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Historic Upset: Argentina Stuns Brazil in Maracanã Turmoil

In a momentous turn of events, Brazil faced its inaugural home World Cup qualifying loss as Argentina clinched a 1-0 victory amidst a night of turmoil at the iconic Maracanã stadium.

Defender Nicolas Otamendi’s commanding header, a mere nine minutes from closure, secured a historic triumph for Argentina, marking Brazil’s first-ever three consecutive qualifying defeats in Seleção’s history.

However, the match’s narrative unfolded against a backdrop of violence in the stands, causing a delay in the World Cup qualifier’s commencement. A skirmish erupted among fans, situated together at one stadium end, disrupting the national anthems. Brazilian police intervened, triggering a contentious response from Argentine supporters, enraging Lionel Messi and the national team.

Amid scenes of chaos, Messi, along with teammates, approached the site of the altercation, urging both police and Argentine fans for calm. Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez even ascended into the stands, attempting to prevent a police officer from using force on an Argentina fan.

Messi eventually led the team off the pitch, seeking refuge in the changing rooms for ten minutes. The match commenced 30 minutes behind schedule.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) defended the mixing of fans as “standard” in FIFA and CONMEBOL-organized matches, emphasizing adherence to approved security plans. Despite the CBF’s assertion, the night witnessed eight arrests, including a woman for alleged racial abuse.

Messi reflected on the chaotic start, prioritizing concern for families amid the violence. Winning under such circumstances marked a crucial achievement for the team.

In an unexpected turn, Argentina’s manager, Lionel Scaloni, cast uncertainty over his coaching position, contemplating the challenges posed by the team’s high standards.

The victory maintains Argentina’s lead in World Cup qualifying, while Brazil, now in sixth place, grapples with four winless matches under interim head coach Fernando Diniz.

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