Argentina beat Brazil as Superclásico takes underwhelming detour to MCG

• Brazil 0-1 Argentina; Gabriel Mercado settles showpiece
• Several key players including Neymar choose to stay away

Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 in front of 95,569 fans at the MCG, Lionel Messi took an unassuming bow in front of his adoring fans and the merchandise stalls did a brisk trade all night, but one couldn’t help departing Australia’s sporting colosseum just a little miffed by the cynicism of a hype-heavy Superclásico.

Argentina’s winner came in the 44th minute, when a short corner ended up at the feet of Ángel Di María – the game’s most compelling player throughout – who curled in a deep, troublesome cross. Nicolás Otamendi’s glancing header hit the upright but it was Gabriel Mercado who tapped home the simplest of chances from the rebound. Otherwise, genuine excitement came in fits and spurts.

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