Argentina vs. Brazil: Playing out the Rivalry in 8 Matches

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Argentina vs. Brazil: Playing out the Rivalry in 8 Matches
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The footballing rivalry between Brazil and Argentina is famous the world over, with the South American countries' fierce hatred of defeat clear at all levels of competition.

It is a matter of pride for both nations. Traditionally, with the exception of brief periods when Uruguay have stepped up to the top level of international football, the duo have divided up South American honours among themselves throughout the second half of the last century.

It is a rivalry forged by proximity, relative strength and frequent direct competition for silverware. Over the course of history, it is a rivalry that has intensified over a series of high-profile encounters, often with glory on the line.

There have been abundant moments of both fame and infamy, both in abundance. After all, South American football can be as renowned for its hostility and aggression as it is for its beauty.

Without further ado, then, let's look at some of the ties that have shaped the Argentina-Brazil rivalry.

 

Argentina 2-0 Brazil, South American Championship 1937

The "match of shame" as it is known in Brazil, where Argentina scored two goals in extra time to seal victory in what was the precursor to the Copa America.

It was not the game itself that earned the moniker, though, but rather the racist taunting of Brazil's Afro-Caribbean players by the home crowd. As a response, Brazil's team left the pitch before the game's completion.

The locker room in San Lorenzo, though, was locked and there were reports of real fears for the players' security. In the end, everyone made it out of the grounds safely.

 

Brazil 3-2 Argentina, Copa Roca 1939

The 1939 Copa Roca was another match up between the two sides that is now shrouded in infamy, with the second leg of the tie leaving a sour taste in the mouth for Argentina.

Having won the first leg 5-1, inflicting Brazil's first ever home defeat in Rio de Janeiro, Argentina faced up to the selecao for a second time in the same city. The game, though, once again finished with only one side remaining on the pitch.

Brazil would fall behind 2-1, but pull level in the tie late on. Soon after, the referee would hand the hosts a dubious penalty, much to the fury of the Argentine side.

Captain Arcadio Lopez was dismissed for his reaction to the decision, prompting the Argentine side to leave the pitch. Brazil would go on to convert the penalty with no opponents on the pitch, earning a 3-2 victory according to the history books.

 

Argentina 6-1 Brazil, Copa Roca 1940

Brazil's record defeat in these fixtures saw them lose by a five-goal margin in Buenos Aires, a match which was soon followed up by a 5-1 trouncing in the same city.

The 1940 Copa Roca games, though, did see a rare semblance of fair play emerge in the fixtures.

In the second of the three ties, which Brazil won 3-2, the home Argentine crowd reacted badly to a penalty given in favour of their side. The decision was so bad that as a result, Argentina's Arico Suarez deliberately sent the penalty wide, and order was restored in the stadium.

 

Brazil 3-1 Argentina, World Cup 1982

The Brazil side of '82 has gone down as one of the greatest in history, despite their second round group stage exit at the hands of Italy. In the process, though, they were at least able to silence rivals Argentina 3-1.

Argentina were the reigning world champions, but struggled at the tournament—losing to Belgium, Brazil and Italy in the process. Brazil, meanwhile, were sailing until Paolo Rossi ended their hopes with a fine hat-trick in the match between the two sides.

Had it not been for a series of missed chances, Brazil could have inflicted more damage on Argentina than they eventually did.

The game, though, is commonly remembered for a red card handed to Diego Maradona for a vicious kick on Brazilian substitute Batista.

 

Brazil 0-1 Argentina, World Cup 1990

Another crucial World Cup encounter between the sides came at Italia '90, with Argentina this time eliminating their rivals 1-0 in the Round of 16.

Claudio Cannigia was the hero on the day, converting a late goal from a Diego Maradona through ball to ensure it was Argentina who progressed—eventually reaching the final.

The match has since been mired in controversy, following allegations that Brazil left-back Branco was handed a drink spiked with a tranquiliser late in the game. As late as 2005, the issue was still rumbling on, with Argentine coach Carlos Bilardo cryptically saying: "I'm not saying it didn't happen." (Guardian)

 

Argentina 3-2 Brazil, Copa America 1991

In a match marred by the type of violence that has become somewhat of a tradition in these fixtures, Argentina defeated Brazil in the opening game of the final group stage, with five red cards handed out in total.

Cannigia and Brazil right-back Mazinho were the first to see red in the first half after scuffling off the ball, while Marcio Santos and Carlos Enrique followed early in the second half.

Substitute Careca eventually completed a busy day for the referee, earning himself an early bath just three minutes after entering the pitch.

Dario Franco, though, was the Argentine hero on the day, with a brace setting up the Albiceleste victory. Golden Boot winner Gabriel Batistuta was also among the scorers.

 

Brazil 2-2 Argentina, Copa America 1995

Argentina may have had the "Hand of God" in 1986, but Brazil was to have the last laugh in the 1995 Copa America Quarter-Final, as the "Hand of the Devil" struck to secure a 2-2 draw. (Guardian)

Argentina appeared to be heading for a 2-1 victory as the match entered its final 10 minutes, but journeyman striker Tulio Maravilha had other ideas. With a cross coming in from the right, Tulio brought the ball down with his left arm and fired home to send the game to penalty kicks.

The referee failed to notice the clear infringement and Brazil would go on to win the game on penalties. Despite Tulio scoring again in the final, though, Brazil were defeated 5-3 on penalties by Uruguay.

 

Brazil 0-1 Argentina, Friendly 1998

To date, Brazil's last defeat on home soil came against Argentina at the Maracana in 1998, just weeks before the World Cup that summer.

A stunning late goal from Claudio Lopez, who picked the ball up out wide and skipped past Junior Baiano before firing home, was the difference on the day—a goal which saw the home crowd applaud its execution.

The legendary Ro-Ro partnership of Ronaldo and Romario was kept quiet on the day, with the Maracana turning on Mario Zagallo and his side. It was Brazil's first home defeat in six years, since a 1992 loss at the hands of Uruguay.

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