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Brazil’s Miranda silences Argentina with last gasp winner


Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) – Brazil snatched a dramatic injury-time winner over Argentina with a header from Miranda in their friendly match in front of a sell-out crowd in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The Inter Milan player was left all alone to thump in the 93rd-minute header from Neymar’s corner when the match between the fierce South American rivals seemed destined for a stalemate.

The lapse spoiled an otherwise strong defensive performance from Argentina, who contained Brazil for long periods. 

With Neymar to the fore, Brazil exerted late pressure and could have scored in the few minutes before Miranda struck. 

Casemiro came close with a 25-meter free kick manufactured by Neymar that flew past Romero’s left post. Then Nicolas Otamendi stuck out a boot to deflect a diverted shot from Richarlison in the last minute.

Argentina’s best chance came during a period of pressure around the hour mark, when Paredes hit a swerving, dipping drive that had Brazil keeper Alisson beaten.

Missing from Argentina’s line-up were Manchester City’s in-form forward Sergio Aguero, Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi.

Messi sat out Argentina’s last three matches, all friendlies, since the country’s disappointing last 16 elimination from the World Cup in Russia.

He is believed to have asked for some time off from international duty ahead of next year’s Copa America in Brazil.

It was the 104th time the South American arch-rivals have faced each other in an official match, with Brazil marginally ahead on 41 wins to 38, with 26 draws.

The two sides last met in June 2017 in a friendly in Australia, won 1-0 by Argentina, but Brazil romped to a 3-0 success in their last competitive fixture, a World Cup qualifier in November 2016.

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