World Cup qualifier LIVE: Kick-off delayed due to crowd trouble at the Maracana as old rivals clash in World Cup qualifier with 12 Premier League stars starting


Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for the latest score, team news and updates as Lionel Messi’s Argentina travel to Brazil in World Cup qualifying action at the Maracana. 

A strange but close chance for Argentina

Is that the best chance of the match so far?

It’s a corner in from the right for Argentina, and Mac Allister is walking away as though he has spurned a great opportunity but the ball has actually come off his abck at the near post as he jumps to get a head on it.

Unbeknownst to the midfielder, though, he’s in a brilliant goalscoring position, and the ball just trickles past the post.

The referee however judges that he had committed a foul in getting to the ball and Brazil will have a free-kick.

Off we go for the second half

Here we go for the second half, and Argentina will get us underway!

Sub at the break and Marquinhos is off

We’re almost ready to come back out now, and it looks like there will be a sub or two coming up soon, if the activit on the Brazilian bench is anything to go by.

Nino is about to come on for Marquinhos in a straight swap.

16 fouls by Brazil so far

For those who are doubting the feisty nature of this one, Argentina have given away six fouls.

Brazil, however, have committed 16 of their own.

Compare that to the one shot on target we’ve had between both sides, and you’ll get an idea of the game so far.

HT: Brazil 0-0 Argentina

There goes the whistle and a first half littered with fould, free-kicks and more fouls comes to an end.

It’s not been the best game of all time in terms of the quality of the game, but it has certainly been tense and gripping so far.

There’s plenty of room for improvement after the break, but it has still been a very entertaining match so far.

Blatant free-kick on Alvarez

Free-kick to Argentina now.

Not entirely sure what Gabriel and Andre are complaining about – they hauled Alvarez to the ground and then started to kick lumps out of him.

There will be one more added minute in addition to the two we’ve played.

Expert time-wasting from Romero

This one is less threatening, and Argentina eventually snuff out the danger.

Romero wins a free-kick which should get the clock ticking a little closer to half-time.

Especially if he does that – leaving it for Martinez before running up field in an expert bit of time-wasting.

Close from Martinelli

Rodrygo is calling for the crowd to wake up and get behind his side after his strike from range deflects behind for a corner.

Not entirely sure how they could be more up for this one, but it seems to have done the trick.

Rodrygo takes the corner and Martinez punches, but only as far as Martinelli, who strikes well, and his effort is just tipped round the past by Romero.

Messi gets some attention again on his thigh

Guimaraes is back up and walking around, but Messi is getting more treatment on that right thigh.

That’s the second time he’s had some medical attention – is that grounds to be worried?

Guimaraes receives treatment

Argentina enjoying a good spell of possession inside the Brazil half.

Messi is having to drop deeper to get inolved as he has been well isolated by the Brazil defence.

Guimaraes is now down holding his ankle – look away Eddie Howe!

Just over!

Raphinha is stood over it…

He shoots, aiming to bend it into the top-right corner, but it sails over the bar after taking a flick off the wall.

A diving Martinez had it covered.

Useful free-kick for Brazil

Brazil win a free-kick from a central area about 25 yards from goal, after Lo Celso dives in on Guimaraes.

Chance to do something here…

Third Brazil booking

Carlos Augusto is into the book for a cynical foul on Lo Celso.

Brazil starting to threaten

Martinelli now has a chance to stretch his legs and does brilliantly to skip away from both De Paul and Lo Celso before cutting in.

He’s just eased off the ball, though, by Otamendi and doesn’t get the free-kick.

A few phases later Rodrygo and Raphinha are combining down the righ, but the cut back into the box only finds an Argentina defender.

They’re starting to threaten now, the hosts.

Messi will continue…

Messi’s back on the pitch, so it looks like he’ll be alright for the time being.

Raphinha looks to send a ball into the back post, but gets it horribly wrong, and it flies a good three or four metres beyond Rodrygo and out into touch.

He won’t want to see a replay of that one, the Barcelona man.

Messi gets some attention on the touchline

Not to alarm any Inter Miami or Argentina fans, but Messi looked to be getting some attention on his thigh on the touchline.

Hopefully he can run that one off.

Argentina getting some joy through the middle

Argentina are beginning to have some joy dragging Brazil around the middle of the park now.

This time they manage to get through the double pivot and Acuna picks out a cross towards Lo Celso in the box.

But the midfielder feels he has taken a knock from Andre inside the box and takes a tumble, but the Brazilians get the call and it will be a goal-kick.

Seems the right decision judging by the replays.

Messi has been quiet

Yes, we began the game under fairly acrimonious circumstances, but we’ve scarcely had more than three or four passes in a row before someone hits the deck so far.

Would be nice to see some of those players – among the world’s best – actually get a chance to play football, rather than make sure the medical teams are on their toes.

Argentina are starting to get a few touches on the ball, but Messi has been pretty out of the game so far.

That being said, he has the ability to switch it on and off like nobdy else does in the game.

Rodrygo is the latest player down hurt

Guimaraes and Brazil almost have the first real chance of the game after some good work from Raphinha, but the Newcastle man’s touch is a little too heavy, and Romero can sweep across and clear the danger.

Rodrygo is down now on the halfway line after a robust challenge on him, and Alisson is all the way out of his box to make sure his team-mate is alright.

Starting to lose track of who hasn’t been a) on the receiving end of a meaty challenge or b) who is on their last chance before they go into the book.

At this point there can’t be many players left not in either camp.

A painful one for Raphinha and Mac Allister

Ooooh a painful one that.

Raphinha and Mac Allister are both down after both going for the ball in the air.

A fair one for them both to go for, but De Paul is cleverly making the point that the Brazilian is already on a yellow.

It was at an awkward height for both of them, just out of control.

Don’t think he’ll get anywhere with his case, but you can understand where he’s coming from – you’d expect Raphinha is on his last life now.

Breathless start

ANOTHER free kick for Argentina inside their own half, and it’s Martinelli again on Lo Celso.

Argentina seem to have worked out pretty early that the referee is a little trigger-happy with his whistle, and it’s worked in their favour so far.

Brazil are now fuming that De Paul hasn’t been booked for a shoulder in the back of Guimaraes, and in fairness they definitely have a case.

Diniz’s arguments may have been a little too effusive for the ref’s liking and the Brazil boss gets a bit of a telling off.

It’s definitely not been a dull start over in Rio, that’s for sure!

Another booking for Brazil

The free-kicks have so far prevented any sort of fluidity flowing through the game, but Brazil earn themselves a corner – the first of the game.

Rodrygo sends it to Raphinha inside the box, low and hard – a move from the training ground no doubt – but they get it horribly wrong.

Argentina can break on the counter, but De Paul is once again on the floor.

Raphinha is shown a yellow for the foul and this time he really did hardly catch De Paul.

Six free-kicks inside 12 minutes for Argentina

De Paul is back down on the floor after a particularly late challenge from Martinelli inside the Argentina half.

He’s been in the wars already, has De Paul – he’ll be feeling this one tomorrow.

Another foul within a minute on Lo Celso and Argentina will have their sixth free-kick of the game inside 12 minutes.

It’s fair to say this one is being closely-fought.

Soccer Football - World Cup - South American Qualifiers - Brazil v Argentina - Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - November 21, 2023 Argentina's Cristian Romero in action with Brazil's Gabriel Martinelli REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Fair play – De Paul did actually pick up a bit of a whack

On second viewing, De Paul actually did take a bit of a whack, and he’s had to change his shirt because of blood.

For some reason, though, that means that Marquinhos and Fernandez have to have a go at one another… obviously.

Messi is stood over the free-kick about 35 yards from goal, and he finds Otamendi, but the header is back across goal, however there’s nobody gambling to get on the end of it.

First yellow card already

First yellow card of the game, after less than five minutes.

De Paul is rolling about on the floor clutching his face after Jesus’ fingers seemed to flick against his nose.

That one felt soft, but Jesus is in the book already.

Very feisty start

First foul of the game already, and it’s Acuna who is sent spinning by a challenge from Raphinha.

Definitely not enough in it to warrant the triple roll on the floor, but Argentina have the first free-kick of the game.

Very quickly followed by a second on Fernandez.

Feisty start, but did we expect anything else?

At last, we have kick-off!

Here we go then – the hosts get us underway, 29 minutes after originally slated.

Messi is visibly fuming

So both teams are out there now, and are going through some warm-ups after the delays so that we don’t have any early injury problems.

Messi has looked about as furious as he ever has before, but a chat with former PSG team-mate Marquinhos at the coin toss looks to have gone well.

There are now a group of armed riot police on the field in front of the away end, which should provide an interesting backdrop for this game.

A mass brawl in the stands of the Maracana broke out ahead of Brazil’s World Cup qualifier against Argentina as fans and police clashed in shocking scenes.

It is unclear what sparked the incident but supporters were seen showing one another with some even ripping the seats from the stands and launching them at one another.

Hoards of Rio de Janeiro police swiftly intervened but struggled to curb the melee before shockingly using batons on the brawling fans.

For more on the fan trouble ahead of kick-off, check out the link below!

Argentina are back!

Well here come the visitors now!

There is a huge boo greeting them as they come back out to what is a hugely hostile Maracana, and it looks as though Messi has a few choice words for Rodrygo now.

De Paul and Romero are also involved, with Emerson racing over to have his say too.

That should calm things down a bit…

Still no Argentina

Well it looks as though Argentina have not yet come back out onto the pitch.

There is a cluster of suited officials walking up and down the pitch talking to different groups, namely the referees and the home side.

There is no word yet on how long the delay will last, but it does not look like we are anywhere close to kick-off with one of the teams not even on the field yet.

Brazil are on the field, Argentina are back in the dressing-room

So as it stands, we have Brazil out on the pitch and Argentina back in the dressing-room, the former look incresingly frustrated at the delay, the latter are absolutely seething with scenes out there.

The hosts are in conversation with the referees seemingly asking why they can’t get going now that the crowd trouble seems to have died down.

There’s a lot of hands on hips and angry muttering going on by the looks of things.

It’s all a little tense out there

Argentina are back off the pitch

Security now look to have largely seperated the two groups, but there is still an awful lot of pushing and shoving.

The Argentina players are now heading back off the pitch after asking the fans to stop.

There is still plenty of shouting as the world champions head down the tunnel, with a few cameras seemingly in an unfavourable position.

Hardly the start to the game that either side will have wanted, and the visitors look absolutely furious.

We’ll keep you updated as things unfold over at the Maracana.

Fights breaking out in the stands

Seats are being ripped out of the stands and hurled at security, while some of the home supporters have managed to get into the away end and there are a few clashes going on.

Security are continuing to try and quell the trouble, but it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to kick-off any time soon.

A slight delay to the start

Well it looks like we might have a delay to the start here, after some trouble in the crowd.

Stewards are rushing towards the away fans, and it appears that there is an issue from the Albiceleste fans that is holding us up.

The players are all on the pitch waiting while security look to sort the issue.

‘Oh captain, my captain’

You’d imagine we’ll be seeing a fair amount of this fella tonight…

The threat is somewhat obvious for Argentina

While Brazil will be without Vinicius Jnr there are a number of threats that the Albiceleste will have to be wary of.

For the Selecao, however, there’s a fairly obvious route to victory tonight – stop Messi. The only problem is that most teams have spent the best part of two decades trying to work that one out.

Here’s what Brail boss Fernando Diniz said ahead of kick-off: ‘Sure, you can’t not worry about a player of that magnitude.

‘But we have to play our game as we try to contain all the creative capacity he has. Dealing with Messi is obviously different and you have to worry.

‘It’s impossible not to worry about a player of his stature and the decision-making power he has.’

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 21: Lionel Messi of Argentina warms up prior to a FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 21: Raphina of Brazil acknowledges fans prior to a FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Scaloni insists his side are ‘not unbeatable’

Lionel Scaloni didn’t seem too put out about the loss to Uruguay when he faced the media ahead of the game.

Mind you, being the reigning world champion probably lends you a little confidence in your side’s ability to roll with the punches.

‘We always said we were not unbeatable. It was obvious, beyond the last result. You have to be prepared for that and to continue competing. No one likes to lose and that is clear, we are first ones who want to recover.

‘There are times when even if we lose, the form is important. The team, even though they didn’t play a good match, never stopped looking for their game, they kept trying to equalize.

‘I think the team competed and that makes me feel at ease. We have a great match ahead of us, a great opponent that will be tough. We have to keep doing what we have been doing, compete and try to get the three points. There is no other way.

‘We analyzed why the loss happened, we have our idea. We are lucky that we have another game coming up and that is the best thing. The hard thing would be to for us to see each other in a while and it would cost much more, now we have a rematch soon and that is the most important thing.’

Lionel Messi could not help Argentina extend its unbeaten streak since its World Cup title and in a fit of rage, was seen putting his hands around the throat of an opponent.

Uruguay beat Argentina 2-0 at La Bombonera Stadium in Buenos Aires on Thursday in a World Cup qualifying match, its biggest victory so far under new coach Marcelo Bielsa .

At one point in the contest, Lionel Messi was seen putting his hands on the throat of Uruguay defender Mathias Olivera.

For the full report, check out the linke attached!

Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli opened his international account for Brazil with a superb goal against Colombia, only for the Selecao to suffer their second defeat in World Cup qualifying.

Despite starring for Arsenal in the Premier League, Martinelli remains in the early stages of his national team career with Brazil having only made his debut last year.

The 22-year-old gave his nation the perfect start to their World Cup qualifier against Colombia.

For more on the Arsenal forward’s stunner, check out the link below.

Inter Miami DENY they have agreed to play in Saudi Arabian preseason tournament that would see Lionel Messi face off against Cristiano Ronaldo

Inter Miami shutdown reports that the MLS side will compete in the Riyadh Season Cup in a statement Tuesday evening.

Earlier on Tuesday, it was announced that Lionel Messi and co. were set to play against Cristiano Ronaldo and Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia in a blockbuster friendly game in February.

The game was being billed as ‘The Last Dance’ in what would have been likely the final match-up between two of the all-time greats of the sport.

For more on that one, check out the link below!

Argentina XI

And here’s the Argentina line-up!

Quite the atmosphere already

For context, this video is about 50 minutes before kick-off…

Argentina top of the group

Argentina are currently top of the group after five games, just two points clear of Uruguay after losing to their neighbours last time round, while the  Selecao are only fifth.

It’s been a far from routine qualification process so far for Fernando Diniz’s side, who have won just two of their games, losing twice and drawing their other match.

And they’re up against it tonight with the world champions – who they haven’t beaten since 2019 – in town.

Both sides lost their last game – but will one of them come out on top tonight?

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 21: A fan holds a cardboard cut-out of Lionel Messi prior to a FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 21: (L-R) Rodrigo De Paul and Leandro Paredes of Argentina enter the pitch a FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Here’s how the hosts are lining up – as announced by a fantastic graphic!

It’s Alisson; Emerson, Marquinhos, Gabriel, Carlos; Guimaraes, Andre; Rodrygo, Raphinha, Martinelli; Jesus

Hello everybody!

Hello everyone and welcome to Mail Sport’s live CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying action and we’ve got arguably the biggest clash in international football coming up for you.

It’s the El Classico of the international game – Argentina vs Brazil!

The game is set to kick off at around 9.30pm local time – about an hour’s time – and we’ll be bringing you all the latest news, updates and stats around the game as we build up to what should be an absolute thriller!

A Brazilian fan holds a banner featuring Argentina's Lionel Messi prior to a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup 2026 between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)
Fans of Argentina cheer before the start of the 2026 FIFA World Cup South American qualifiers football match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 21, 2023. (Photo by Daniel RAMALHO / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL RAMALHO/AFP via Getty Images)
Key Updates

  • Off we go for the second half

  • Sub at the break and Marquinhos is off

  • HT: Brazil 0-0 Argentina

  • Third Brazil booking

  • Brazil starting to threaten

  • Argentina getting some joy through the middle

  • Another booking for Brazil

  • First yellow card already

  • At last, we have kick-off!

  • Brazil’s World Cup qualifier against Argentina is delayed as mass brawl erupts in the stands

  • Argentina are back!

  • Brazil are on the field, Argentina are back in the dressing-room

  • Fights breaking out in the stands

  • These two go a long way back

  • Hello everybody!