Brazil, who will host this year’s tournament, kicked off the competition on Friday against Group A opponents Bolivia. Fernandinho started in this match and Gabriel Jesus came on as a substitute; Ederson sat on the bench.
The match between Brazil and Bolivia ended 0-0 at halftime, but following a series of tactical changes, the second half saw the Seleção take the lead within quick succession. The match eventually ended 3-0, leaving the Brazilians with a fine result at the start of this competition.
Meanwhile, Argentina took on Columbia yesterday in Group B. Sergio Agüero and Nicolás Otamendi were named in the starting line-up for their national team, but unlike their Brazilian City teammates, this match did not end in their favour. Argentina were shocked by Columbia in what ended in a 0-2 defeat. Despite dominating possession, shots on goal and attempts created, the Argentines were unable to break down the stubborn Columbian defence. The Argentines will now have to regroup and rethink their strategy as they prepare for their next match in Group B later this week.
Outside of South America, City’s Riyad Mahrez and Algeria made their final preparation for the 2019 African Cup of Nations. This tournament will start later this month, and will be covered in a different set of articles on Bitter and Blue.