Argentina 0-0 Brazil: 5 talking points as the Albiceleste confirm Qatar spot despite frustrating draw | 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Argentina join Brazil in Qatar!
Argentina join Brazil in Qatar!
Sachin Bhat

A tense encounter between Argentina and Brazil ended with honors even as the sides played out a 0-0 draw in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The Selecao having already booked their place at the Qatar showpiece. The reigning Copa America champions also joined them, as results in other games went their way.

The traditional rivals fought out a very rough and physical game, with Cristian Romero also going off with an injury. Although both teams created some good chances, the scorers were left undisturbed.

Without Neymar, Selecao had their task cut out, while Lionel Messi saw a testing effort from the edge of the box saved in the dying moments by Alisson.

Argentina's 0-0 draw with Brazil had it all: ▪️ 41 combined fouls ▪️ Seven total yellow cards ▪️ A possible red card on Otamendi from elbowing Raphinha in the face ▪️ A successful rainbow flick from Vinícius Júnior

Neither team would be too happy with their performance, but at least they remain unbeaten in the campaign with only four more games left to play. Here are the major talking points from the match:

#5 Another nasty South American encounter

There were 41 fouls in the game!
There were 41 fouls in the game!

It's no secret that football in South America is nasty, both on the club and country front. Today's match further reaffirmed the well-established theory.

Despite having a star-studded San Juan pitch, the quality of football overall was poor, thanks to reckless challenges from both sides. In total, there were 41 fouls in the game, but only seven yellow cards were shown.

22 - The first half of Argentina vs Brazil saw 22 fouls, the third most of a first half in the South American 2022 WCQ. The average of the tournament is 12.7 fouls in the first half. Spicy.

Perhaps, the intense rivalry between two of South America's most successful teams fueled the fire, but this isn't a one-off. The qualifying games on the continent are indeed becoming increasingly physical and belligerent.

#4 Should Otamendi have been sent off for elbowing Raphinha?

Otamendi deserved a red for elbowing Raphinha
Otamendi deserved a red for elbowing Raphinha

Speaking of fouls, how about Nicolas Otamendi's brash elbow on Raphinha? The Argentine centre-back smacked him in the mouth which left the Brazil player bleeding profusely.

On any other day, that was a straight red, but the referee in the match didn't even bother showing Otamendi a yellow for it! The visitors were also denied a free-kick.

Nicolas Otamendi left Leeds' Raphinha bleeding with this elbow in Argentina vs Brazil, but VAR chose not to intervene.

In a game full of reckless challenges and blatant roughhousing, a match official should be penalizing the players for that. Because letting them scot-free sends the wrong signal.

It only encourages the players to become more aggressive.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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