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On this day: Brazil defeated Argentina in the 2004 Copa America Final

Brazil v Peru: Final - Copa America Brazil 2019
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Let’s go back 15 years in time and remember the 2004 Copa America Final between Brazil and Argentina.

Estadio Nacional in Lima, Peru hosted the 2004 Copa America Final on July 25, exactly 15 years ago.

Brazil, who suffered an embarrassing elimination from Honduras in the previous edition of the competition three years before that faced Argentina in the final.

It was only the second Copa America decider between the biggest rivals of South American football, with Argentina previously noting a 2-0 victory against the Selecao back in 1937 on home soil.

Road to the Final

La Celeste opened their 2004 Copa America campaign with a 6-1 win over Ecuador in a game which saw Javier Saviola bag his only hat-trick for the national team. They suffered a 1-0 defeat to Mexico in the second round, but won 4-2 against Uruguay three days later to book their place in the knockout stage of the tournament.

Brazil also won six points in Group C and qualified as runners-up, beating Chile 1-0 and Cosa Rica 4-1 thanks to Adriano’s hat-trick in their first two games at the competition, but losing to 2-1 to Paraguay in the last round.

The knock out stage of the tournament started on July 17, with Argentina noting a close win over Peru in the quarter-finals. They were much better in the semis, thumping defending champions Colombia 3-0 to book their place in the final.

The Selecao, on the other side, had a walk in the park against Mexico in the quarter-finals, with Adriano netting a brace in a 4-0 victory. The striker also found the net in the semi-final against Uruguay, as Brazil won 5-4 on penalties.

2004 Copa America Final

Both rivals went head to head for the trophy at the Estadio Nacional in Lima, in one of the most dramatic finals in Copa America’s history.

Argentina took an early lead through a Kily Gonzalez penalty kick, while Brazil equalized just before the break thanks to Luisao in the 45th minute. The second half was much more intense, with both sides trying to get the winner as the game got closer to full time.

And La Celeste thought they did so when Cesar Delgado found the net in the 87th minute of the game. However, Brazil’s best player at the 2004 Copa Amerca – Adriano was yet to say his final word at the competition. The striker scored a last-gasp equalizer to keep the Selecao alive in the final.

It all came down to penalties in the end, with Brazil using their psychological advantage to win their seventh South American Championship with a 4-2 victory.

Adriano was later named as the best player of the 2004 Copa America. He also won the Golden Boot award, with seven goals by his name at the tournament