Brazil Humiliated By Final-Bound Argentina

Argentina 3-0 Brazil Just as Brazil slaughtered Argentina 3-0 in the Copa América final of 2007, so did the albicelestes treat their neighbours to an absolute thrashing in China. Two goals from Sergio Agüero and a late penalty from Juan Román Riquelme - plus a disallowed goal for Brazil - sealed the win for Sergio Batista's men, who go on to meet Nigeria in the final. After a goalless first half Argentina came out swinging, racking up a two-goal lead before the hour mark thanks to 'Kun' Agüero. A late Riquelme penalty and red cards for Lucas and Neves left Dunga's Brazil utterly helpless as they now face up to yet another Olympics without the gold. However the team in yellow may feel somewhat aggrieved at the scoreline, given that at 2-0 and eleven men per side they had what appeared to some to be a valid goal disallowed for offside. In any case, though, the albiceleste are back in the final as they attempt to defend their title. First Half With Brazil attacking via the flanks early on the first real chance fell to Rafael Sobis, who started up front in place of Alexandre Pato, dropped by Dunga. The Betis striker, though, couldn't quite get on the end of Rafinha's cross. Sergio Agüero, yet to net at the tournament, then missed a sitter at the other end with the Brazilian defence too slow to react to a quick free-kick forward. Nonetheless such a fine chance for Argentina spurned the albiceleste on, and they shaded the end of the first half even though chances were few and far between. When they did come, though, they were worth waiting for: Messi strode through the Brazilian defence four minutes before the break in characteristic fashion, but Renan Brito pulled off a great save to prevent the opener. Second Half Soon after the break, though, there was no mercy for Brazil as Argentina pressed forward. Just seven minutes after the restart they took the lead: Agüero used his upper body to direct Di Maria's cross into the net with Brito unable to react. Five minutes later Ezequiel Garay turned provider as he played in a low ball from the left for the opportunistic Agüero to turn goalward. Brazil weren't quite out of it yet: shortly before being taken off Rafael Sobis hit the woodwork after a fine team move. A further few minutes later Ronaldinho very nearly set up Pato for the equaliser. Rattling a free-kick off the post, 'Dinho's AC Milan teammate was waiting to tap the ball in, but it was ruled offside, much to the disgust of the Brazilian contingent. But Sergio Agüero was on hand to grab a "hat-trick" of sorts, for he won the penalty that sealed the win. Being tripped in the box by Breno, referee Vázquez gave a spot-kick that captain Juan Román Riquelme deftly fired down the middle. Lucas was sent off for a foul on his Liverpool teammate Javier Mascherano with eight minutes left, and Thiago Neves followed him soon afterwards for a rash tackle on the same player. Thus Brazil will be weakened somewhat as they head into the playoff. ARGENTINA 3-0 BRAZIL 1-0 Agüero 52' 2-0 Agüero 57' 3-0 Riquelme 76' (pen.) Argentina (Batista): Romero; Zabaleta, Pareja, Garay, Monzón; Gago, Mascherano, Riquelme (Sosa 90), di Maria; Messi, Agüero. Brazil (Dunga): Renan Brito; Rafinha, Alex Silva, Breno, Marcelo; Diego (Jô 71), Hernanes (Neves 61), Lucas, Anderson; Ronaldinho; Sobis (Pato 61). Yellow Cards: Zabaleta 7, Pareja 63, Di Maria 65 - Breno 19, Hernanes 32, Anderson 67, Rafinha 75. Red Cards: None - Lucas 81, Neves 8.


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