Argentina and Brazil played out an underwhelming 0-0 draw as the Copa America champions missed the chance to secure World Cup qualification.
Meeting for the first time since September’s fixture was sensationally abandoned in Sao Paulo after Argentina left the field as Brazilian health officials tried to detain visiting players, La Albiceleste had the opportunity to earn a trip to Qatar 2022 following Colombia’s draw against Paraguay.
However, despite Lionel Messi’s return to the starting XI on Tuesday, Argentina were unable to breach CONMEBOL leaders Brazil, who were already assured of a spot at next year’s tournament.
Argentina could still qualify on Tuesday if Chile lose to Ecuador later on Tuesday.
Chances were few and far between after a cagey start between Argentina and Brazil in San Juan, where neither goalkeeper was really tested in the opening half as Neymar sat out for the Selecao due to a thigh injury.
However, there was a big moment involving Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi and Brazil’s Raphinha as the game came to life approaching half-time.
Raphinha went down in a heap and was left bleeding after coping a blow from Otamendi, but the former Manchester City centre-back escaped punishment.
Alisson almost gifted Argentina a chance to break the deadlock after failing to catch a cross but Brazil managed to clear their lines, while the Liverpool keeper took a boot to the face minutes before the interval.
Fred went close to making the breakthrough for Brazil on the hour – the ball fell to the Manchester United midfielder on the edge of the box and his volley hit the crossbar.
There was another opening for Brazil with 19 minutes remaining, but Vinicius Junior’s effort was straight at Emiliano Martinez.
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