa did ever so well to rise high and get his foot over the ball and hammer it right at Martinez.

Seconds later, down the other end of the field, Messi had the chance to put the game away as De Paul slotted him in behind Brazil’s defense, but he was caught between two minds of firing for the far post and rounding Ederson. In the end, he did neither as Ederson scooped the ball off his foot.

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VIDEO: PST unfiltered – England v. Italy; Argentina v. Brazil, Messi v. Neymar

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ProSoccerTalk is now on video as well as in written format as plenty of opinion is coming to Premier League videos, even in the offseason when the stars hit EURO 2020 and Copa America.

Unleash the beast, as they say.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ] 

Each week ProSoccerTalk writers Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards, and Nick Mendola will analyze the Premier League action, preview the fixtures, and handle the big news from around the soccer world.

Expect opinions, analysis, and insight, as well as plenty of friendly banter along the way and maybe a beer or two among these Premier League videos…

Basically, they have these chats on their own anyway so we thought we would record them and let them loose on the Premier League, USMNT, and everything in-between. This is going to be a lot of fun and a lighthearted look at all of the action from across the soccer world each week.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

With JPW is based in England and heading to Premier League games and traveling to stadiums/training grounds, plus Andy and Nick based Stateside, we will be checking in with them regularly to get their views on just about anything when it comes to Pro Soccer. Because, well, ProSoccerTalk.

Below we break down the latest news across the EURO 2020


Semifinals recap: England finds another way to win vs. Denmark

Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards and Nick Mendola break down their takeaways from a dramatic semifinal round of EURO 2020, including England’s continued tactical versatility under Gareth Southgate.

Final preview: England – Italy at Wembley for glory

The PST crew takes a tactical look at the EURO 2020 final, a tournament Italy hasn’t won since 1968 and England has never won.

2021 Copa America final preview: Brazil v. Argentina, Messi v. Neymar

And finally, a look ahead to the 2021 Copa America final between Brazil and Argentina, outlining whether Lionel Messi needs the win to cement his legacy, Messi facing friend and former teammate Neymar, and key battles.

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Brazil gets past Peru, reaches Copa America Final (video)

2021 Copa America
Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images
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Lucas Paqueta’s 35th minute goal off a Neymar feed has put Brazil within one win of winning th 2021 Copa America.

Brazil won Group B with an unbeaten mark and outlasted Chile 1-0 to set up Monday’s semifinal with Peru, and Tite’s men only needed one goal to get to the final thanks to 56% possession and a 15-7 edge in shot attempts.

[ MORE: Full EURO 2020 scores, bracket ]

The hosts will have an extra day rest of their final opponent. James Rodriguez’s Colombia and Lionel Messi’s Argentina square off Tuesday for the right to meet Brazil in Saturday night’s final.

Messi’s been the star of the tournament but Neymar isn’t far behind, and the ex-Barcelona teammates appear to be on a collision course. Colombia’s scored just three goals in five matches after finishing third in Group B.

Brazil rallies to beat Colombia through Firmino, Casemiro headers (video)

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Copa America is picking up steam, but that doesn’t mean anyone’s getting hot enough to cool off Brazil.

And if they did, well, there’s the matter of good, ol’ fashioned bounces.

[ MORE: Copa America hub ]

Colombia threatened as much early Wednesday when Luis Diaz slashed an audacious overhead kick home in the first half of their Group B game.

Down 1-0 after 10 minutes, Brazil scrapped its way back for another win — its 10th-straight in all competitions — to stay perfect at Copa America with a 2-1 win.

[ MORE: What we learned from EURO 2020 group stage ]

The bounce in question came when Brazil kept playing after a pass hit the referee, with Renan Lodi sweeping in a 78th-minute cross that substitute Roberto Firmino nodded home

The clock also helped, as injuries and fights provided 10 minutes of stoppage time. That’s when Neymar’s corner kick was thudded home by the dome of Casemiro.

 

Copa America update: Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay win; Argentina held

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The Copa America 2021 is off and underway in Brazil, and we’ve seen some great goals and the likes of Neymar and Lionel Messi are already off the mark.

[ LIVE: Updates from Copa America ]

With plenty of players missing out due to positive COVID-19 cases, the likes of Venezuela have been severely hit by absentees as the tournament was moved from joint hosts Colombia and Argentina due to political unrest in the former and COVID cases in the latter.

Brazil stepped in at the eleventh hour to host the tournament, but that has been heavily scrutinized considering the current coronavirus situation across much of South America.

[ MORE: Full highlights, analysis of PL season ]  

Below is the latest update from the action on the pitch, as we’ve seen eight of the 10 teams competing so far with Peru and Uruguay the two nations yet to play in the group stage, but they begin their tournament on Thursday.


How to watch, stream

When: June 13 to July 10
TV Channel/Stream: Fox Sports and Univision
Live updates, stats: Online via NBCSports.com


Copa America 2021 update

Brazil 3-0 Venezuela

The hosts got off to a flying start, but full credit to a hugely makeshift Venezuela side after they were without 13 players who tested positive for COVID-19. Marquinhos put Brazil ahead in the first half, then Neymar scored a penalty kick and Gabriel Barbosa finished things off. In terms of Premier League stars, Liverpool’s Alisson started in goal, while Everton’s Richarlison and Man City’s Jesus started up top. Fabinho came off the bench, while Thiago Silva, Roberto Firmino and Ederson were all unused subs. They are likely to feature against Peru in their next Group A game.


Colombia 1-0 Ecuador

A narrow win for Colombia came courtesy of a gorgeous set-piece routine, as Edwin Cardona finished off a lovely training ground move. Without James Rodriguez due to ongoing fitness issues, Los Cafateros started Everton center back Yerry Mina, while Juve’s Juan Cuadrado started and Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez came off the bench. Next up for Colombia in Group A is Venezuela.


Argentina 1-1 Chile

In Group B, Lionel Messi scored a sublime free kick but Argentina couldn’t hold on for victory as La Albiceleste continue to underwhelm. Argentina started well but wasted plenty of chances as Chile hung in there. Veteran Arturo Vidal won a penalty kick but Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez pulled off a stunning save onto the woodwork, only for Eduardo Vargas to finish the rebound. Messi teed up Nicolas Gonzalez perfectly late on but he headed over, as Argentina now face Uruguay. That will be tasty.


Paraguay 3-1 Bolivia

The Paraguayans top Group B as they eased past Bolivia. Erwin Saavedra did give Bolivia the lead from the penalty spot, but they had Jaume Cuellar sent off right at the end of the first half and Paraguay took full advantage of their one man advantage. They scored three goals in 18 minutes in the second half, with Alejandro Romero setting them on their way and Angel Romero sealed the comeback win. Paraguay now have a week off before they face Argentina.