New Delhi: Argentina and Brazil will face off in the final of Copa America on Sunday at the Maracana Stadium in Rio De Janeiro. This will be the fifth time that the two sides meet in a tournament final in 84 years. The host Brazil have a superior record as they have managed to win three times against their arch-rivals who have only got one win to their name.
Let’s look at how the previous four finals turned out:
1937 Copa America
Interestingly, it was Copa America where the two neighbours faced each other in a final for the first time. The tournament was a complete robin round affair that year and after the two sides finished on level points after all matches they decided to play for the trophy rather than deciding it on goal difference.
The game finished 0-0 after 90 minutes but Vicente de la Mata scored two goals in extra time to help Argentina win their fifth continental title.
Copa America 2004
Their next meeting in a major final would come after 67 years as the two arch-rivals were once again in the final of Copa America.
Argentina were awarded a penalty which was duly converted by Christian Gonzalez to open the scoring.
Brazil hit back with Luisão equalising at the end of the first half.
It looked as if Argentina would win the match as César Delgado scored with three minutes remaining on the clock but the Selecao’s star striker Adriano scored with practically the last shot of the game to send the match into extra time and then penalties.
Brazil’s goalkeeper Julio Cesar saved Andrés D’Alessandro’s spot-kick while Gabriel GHeinze missed his chance and Juan duly converted the winning penalty as Brazil won their seventh continental title.
Fifa Confederations Cup 2005
Their next meeting would come just a year later as the world champions would face the Copa America runners-up (Brazil had won both the World Cup and Copa America which meant that Argentina qualified as Copa America runners up).
However, Brazil showed their class in the match with goals from Kaka, Ronaldinho and a brace from Adriano helped them thrash Argentina by 4-1.
Copa America 2007
Argentina was widely expected to win the South American tournament that year. At age 20, Lionel Messi played the final in Maracaibo with Juan Román Riquelme and Carlos Tevez upfront, but could not make a difference for the favorites.
Brazil scored with Júlio Baptista, an own goal by Roberto Ayala and then Dani Alves. It was the Seleção’s second consecutive title in the tournament. It was also Messi’s first disappointment with Argentina in tournament finals.
With inputs from PTI