Brazil 'better' than Argentina in Jeddah and deserved win, insists manager Tite
Injury-time goal from defender Miranda settled the match in the 105th meeting between the two fierce rivals
Brazil manager Tite said his team fully deserved to win Tuesday's “Super Clasico” clash against Argentina in Saudi Arabia.
The five-time world champions had to wait until injury-time to seal a 1-0 victory, though, when Miranda headed home Neymar’s corner in the 93rd minute.
Chances had been few and far between at Jeddah's King Abdullah Sports City, in a match that concluded the four-team friendly tournament taking place in the kingdom this past week. Hosts Saudi Arabia and Iraq also featured.
For Brazil, the result against their main rivals represented a welcome boost following a disappointing World Cup campaign in Russia this summer, and ahead of next year’s Copa America on home soil.
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"Argentina created chances to score, tried to win, but Brazil were better and the team's performance was rewarded with the goal," Tite said afterwards. “[Miranda's winner] could have been another time, but it was in the end.
"The team were concentrating. The corner was the result of a volume of play that we put in the game."
The encounter, the 105th meeting between the South American heavyweights, looked set for a stalemate until Miranda rose unmarked to head past Sergio Romero in the Argentine goal.
"I am very happy, first, to help my teammates, and to make a goal against Argentina is exciting and rewarding," said the veteran Inter Milan defender. "I dedicate the goal to those who trusted and supported my family.
"Today I met my wife 16 years ago and I'm excited. Making a goal is very difficult ... a kiss for my wife and my children; I want to celebrate the goal with them."
Argentina are looking also to rebuild after a poor World Cup, with manager Jorge Sampaoli gone and interim coach Lionel Scaloni in situ. The two-time world champions were without a number of players for Brazil, including captain Lionel Messi and striker Sergio Aguero.
“Obviously our team is better than theirs: we have maintained the same squad for years and they are in the process of renewal,” acknowledged Brazil left-back Filipe Luis. “But you don’t notice that so much in a Clasico; what you do notice is their fight. But I think we deserved to win.”
Despite the loss, Scaloni drew positives still from the match, saying: "A lot of players were in their first ‘Super Clasico’ - they will achieve great things. Doing what we did today, we will fight a war against everyone that plays us."
Both managers paid tribute to Saudi Arabia as hosts, with Tite describing the packed King Abdullah Sports City, nicknamed the “Jewel”, as “one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen”.
Updated: October 17, 2018 12:13 PM