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Brazil beats Argentina and advances to Copa America final

Brazil without Neymar has proved to be better than Argentina with Lionel Messi.

In a performance that ended with “olé” chants from the crowd, Brazil beat Argentina 2-0 on Tuesday and will play Sunday’s Copa America final at the Maraca Stadium in Rio de Janeiro seeking its 10th South American title.

This win is for our coaching staff,” said Alves, one of the best players of the match. “They are beaten a lot, and we dedicate this to them. I believe many people doubt us a lot, but we trust our coaching staff very much, we trust our plan, our work.”

Brazil’s opponent will be determined on Wednesday when defending champions Chile take on underdogs Peru at the Arena do Grêmio in Porto Alegre.

Brazil and its coach Tite were under criticism before the superclásico after an unimpressive performance in the quarterfinals against Paraguay. The hosts advanced to the semifinals on penalties after a goalless draw.

Wearing a flamboyant golden jacket, striker Neymar, who left the squad shortly before Copa América because of a right ankle injury, celebrated Brazil’s victory with friends and with far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in the stadium’s corporate boxes.

For the first time since Copa América began, Argentina repeated its starting lineup of the previous 2-0 win over Venezuela, keeping its up-front trio with Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero and Lautaro Martínez. He also kept central defender Juan Foyth improvised as a right-back.

The match at the Mineirão was once again marked by homophobic chants of the Brazilian fans when Armani took his goal kicks. Brazil’s soccer confederation has already been fined by FIFA in $15,000 for similar chants at the opening match at the Morumbi Stadium in São Paulo.

On Sunday Brazil will play at the Maracanã Stadium for the first time since the 2013 Confederations’ Cup final. Its latest Copa América title was won in 2007.

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