It was an entertaining and energetic first half in the Meadowlands between these two rivals. Romulo put Brazil ahead early, catching the Argentine defense sleeping, but it was two brilliant goals by Lionel Messi that allowed Argentina to head in to the locker room up 2-1.
The match opened with the field titled heavily towards Argentina's half, but La Albiceleste were able to even things out as the half progressed. Brazil still had the better chances though early in the half and had the better of the possession numbers too.
The opportunities finally paid off in the 23rd minute as Argentina was caught napping on a free kick. It wasn't a particularly flashy set piece, but the entire Argentine defense stood still as Romulo raced through the box, clearly expecting an offside call. Instead Romulo settled Neymar's free kick, turned a beat Sergio Romero with a low shot towards the far post.
Brazil was cruising along comfortably and after a disappointing 2-0 loss to Mexico last week, Mano Menezes was likely pleased with his team's play. Then everything went horribly wrong from Brazil.
In the 31st minute Argentina equalized out of nowhere. I know that phrase gets used a lot but trust me, it was out of nowhere. Gonzalo Higuain found Lionel Messi sprinting through the middle of the field and produced a perfect pass. Messi moved in one-on-one with goalkeeper Rafael Barbosa and buried his shot to tie things up 1-1.
Minute later Messi was back for more. Angel Di Maria was the maestro this time, finding Messi with a precise pass that once again allowed the magical striker to move in alone against Barbosa. This time, Messi got the keeper to commit off his line, before moving the ball outside and easily putting the ball in the empty net. Magical stuff from the best player in the world.
Brazil settled down a bit after the two quick goals. Neymar had a great chance right before halftime to pull Brazil back equal, but his shot was blocked by Romero.