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Otamendi goal helps Argentina defeat Brazil

Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 at the iconic Maracana Stadium after a brilliant header from Nicolas Otamendi on Tuesday.

La Albiceleste went into the game on the back of a 2-0 home loss against Uruguay last week.

But they returned to winning ways at the expense of their arch-rivals to go top of the South American World Cup qualifying table. 

The kick-off was delayed due to crowd trouble at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. When it finally began, it was a feisty affair with both teams getting stuck in. 

Gabriel Jesus, Raphinha and Carlos Augusto were all booked before the interval, but there were some moments of quality from Gabriel Martinelli. 

The Arsenal star was lively on the left wing but failed to score with his one shot on target. 

Argentina were much improved after the break and it wasn’t long before they scored their first goal. 

Nicolas Otamendi rose above his marker to head home Giovani Lo Celso’s corner in the 63rd minute, leaving Alisson no chance in goal. 

That sparked Brazil into a good response, but Jesus’ shot was easily saved by Emiliano Martinez. 

Lionel Scaloni made several changes over the following minutes, with Marcos Acuna, Enzo Fernandez and Lo Celso making way for Nicolas Tagliafico, Leandro Paredes and Nicolas Gonzalez. 

Interim manager Fernando Diniz also shook things up, but his team suffered a big blow as Joelinton received a red card for shoving Rodrigo De Paul minutes after coming on.

There was no way back for Brazil after being reduced to ten men as La Albiceleste held on for a crucial win.

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