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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 14 November, 2018
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Miranda heads 93rd-minute winner as Brazil defeat Argentina in sapping Saudi Arabia heat

Brazil edged past Argentina in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday thanks to Miranda’s dramatic late winner.

Neymar lifts the trophy after Brazil defeat Argentina at the King Abdullah Stadium in Jiddah.
Neymar lifts the trophy after Brazil defeat Argentina at the King Abdullah Stadium in Jiddah.
Image: AP/PA Images

MIRANDA WAS THE stoppage-time hero for Brazil as his header gave Brazil a 1-0 win over Argentina in a low-key Superclasico de las Americas clash.

Sapping heat in Saudi Arabia led to a largely drab affair that was decided only when poor marking enabled the veteran Inter centre-back to head home in the 93rd minute.

Until then, Nicolas Otamendi’s last-ditch denial of Miranda in the first half had been the closest Lionel Scaloni’s men came to conceding for the first time since the World Cup.

Tite’s side, unconvincing 2-0 winners over Saudi Arabia on Friday, were otherwise ineffective in attack as they struggled to create any notable chances despite the significant time they spent on the ball.

Brazil’s dominance of possession in the first half did not keep Giovani Lo Celso and Paulo Dybala from threatening with efforts that both flashed past Alisson’s left post.

Saudi Arabia Brazil Argentina Soccer Source: AP/PA Images

Miranda went closer to breaking the deadlock between those chances when Casemiro’s cross dropped kindly at the far post, but Otamendi was perfectly positioned to head the defender’s close-range finish off the line.

Alisson dealt comfortably with a Lo Celso header soon after the interval and was spared another save courtesy of Danilo’s block on Mauro Icardi, although the incident did leave the Brazil right-back limping to the bench.

Neymar finally found room to stretch his legs in the 69th minute only to be cut down by Renzo Saravia, with Sergio Romero required to beat away Arthur’s volley from the resultant free-kick.

But there was only so much Romero could do about the eventual winner, the Manchester United goalkeeper left exposed by his defence as an unmarked Miranda rose to settle the contest.

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