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Argentina vs. Brazil score: Otamendi escapes red card for elbow on Raphinha, Vinicius Jr. shines in draw

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Brazil and Argentina had to settle for a scoreless draw in their first meeting since Sept. 5 when their match in Brazil had to be suspended seven minutes in due to alleged breaches of COVID-19 protocols.

While Lionel Messi made the starting lineup for Argentina, Neymar dropped out for Brazil after picking up an injury in training. Neymar was replaced by Vinicius Junior as World Cup qualification is secured for Brazil. The Seleção had the better chances but were unable to make them count. . 

After an uninspired first half during which they should’ve been down to 10 men, Argentina made a double change at half seeing Lautaro Martinez and Leandro Paredes come off for Joaquin Correa and Lucas Martinez Quatra to switch things up. The biggest moment for Argentina in the half was a near red card for Nicolas Otamendi, who elbowed Raphinha in the mouth, but even after a review, no cards were given. 

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Brazil should’ve gone ahead via Vinicius but his shot went wide as well. The second half saw Cristian Romero go off with a possible hamstring injury leading to more joy for Brazil in attack.

Argentina controlled most of the possession, but they weren’t dangerous with those chances. Alisson nearly gave them a chance with his feet trying to play out of the back. Fred also hit the post on a speculative shot but neither keeper was challenged as the teams seemed happy to play out a draw. Argentina now need just one point to book their ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar while Brazil is in tinker mode having breezed through qualification.

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