It could have been worse after the defeat to Colombia left some wondering whether Argentina would make it out of the groups but on Tuesday evening, La Albiceleste’s Copa América campaign did come to an end. Hosts Brazil eventually prevailed but Lionel Scaloni’s side produced arguably their best performance to provide a glimmer of hope for the future.
Franco Armani – 6
Unable to do anything about either Brazil goal it was actually a quiet evening for Franco Armani who did little wrong in defeat.
Juan Foyth – 5
Continuing in the somewhat unfamiliar right-back position, Juan Foyth deserves praise for his job in keeping Everton quiet but is far from exempt in criticism for his roles in Brazil’s goals. Slow to react to the run of Gabriel Jesus for the opener and outpaced for the second after stopping for a foul that was never given, Foyth showed his inexperience. The Spurs defender remains one for Argentina’s future but perhaps not the present right-back.
Germán Pezzella – 4
Argentina’s lack of pace in central defence was badly exposed for Brazil’s second and Germán Pezzella did little to suggest during the Copa América that he is the answer. Guilty of losing Gabriel Jesus for the first and at fault for allowing the forward to run clear and create the second, it was a night to forget for the 28-year-old.
Nicolás Otamendi – 4
While Nicolás Otamendi’s most significant moment may have been the penalty that was not awarded to him when barged by Arthur at a late Argentina corner, it doesn’t paper over the fact that the Manchester City defender endured a tough night. Poor playing the ball out from the back and with a role in both Brazil’s goals, Otamendi’s lack of pace has always been an issue and his days wearing La Albiceleste are surely numbered now.
Nicolás Tagliafico – 4
A dependable part of the side since making the left-back spot his own, Nicolás Tagliafico produced probably his worst performance in an Argentina shirt. An early booking for a foul on Gabriel Jesus didn’t help matters as it left the Ajax defender walking a tightrope but out of position for Brazil’s opener, Tagliafico suffered a difficult opening 45 minutes from which he never really recovered.
Rodrigo De Paul – 5
Full of industry once more, Rodrigo De Paul gave everything but was unable to make much of impact on the game. That being said, the 25-year-old has been one of the pleasant surprises from the Copa and deserves further chances for Argentina.
Leandro Paredes – 6
A busy start to the game saw Leandro Paredes go close to a spectucular opening goal from 30-plus yards and fly into challenges that somehow avoided any punishment. It was one such lunge that allowed Dani Alves to slip past the midfielder and set in motion Brazil’s opener as Paredes’ vulnerability as a number five were perhaps exposed. Always a willing passer from deep, the Boca academy graduate kept moving Argentina forward and showed enough in the tournament that he should remain a central part of this side.
Marcos Acuña – 4
Up against the best player on the pitch, Dani Alves, it was a tough evening for Marcos Acuña. El Huevo struggled to make inroads offensively and along with Nicolás Tagliafico down Argentina’s left was given a difficult 45 minutes. A silly yellow card would have cost Acuña his place in the final and he was replaced before the hour mark by Ángel Di María.