Competent Brazil see off Argentina to secure final berth
Brazil secured a place in the 2019 Copa America final with a competent performance against an Argentina side who only mustered real opposition in a valiant second half performance.
Dani Alves and Gabriel Jesus were outstanding for Tite's men and both had a hand in the opening goal with the former PSG man working the ball well on the right hand side setting up his Manchester City team mate to slot home.
A different Argentina emerged after the break and Messi went close for the Albiceleste rattling Alisson's post midway through the half.
Just when it seemed Argentina would strike level, Gabriel Jesus picked up a lose ball and after outrunning three opposing defenders manages to thread through to Roberto Firmino who slotted home.
Argentina will rue their poor first half display (and indeed earlier poor group displays which saw them set up a semi final against fancied Brazil) with coach Scaloni certainly to come under deep scrutiny from the unforgiving Argentine media.
Meanwhile, Brazil await the winners of Peru-Chile in the second semi-final ahead of Sunday's Copa America 2019 finale.
Brazil now await the winners of tomorrow's second semi-final where holders Chile face Peru.
That's it...Brazil are in Sunday's final as they beat a valiant Argentina 2-0
Argentina will rue their poor first half display (an indeed earlier poor group displays which saw them set up a semi final against fancied Brazil) with Scaloni certainly to come under deep scrutiny from the unforgiving Argentine media.
4' of time to be added
Argentina win a late corner but Brazil manage to clear the danger through Dani Alves who has been excellent tonight
Brazil looking odds on to face the winners of semi-final No. 2 as Chile and Peru play tomorrow night.
Desperation stakes here for Lionel Scaloni with a glut of attacking players on the pitch.
Firmino falls in the box but the ref. waves play on.
Time running out for Argentina ....5' plus added time remain.
No VAR check as the game continies
Meanwhile Dybala is on for Tagliafico
Otamendi down and it appears that the Man City man was body checked by Arthur. A possible penalty ?
Dybala poised to come on for Argentina
Injury or a manner of running down the clock?
Willian goes to ground.
10' remaining as Argentina maintain the pressure looking for a goal that would bring them back into the tie.
Change confirmed.... Gabriel Jesus off with Allan his replacement
Gabriel Jesus struggling gesturing to the bench....
The ball falls to Di Maria outside the area and the PSG player delivers a poor left footed effort which drifts wide.
The wall does its job deflecting the strike away for a corner.
What can Messi deliver?
Argentina maintain pressure with another dangerous free kick awarded to Scaloni's side. Again close to the edge of the Brazil box and yet again in Messi territory.
Argentina boss Scaloni carded for agressive behaviour
What a major blow for Lionel Scaloni's side after a strong display in the second half. Difficult to see the Albiceleste clawing their way back from a two goal defecit.
The goal was made by Gabriel Jesus after breaking away from the Argentina rear-guard, finding his team-mate who tapped into an empty net. Great work from the City player
20'm left for Argentina to claw their way back into the game and competition as Brazil are sitting deeper now and look to strike on the break
Gabriel Jesus moving akwardly after sprinting after a loose ball.
Lo Celso on - De Paul off .... Scaloni makes another change
Mr. Zambrano now getting the Brazil wall to behave. Messi poised....Good strike but saved by Alisson.
An akward angle for the left foot of Messi ...but ...
Argentina win a dangerous free kick on the edge of the Brazil box as Alves clips Messi.
Argentina offering possibly their best football of the Copa America yet staring an exit from the tournament with just over 25' remaining.
Marquinhos off with Miranda set to replace the PSG player
Marquinhos on the floor and calling to the bench for a switch. The PSG defender seems to have sustained a muscular injury.
Possession on the hour mark.
- 49% 50%
- 53% 46%
- 61% 38%
- 64% 35%
- 35% 64%
- 48% 51%
- 42% 57%
- 50% 50%
- 48% 51%
- 44% 55%
- 71% 28%
Foyth carded for Argentina
Acuña off - Di Maria on for ARG
Martinez carded for a trip. The Inter striker will miss the final should Argentina progress
Two chances for the Argentine side to strike as Messi hits the post and then just fails find to find Aguero with the follow up.
Messi off the post.
Brazil still ahead but Argentina the better side in the 2nd half as Coutinho goes close for Tite's side just hittng over from close range.
Plenty of social media love coming in for Dani Alves after his fine first half display and role in the Brazil opener.
De Paul drives inches over the Brazil cross bar. Great intent from the Albiceleste in the first minutes of the second period.
The Mineirao pitch seems to have cut up quite badly with the ball bouncing irregularly.
Fine work from Tagliafico who delivers a dangerous ball into the box which Brazil are forced to clear. Argentina enjoying the better of the early stages as Martinez fires straight at Alisson.
Early corner for Brazil...but Coutinho fires straight into Armani's clutches.
Brazil get us underway
Change for the Seleção at the interval with Willian on for Everton
Both sides are back on the pitch.
That's all we have time for in the first half as Mr Zambrano calls time ... Brazil ahead 1-0.
Brazil celebrate their 19' goal from Gabriel Jesus
2' of time to be added
Despite their recent resurrection in the game, Alisson has yet to be really called into action for Brazil.
Acuña and Dani Alves both carded. The Argentine player will now miss the final should the Albiceleste progress.
Argentina slowly clawing their way back into the game after the impact and set-back of the Brazil goal. Messi finds Tagliafico who fails to get any purchase on the ball.
Wonderful play from Messi as he strides from his own half waltzing through the yellow shirts to find Aguero who sees his shot blocked by Marquinhos
Alves is back on his feet and seems ok to carry on.
Now play is held up as Dani Alves recieves treatment after a collssion with Acuña.
Alisson is receiving treatment seemingly having picked up a knock in the passage of play concluding with the Aguero header off the bar.
Brazil still shading possession as we reach the half hour mark of the game
Aguero heads off the bar. Argentina inches away from drawing level
Casemiro fouls Messi in free flow with Mr Zambrano calling for calm as the Barcelona player calls for the Real Madrid player to be carded.
Messi over the ball after Martinez was fouled. Too far out for a strike on target ...first time we've seen the captain tonight as he tamely hits the ball into Alisson's hands. The Barça captain's body language does not offer too much hope for the Argentina fan-base....
Brazil well on top now with the goal calming any early nerves. Yet to concede are the Seleção at this Copa America 2019.
Coutinho with a 'roulette" which delights the Mineirao crowd. The midfielder displaying a confidence in the yellow shirt not on a par with that of the Barça colours.
Great build-up play from Firmino who was instrumental in the assist for the City striker.
Foyth gives the ball away to Gabriel Jesus and the City striker just fails to get a shot on target with prompt defending from the rest of the Argentina rear-guard.
Brazil dominating the early stage possession wise
Limited 'flow' to the game so far with the rhythm of the game constantly interrupted by niggly fouls.
Paredes goes close with a great long range effort. Best chance of the night falls to Argentina with the PSG man going close.
Danger for Argentina as Alves stands over the ball. Sliced away by Aguero as Argentina give the ball away cheaply.
Ajax player Tagliafico is the first name into the book tonight for a rash challente on Gabriel Jesus.
What "version" of Leo Messi can we expect tonight from the Argentina captain... The mercurial Barça captain or the rather ananymous Messi that we've seen in this Copa America?
Brazil enjoying the better of the early action here in Belo Horizonte. Gabriel and Jesus and Everton the danger men to watch tonight from a Brazil persepctive.
Argentina move the ball around in the centre of the park with purpose as a barrage of whistles ring out from the majority of the 62,000 fans packed into the Estadio Mineirao.
Chants of Brasil, Brasil, Brasil ring out as Armani is called into action ...the flag was up however with Firmino caught offside.
Off we go ...
Argentina finished 2nd in their group and made it into the semis with a 2-0 win over Venezuela
National anthem time... first up Argentina....
The teams are in the tunnel and make an entrance to a packed Estadio Mineirao
Great pic of Fernandinho, that fateful Belo Horizonte night in 2014 that has haunted and continues to haunt Brazilian football. What price two early Argentina goals to get the fans nerves on edge?
Brazil, clear, clear favourites for the bookmakers tonight
The major talking point from the Argentina team selection is the fact that for the first time in 40 games, Argentina have retained the same XI as a previous game.
Roughly 5.500 Argentina fans expected at the Minerao tonight to see their national side in action.
Argentina have made it through to the final each of the last five times they reached the Copa America semis; indeed, they only failed to progress from the last four in 1987, when they lost 1-0 at home against Uruguay.
A mild night in Belo Horizonte with a current temp. of 19C. Ideal conditions for the game with no rain forecast.
Brazil XI: Alisson; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva; Alex Sandro; Arthur, Casemiro; Jesus, Coutinho, Everton & Firmino.
ARGENTINA XI - Armani, Foyth, Pezzella, Otamendi, Tagliafico, De Paul, Paredes, Acuña, Lautaro Martínez, Messi & Agüero
Brazil have never lost a competitive game at home against Argentina (W8 D2), and are unbeaten in their last seven meetings with their rivals in all competitions (W6 D1).
Neither side head into tonight's clash in particularly good form but Brazil against Argentina, a fixture the Selecao have won four times in a row at the Copa America and arguably one of the biggest rivalry's in international football, surely cannot fail to deliver drama.
Hello and welcome to our live Copa America coverage as Brazil face Argentina in the first semi-final with a 02.30 start.