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Messi’s Argentina Hands Brazil First-Ever Home World Cup Qualifier Defeat

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Argentina handed Brazil a historic defeat in a World Cup qualifier at the Maracana. Lionel Messi and Emiliano Martinez attempted to break up the altercation between police and Argentina supporters.

The long-running rivalry between the two most successful teams in world football reached a fever pitch when Argentine fans started fighting in the stands during the national anthems, prompting the Brazilian police to charge them.

The world champions went to the terraces to try to diffuse the tension, with captain Messi leading the way. Messi asked for the fighting to stop during the altercation, and Martinez was seen on camera attempting to stop a policeman with a baton by reaching into the crowd.

After that, the Argentina players left the field and spent more than ten minutes in the dressing room.

After a 30-minute delay, the game began with boisterous cheers from the local supporters of the five-time world champions, who were hoping to salvage some momentum in their campaign after losing their previous two qualifiers.

But Argentina won 1-0 thanks to a powerful header from Nicolas Otamendi, making history by defeating Brazil in a home World Cup qualifying match for the first time ever.

Brazil is currently in sixth place, eight points behind leaders Argentina in the South American World Cup qualifying rankings, and the final spot that ensures a spot in the 2026 finals.

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