Brazil 1-0 Argentina match report: international friendly
Miranda headed home Neymar's corner deep into time added on to hand Brazil victory after a close, hard-fought match.
Brazil vs Argentina: match report
Brazil and Argentina finished their international breaks in Saudi Arabia in what turned out to be a pretty uneventful affair on Tuesday night. Uneventful that is until right at the death, when Miranda headed Brazil into a late lead with the Seleçao claiming victory in the Superclásico.
Lionel Messi was missing, of course, but Neymar played the full game and while he was fouled on a number of ocassions and never allowed to play, he rarely showed the spark that Brazil expect of him. He was, however, the best player on the field and a constant threat down the left even if he never reached his sparkling best.
Argentina sat deep in the first half and rarely got anything going in midfield or attack. In the absence of their superstar and talisman, Sacloni said they would have to play more as a team. They did that defensively but looked out of ideas in attack. Correa barely featured and Icardi and Dybala lacked chemistry.
Brazil threatened at times in the first 45, but the only effort on target was from Miranda - with Otamendi clearing it off the line and straight into the grateful hands of Sergio Romero.
The game grew more chippy in the second half and referee Felix Brych ended up giving out seven yellows in 45 minutes. It was high on fouls and cards but low on chances and quality too. Casemiro saw a free-kick deflected out for a corner and Richarlison drove a shot low to the back post that was put behind for the same.
Argentina were lacking a spark and Brazil weren't a whole lot better as Firmino and Gabriel Jesus both failed to inspire during their stints on the field. It would take a Neymar run into enemy territory before winning a corner to bother the scoreboard.
It came in the 93rd minute when Neymar sent the corner he won into the front post. Miranda headed home at the front post and Argentina had little or no time to respond. It would end 1-0 and while it was neither side's most glittering moment in their history, Argentine looked competent and Brazil continue to win despite not playing at their best.
Brazil vs Argentina: live updates
Brazil vs Argentina: match preview
Brazil and Argentina renew their rivalry on Tuesday night in King Abdullah Sports City, which is located north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with kick-off at 20:00 CEST. Despite the absence of Lionel Messi, who is currently in the Argentinian news after Diego Maradona's bizarre outburst about him, there is still plenty of talent on display and with Neymar et al ready to line out for Brazil, it will sure to be a fiesta of football.
Managed by Tite, Brazil are still reeling after their World Cup failure when they were knocked out by Belgium. The manager says he is not entirely happy with their win over Saudi Arabia recently but they won so it's not all bad for the Samba boys. Neymar, who is taking to his captain's role well, said he was happier to see Gabriel Jesus break his duck against Saudi Arabia than if he had of scored five himself. He is pleased, however, not to be facing his former teammate with Messi out of the Argentina squad. In terms of injuries, Brazil are missing the likes of Thiago Silva, Willian, Paulinho and Fernandinho, which might open the door for Barcelona's summer signing, Malcom, who could be set to make his debut.
Argentina are, of course, without their bonafide star but that might not be a bad thing as we saw against Iraq when they demolished the opposition. They will be forced to figure out the game and how to win without just lumping it to the Barcelona attacker whenever they find the ball at their feet as explained by their own manager. Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Marcos Rojo are all out for Lionel Scaloni and Gio Simeone could start with plenty of options up front. Lautaro Martinez recently scored his first goal for his country and could keep his place but Mauro Icardi will be ready to start if not.