2021 Copa América Final
|Event||2021 Copa América|
|Date||10 July 2021|
|Venue||Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro|
|Man of the Match||Ángel Di María (Argentina)|
|Referee||Esteban Ostojich (Uruguay)|
|Weather||21 °C (70 °F)|
The 2021 Copa América Final was a football match to determine the winners of the 2021 Copa América. The match was the 47th final of the Copa América, a quadrennial tournament contested by the men's national teams of the member associations of CONMEBOL. The match was held at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 10 July 2021.
The match featured two rival teams: Argentina and the tournament hosts, Brazil. Argentina won the match 1–0 to clinch their fifteenth Copa América title and first since 1993, giving captain Lionel Messi his first senior international trophy sixteen years into his career. Argentina also equalled Uruguay's record of Copa América titles.
Argentina and Brazil are long-time rivals, having played 107 prior matches in international competition. The two teams are among the most successful in South American football and had met in three prior Copa América finals in 1937, 2004, and 2007.
In Bangladesh, where the two teams have large fanbases, police banned outdoor gatherings in certain rural districts after clashes erupted between rival fans. In the Brahmanbaria District, a clash between fans resulted in serious injuries to four people.
The 2021 Copa América was originally planned to be hosted by Argentina and Colombia, with the final scheduled for 12 July 2020 at the Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez in Barranquilla, Colombia. On 17 March 2020, CONMEBOL announced that the tournament would be postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside the 2020 European Championships. Weeks before the tournament, Argentina and Colombia announced that they would be unable to host due to the worsening COVID-19 case rate and were replaced with Brazil despite their high death rate.
For the second consecutive time, the final was held at Rio de Janeiro's Maracanã Stadium, the largest stadium in Brazil. It was opened at 10 percent capacity, or 6,500 spectators, for the match due to COVID-19 restrictions. The stadium was excluded from hosting matches in earlier rounds of the competition due to its damaged pitch and was replaced with Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos, where players criticised the playing surface. The pitch at the Maracanã was re-laid by CONMEBOL a few days before the final.
Route to the final
|Group A winner
|Final standings||Group B winner
||1–1 (3–2 p)||Semi-finals||
Argentina was the second-most successful nation at the Copa América with 14 victories, only one behind Uruguay's all-time total of 15 titles, but had not won since 1993. The team was seeded into Group A one of the tournament's original co-hosts and was joined by Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, and invitees Australia until their withdrawal. Argentina had been transitioning away from its 2010s "golden generation" in favor of a younger core, which was reflected in manager Lionel Scaloni's call-ups for La Albiceleste. The team remained led by captain Lionel Messi, along with veterans Ángel Di María and Sergio Agüero, as the last three remaining members of the 2014 World Cup team that finished as runners-up to Germany.
La Albiceleste opened the group stage against Chile, earning a 1–1 draw. Lionel Messi scored a free kick to give Argentina the lead in the first half, but Eduardo Vargas equalised in the second half by finishing a rebound shot after a penalty taken by Arturo Vidal was saved. Argentina moved to the top of Group A by defeating Uruguay 1–0 with a header scored by Guido Rodríguez off a cross from Messi. The team secured a berth in the knockout stage on the third matchday with a 1–0 victory against Paraguay; Papu Gómez scored the lone goal of the match in the 10th minute, receiving a through ball from Di María while unmarked in the penalty area. In the final match of the group stage, against Bolivia, Argentina won 4–1 to take first place in Group A. Papu Gómez opened the scoring with a short volley from inside the penalty area in the 6th minute. Messi, who had assisted Gómez's goal, added a pair of his own with a converted penalty in the 33rd minute and chipping goalkeeper Carlos Lampe from outside the box in the 42nd minute. Bolivia earned a consolation goal in the 60th minute through Erwin Saavedra, but Argentina restored their three-goal lead with a tap-in from Lautaro Martínez five minutes later.
Argentina played Ecuador, Group B's fourth-place finisher, in the quarter-finals to open the knockout stage. Messi was involved in all three of Argentina's goals in their 3–0 victory, with assists for Rodrigo De Paul in the 40th minute and Lautaro Martínez in the 84th minute before scoring a curling free kick of his own in stoppage time. The semi-final fixture against Colombia began with an early goal for Martínez in the seventh minute, but finished 1–1 in regulation time after an equaliser from Luis Díaz in the 61st minute. In the ensuing penalty shoot-out, Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez saved three shots to give the team a 3–2 win after five rounds. The match featured 10 yellow cards and 47 fouls, both setting records for the Copa América.
Brazil had the third-most Copa América titles, at nine, and were defending their 2019 title. The team was drawn into Group B alongside original co-hosts Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and invitees Qatar until their withdrawal. Manager Tite called up a majority of the players used in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying for much of 2020 and 2021, led by captain Thiago Silva and star forward Neymar. Despite a rumoured boycott reported in several newspapers, the Brazil squad agreed to play in the tournament but criticised CONMEBOL for its organisation of the Copa América in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Seleção opened their title defense with a 3–0 victory against Venezuela, who had 15 emergency call-ups to replace players who had tested positive for COVID-19. Marquinhos scored in the 23rd minute to open the match and was followed by a penalty from Neymar in the 64th minute and a chested tap-in from Gabriel Barbosa in the 89th minute. Brazil followed with a 4–0 win over Peru in their second match, including three goals in the second half, to earn an early berth in the knockout stage. Alex Sandro opened the scoring in the 12th minute and was followed by Neymar in the 68th minute, Éverton Ribeiro in the 89th minute, and Richarlison in stoppage time.
Colombia took an early lead against Brazil in their third match through a 10th-minute bicycle kick scored by Luis Díaz, but the Seleção earned a 2–1 comeback victory through headers from Roberto Firmino in the 78th minute and Casemiro in the tenth minute of stoppage time. Firmino's equaliser was the subject of protests from Colombia due to the ball hitting the referee earlier in the sequence, but was ruled valid by the video assistant referee. Brazil's winning streak was ended at ten matches after a 1–1 draw with Ecuador to close out the group stage, finishing atop Group B while resting several starting players. A 37th-minute header from Éder Militão, scoring his first international goal, gave Brazil a half-time lead, but substitute Ángel Mena equalised for Ecuador in the 53rd minute with a strike after a corner kick failed to be cleared.
Brazil were held to a scoreless first half in their quarter-finals fixture against Chile, but broke through with a 46th minute strike from half-time substitute Lucas Paquetá. Two minutes later, the team lost Gabriel Jesus to a red card after a high kick to the face of Eugenio Mena, but Brazil kept a shutout to win 1–0. The semi-final fixture against Peru marked a rematch from the group stage and the 2019 final for the Seleção. The match ended in a 1–0 victory for Brazil, with the lone goal scored by Paquetá in the 35th minute after Neymar dribbled past three defenders to provide an assist.
The match began after a minute of silence for victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Argentina leading in possession and early chances. Brazilian midfielder Fred received a yellow card in the third minute for a challenge on Gonzalo Montiel, beginning a series of fouls from players on both teams. Ángel Di María opened the scoring for Argentina in the 22nd minute, receiving a long pass from Rodrigo De Paul and beating defender Renan Lodi to lob the ball over the advancing goalkeeper Ederson. Brazil responded with a series of attacks, including one that forced a save out of Emiliano Martínez, but lost possession to an Argentina counter-attack that ended in a missed shot from Lionel Messi after the half-hour mark. The first half ended with a 1–0 lead for Argentina.
Brazil manager Tite replaced Fred with attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino to begin the second half in search of an equaliser. Di María's attempt to extend Argentina's lead in the 50th minute was blocked and led to a Brazilian counterattack through Neymar that was suppressed by a foul by Giovani Lo Celso, who received a yellow card. Richarlison appeared to have equalised for Brazil with a shot from inside the penalty area in the 52nd minute that was ruled offside; he followed up a minute later with another strike that was saved by Martínez. Nicolás Otamendi was shown a yellow card in the 81st minute for a foul on Neymar, which triggered arguments and a shoving match between both sides. After a pair of chances for Brazil that were repelled by Martínez, Argentina sprung on a counterattack in the 88th minute that ended with Messi stumbling while trying to dribble around Ederson. The match ended in a 1–0 victory for Argentina, securing their first Copa América title since 1993.
|Shots on target||2||2|
Argentina won their 15th Copa América, tying Uruguay for the all-time record in the tournament, after finishing as runners-up in four editions since their last title in 1993. It was also the first senior international trophy won by Lionel Messi, who had led Argentina to three Copa América finals and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, also played at the Maracanã. Di María was named the man of the match, while Messi was named the best player of the tournament and shared the top goalscorer award with Luis Díaz of Colombia. Martínez was named the tournament's best goalkeeper.
With the match's result, Argentina continued its unbeaten streak, which reached 20 matches, while Brazil had their first competitive defeat since 2018. After the match, manager Tite criticised the organisation of the Copa América and described the final as "stop-start" with "anti-football" preventing Brazil from playing well.
- The total capacity of the stadium to allow fans to attend the final was established at 10% due to the COVID-19 pandemic in South America.
- Each team was given only three opportunities to make substitutions, with a fourth opportunity in extra time, excluding substitutions made at half-time, before the start of extra time and at half-time in extra time.
- CONMEBOL [@CopaAmerica] (10 July 2021). "Ángel Di María fue el Jugador del Partido" [Ángel Di María is the Man of the Match] (Tweet) (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 July 2021 – via Twitter.
- "Designación de Árbitros" [Referee Assignments] (PDF). CONMEBOL.com (in Spanish). CONMEBOL. 7 July 2021. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
- Savarese, Mauricio (11 July 2021). "Brazil and Argentina clash in a soccer final for 5th time". The Miami Herald. Associated Press. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Alavi Ashraf Eram (10 July 2021). "When Brazil and Argentina Meet, It's More Than a Game". The Daily Star. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Bangladesh on alert for Brazil, Argentina Copa clash". France 24. Agence France-Presse. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Brazil, Argentina fans clash in Brahmanbaria over Copa quarrel". Dhaka Tribune. 7 July 2021.
- "La final de la Copa América 2020 será en Colombia, en Barranquilla" [The 2020 Copa América final will be in Barranquilla, Colombia]. Marca (in Spanish). 28 June 2019. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Copa America draw reveals path to glory". FIFA. 3 December 2019. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Savarese, Mauricio (17 March 2020). "Copa América postponed until 2021 because of coronavirus by South America's CONMEBOL". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Associated Press. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Milhorance, Flávia; Londoño, Ernesto (2 June 2021). "'Complete Insanity': Virus-Stricken Brazil Agrees to Host Soccer Tournament". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Final da Copa América opõe Brasil e Argentina em jogo com público no Maracanã" [Copa América Final between Brazil and Argentina at Maracanã will be open to the public]. CNN Brazil (in Portuguese). 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
- "Rio to allow some spectators at Copa America soccer final". Reuters. 9 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Savarese, Mauricio (26 June 2021). "Copa America changes Maracana pitch amid criticism". Associated Press. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Downie, Andrew (29 June 2021). "Poor pitches perturb players in disappointing Copa America". Reuters. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Downie, Andrew (10 June 2021). "Another Copa, another chance for Argentina to end drought". Reuters. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Australia and Qatar withdraw from Copa America tournament". ESPN. Reuters. 23 February 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Has Copa América delay boosted Messi and Argentina's prospects?". AS. 1 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Messi, Di Maria and Aguero in Argentina's Copa America squad". Hindustan Times. Associated Press. 10 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Rey, Debora (10 July 2021). "Di Maria recovers from finals drama with Copa America title". Associated Press. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Argentina 1–1 Chile". BBC Sport. 14 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Savarese, Mauricio (18 June 2021). "Argentina beats Uruguay 1-0 in Copa America classico". Associated Press. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Argentina see off Paraguay as Uruguay earn Copa América draw with Chile". The Guardian. 21 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Lionel Messi leads Argentina show with a brace in 4-1 win over Bolivia in Copa America". The Times of India. Agence France-Presse. 29 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Argentina 3-0 Ecuador: Lionel Messi scores one and sets up two as Argentina reach Copa America semi-finals". Sky Sports. 4 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Argentina advances on penalties to Copa final against Brazil". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 7 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Argentina beat Colombia on penalties to set up a final against Brazil". Copa América. CONMEBOL. 7 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Copa América 2021: Everything you need to know about the tournament's return". Fox Sports. 11 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Brazil national team squad Copa America 2021: selected players, absences..." AS. 11 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Copa America 2021: Brazil players strongly criticise organisers but will not boycott event". BBC Sport. 9 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "'Unsatisfied' Brazil football team rules out Copa America boycott". Al Jazeera. 9 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Neymar helps Brazil cruise to Copa win over Covid-depleted Venezuela". France 24. Agence France-Presse. 14 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Downie, Andrew (17 June 2021). "Brazil cruise past Peru with 4-0 Copa America win". Reuters. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Brazil 2–1 Colombia". BBC Sport. 24 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Controversial goal gives Brazil 2-1 win over Colombia in the Copa America". France 24. 24 June 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
- "Brazil 1–1 Ecuador". BBC Sport. 27 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Savarese, Mauricio (27 June 2021). "Ecuador holds Brazil to 1-1 draw, advances at Copa America". Associated Press. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "10-man Brazil overcome Chile scare to advance to Copa América semi-finals". The Guardian. Reuters. 3 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Brazil 1–0 Peru". BBC Sport. 6 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Matchett, Karl (11 July 2021). "Argentina vs Brazil LIVE: Copa America result and final score tonight". The Independent. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Graham, Bryan Armen (10 July 2021). "Argentina 1-0 Brazil: Copa América final – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Reidy, Paul (10 July 2021). "Argentina vs Brazil summary: score, goals, highlights, Copa America 2021". AS. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Argentina stun Brazil in Copa América final to end 28-year trophy drought". The Guardian. 10 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "CONMEBOL Copa América Brasil 2021: Reglamento" [CONMEBOL Copa América Brazil 2021: Regulations] (PDF) (in Spanish). CONMEBOL. 20 May 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
- "Argentina vs Brazil – Football Match Stats". ESPN. 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
- Creditor, Avi (10 July 2021). "Messi and Argentina Finally Have Their Peace". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Das, Andrew (10 July 2021). "Lionel Messi and Argentina Beat Brazil in Copa América Final". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Lionel Messi carries Argentina to victory in Copa America final against Brazil". France 24. 11 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- "Player of the tournament, top scorer and best goalkeeper: Stars of the CONMEBOL Copa América 2021". Copa America. CONMEBOL. 11 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Downie, Andrew (11 July 2021). "Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 to win Copa America, 1st major title in 28 yrs". Reuters. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Downie, Andrew (10 July 2021). "Tite criticises organisers of Copa America once again". Reuters. Retrieved 13 July 2021.