Di Maria started for just the second time in the Copa and he justified his selection by scoring the opener midway through the first half.
Brazil piled on the pressure in an exciting second half but even with five strikers on the field they could not get an equaliser against an Argentine defence protected by the outstanding Rodrigo De Paul.
Messi finished the tournament’s joint top goalscorer with four goals and was elected joint best player along with Neymar. But he was quiet throughout and uncharacteristically missed a golden opportunity to wrap the game up with two minutes remaining.
When the final whistle went, Argentina TV declared “Argentina Champions, Lionel Messi Champion!”
The victory was Argentina’s 15th Copa America triumph and means they draw level with Uruguay as the all-time leading winners.
Their win extended their sequence of undefeated matches to 20 under Lionel Scaloni and handed Brazil their first competitive defeat since they lost to Belgium in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup.
Argentina vs. Brazil – Football Match Report – July 10, 2021
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