A matchup worthy of a final - that is what is in store for fans for the first semi-final of the ongoing 2019 Copa America as tournament hosts and favorites Brazil go up against Lionel Messi-led Argentina on Wednesday.
Both these heavyweight sides were unconvincing in their respective quarter-final matches. While Brazil couldn't score against Paraguay in regular time, only to progress 4-3 in the ensuing penalty shootout, Argentina failed to control large portions of the game, still managing a 2-0 win against Venezuela.
Arch rivals Brazil and Argentina are the two most successful South American sides in international football, with the Selecao having won a record 5 World Cups while the Albiceleste have two to their name.
Brazil slightly edge the all-time head-to-head record, having won 45 games to Argentina's 39 with 25 games ending as draws. While Argentina-Brazil matchups in the Copa America have been rare in the recent past, the last three such meetings have produced some great performances.
Let us take a closer look at the last three meetings between these giants in South America's premier continental competition:
#3 Brazil 2-1 Argentina (1999 Copa America semi-final)
The 1999 Copa America semi-final saw a star-studded Brazil team led by the Ronaldo-Ronaldinho-Rivaldo trident come up against an equally strong Argentina, headlined by Juan Roman Riquelme, Diego Simeone, Ariel Ortega, and Juan Pablo Aimar.
Juan Pablo Sorin gave the Albiceleste an early lead with his left-footed drive from outside the box deflecting off defender Serginho to beat Brazil goalkeeper Dida in the 10th minute.
The Selecao manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo managed to rally his troops, who restored parity in the 32nd minute, with Rivaldo curling in a splendid free kick.
In an intriguing match with momentum swinging back and forth between the two giants of the game, Brazil had the last laugh with the legendary Ronaldo lashing in a brilliant long-distance strike past Albiceleste goalkeeper German Burgos to clinch the game. Brazil went on to win the tournament, steamrolling Uruguay 3-0 in the final.