You’d be forgiven for thinking WWE Survivor Series had come early if you caught Brazil vs Argentina, with the world champions’ 1-0 win descending into chaos in one of the biggest games in international football.
A bullet header from Nicolas Otamendi just past the hour mark was the difference as the two titans of South American football clashed in World Cup qualifying, but the goal was hardly the highlight in a seriously wild encounter.
Around that headed-in winner, though, it seems like both sides simply forgot about the football and focused on each other instead.
Tensions boiled over several times with the Maracana feeling like a cauldron of pure emotion and aggression, more akin to a UFC bout than a football match, making for a seriously memorable encounter on top of the already staggering result.
Victory for Lionel Scaloni’s men resigned Brazil to their first-ever defeat in World Cup qualifying on home soil, and also means they’re now winless against La Albiceleste in each of their last four meetings.
Having had to watch their bitter rivals lift the World Cup this time last year, defeat in this one was merely the icing on a very sour cake.
That was reflected throughout the clash, with players butting heads, Joelinton receiving a red card, chants from a hostile crowd and inevitable fighting between fans.
After six rounds of qualifying it leaves Argentina top of the table in the group on 15 points, two ahead of Uruguay who also won to keep pace with the world champions, while Brazil languish in sixth on just seven points having now lost more games than they’ve won in the group. Ouch.
Better yet, following all the havoc from the chaotic fixture, Argentina boss Scaloni then dropped a bombshell post-match suggesting that he could be nearing the end of his reign as manager.
He told reporters: “I have to think a lot about what to do. It’s not goodbye but the bar is very high. This group demands you permanently.
“This team needs a coach who has all the energy possible and be well.”
Having seen just how heated it gets in games like that, we don’t exactly envy Scaloni. Here are all the craziest moments from the fiery encounter that you might’ve missed.
Messi vs Rodrygo
🚨 The dialogue between Lionel Messi and Rodrygo before the Argentina Brazil match.
Rodrygo to Lionel Messi: "You cowards."
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) November 22, 2023
Gabriel Martinelli’s nutmeg
Messi's bodyguard left confused 😭😭
Martinelli best dribbler itw 😍🇧🇷pic.twitter.com/unPHCErSUD
— 🥤𝑩𝒂𝒏𝒌𝒔 🌐 (@AfcBanks_) November 22, 2023
Nicolas Otamendi’s winner
Nicolas Otamendi scored the only goal of the game as Argentina became the first side in history to win a World Cup Qualifying game in Brazil! 🇦🇷🇧🇷 😱pic.twitter.com/hK89ZnyFG4
— Bet9ja (@Bet9jaOfficial) November 22, 2023
Police violence ahead of kick-off
Shocking scenes before the start of game between Brazil and Argentina. The game started 30 minutes later than scheduled. 😬🇧🇷🇦🇷@_igorrodrigues
— Pedro Almeida (@pedrogva6) November 22, 2023
Joelinton’s questionable red card
Joelinton received a red card for this last night for Brazil vs Argentina 🤯😲pic.twitter.com/tCvCBbrEm4
— ToonArmy (@toonarmy_com) November 22, 2023
Argentina fans begin to ‘Ole!’
Alexis Mac Allister
🎙️| Alexis Mac Allister: “Winning against Brazil at Maracanã in a World Cup qualifiers is a porn.”
— – (@JoshLFC1909) November 22, 2023
Cristian Romero’s goal-line clearance
🇦🇷 Lionel Messi: “For me, Cristian Romero is the best defender in the world right now.”
— Barça Worldwide (@BarcaWorldwide) November 22, 2023
Emiliano Martinez trying to stop the police beating the Argentinian supporters in the stands
— Best Goalkeeper Saves (@BestSavesGK) November 22, 2023