Argentina's World Cup qualifying win over Brazil marred by crowd trouble

Police clashed with rival fans in the stands of the world famous Maracana Stadium (Credit: X/@AOmozoya)

World champions Argentina's 1-0 win over Brazil on Tuesday was marred by crowd trouble at the Maracana Stadium.

Kick-off was delayed by half an hour in Rio de Janeiro after rival fans and police clashed, with play temporarily suspended.

Both sets of players attempted to calm the situation, with Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez filmed trying to climb stadium hoarding to stop a police officer wielding a baton.

Once order was restored, Nicolas Otamendi's second-half header gave Argentina an historic World Cup qualifying victory, with Joelinton sent off for the hosts.

Players from both teams attempted to calm the situation in the stands. Credit: AP

Lionel Messi said on Argentina's X feed, formerly known as Twitter: "This group continues to achieve historic things.

"Although today was not the most important, it is something very nice. We needed this victory after the defeat against Uruguay.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game, similar to the one in the Copa America final.

"They pressed a lot, they went to look for us high up and it was difficult for us to have long possessions. These games are defined by details."

Defeat for Brazil marked the country's first-ever home loss in a World Cup qualifier and their third in a row, after previous losses to Uruguay and Colombia.

The Selecao's path to the 2026 World Cup now looks decidedly shaky.

Brazil were the better side in the first half and could have taken the lead just before the break, only to see Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli's goal bound effort cleared off the line.

Martinelli missed another key chance after the break, with Martinez denying him from close range.

The defending champions took a 63rd-minute lead when former Manchester City defender Otamendi headed home Giovani Lo Celso's corner, with their only effort on target of the night.

Newcastle's Joelinton saw red in the last 10 minutes when he struck out at Rodrigo De Paul to compound a miserable night for the hosts.

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