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Brazil and Argentina’s Maracanã mayhem, Slovenia return to the Euros, & more

In another week where international action takes the headlines, we had several big matches and results. Here are some of the best of the bunch from around the world:

🌍 UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers: Slovenia 2-1 Kazakhstan

In Europe, the regular group stage of the 2024 European Championship qualifiers drew to a close.

There were a few final-day showdowns, including Slovenia’s match against Kazakhstan where the hosts needed at least a point to prevent their visitors from qualifying for their first-ever major tournament.

A first-half penalty from RB Leipzig starlet Benjamin Šeško set them on the right track, and although they conceded an equaliser soon on the other side of half-time, they never really looked massively threatened and an 86th-minute winner from Benjamin Verbič sealed the deal in style.

Slovenia have sealed a spot in the Euros for just the second time in their history and the first time since 2000, coming through in a tough group that also included Denmark and Finland. The celebrations in Ljubljana probably will not be ending anytime soon.

🌍 CONMEBOL 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Brazil 0-1 Argentina

Over in South America, the international Superclásico between Brazil and Argentina was one that will not be forgotten anytime soon.

Unfortunately, a part of the reason behind that is pre-match violence that occurred in the stands as there was a major scuffle between the fans after which the police targeted the visiting supporters. Things got so out of hand that Argentina’s players decided to walk off, leading to a delayed kick-off.

When the match eventually began, what ensued on the pitch was quite a scrap too. Tactics and strategies went out of the window as both sides fought tooth and nail in one of the most chaotic matches in recent memory which saw 42 fouls committed officially and many more that went unnoticed.

Ultimately, Nicolás Otamendi’s header from a corner proved to be the difference between the two teams, as Brazil suffered a defeat in a home World Cup qualifier for the first time ever.

They have now lost each of their three qualifiers but just about remain in the top six.

🏆 UEFA Women’s Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 Bayern Munich

The second round of group stage fixtures in the UEFA Women’s Champions League had several heavyweight clashes including Bayern Munich’s visit to Paris.

Paris Saint-Germain’s campaign had not got off to a good start after a surprise defeat to Ajax, so they were already under some pressure to get a result.

The German champions did not let that happen with a controlling display in which they often showed their class in possession, although the only goal of the match came thanks to centre-back Magdalena Eriksson heading a cross home.

PSG remain last in Group C, making their upcoming double-header against Serie A champions Roma an absolute must-win.

🌍 CAF 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Comoros 1-0 Ghana

The World Cup qualifiers in Africa always produce plenty of drama and upsets, and the first couple of rounds of fixtures were no exception.

Perhaps the biggest overall surprise is the fact that 128th-ranked Comoros find themselves at the very top of Group I with two wins from two. Their opponents were no pushovers either, as they got the better of the Central African Republic and then big-hitters Ghana.

The Black Stars will be looking to give a good account of themselves at the upcoming AFCON in January having been quite disappointing in the previous edition of the tournament, but this result and performance shows that they do not seem to have gotten much better under Chris Houghton.

With no competitive action again until the big tournament itself, Ghana will have to hope that they can turn things around on the ground in Côte d’Ivoire.

🇦🇷 Copa Argentina: Boca Juniors 2-3 Estudiantes

A crucial cup semi-final in Argentina had implications beyond the tournament itself for one of the country’s biggest clubs.

Boca Juniors were defeated by Estudiantes in a five-goal thriller which was decided by an incredible series of deflections which ultimately resulted in an own goal.

This is yet another blow in what has been a very disappointing season for Boca Juniors. The only positive they can take is they got to the Copa Libertadores final, but they ended up losing to Fluminense there.

Domestically, they finished seventh in the league – miles off rivals River Plate who won the title. They are not on course to do much better in the Copa de la Liga Professional as the second half of the season draws to a close.

The cup was their only realistic avenue of qualifying for next year’s Libertadores, so it is now almost certain that the side who have reached the tournament’s quarter-finals in every season since 2015 will not appear on South America’s biggest stage in 2024.

Stats courtesy FotMob.

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