Football

Jesus, Firmino send Brazil into Copa America final against Messi’s Argentina

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Roberto Firmino (left) and Gabriel Jesus celebrate their goals that sent Brazil into the Copa America final at arch rivals Argentina’s expense

Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino scored the goals as Brazil beat arch-rivals Argentina 2-0 on Tuesday to qualify for the Copa America final.

Jesus and Firmino netted a goal apiece in each half to give Brazil a victory which ensured Lionel Messi’s frustrating wait for a major international tournament title with Argentina continued.

Hosts Brazil will play the winners of Wednesday’s second semi-final between champions Chile and Peru in Sunday’s final.

It was the first time these age-old rivals had met in a major competition since Brazil beat Argentina 3-0 in the 2007 Copa final.

English-based Jesus and Firmino were the stars, each creating the other’s goal, although captain Dani Alves had a major say in the opener.

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“It was another step towards our objective. We’re achieving all the goals that we’re setting ourselves,” said Alves.

“A lot of people doubt us but we have a lot of faith in ourselves, in our plan, in our hard work.

It was the first time the age-old rivals had met in a major competition since Brazil beat Argentina 3-0 in the 2007 Copa final

“We’re reaping the fruits of the seeds we’re sowing every day.”

But it was a miserable night for Messi, whose hopes of landing a major international honour with Argentina ended in disappointment once again.
He will get another opportunity next year, though, with the fourth Copa America in the last five years, due to be played in Argentina and Colombia.

“We should have been the team going to the final because we deserved it, no doubt about that. But sometimes football is unfair,” complained Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni.

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