A dominant Brazil side shun of Neymar's attacking verve could not get the better of Argentina as Sevilla's Gabriel Mercado first half goal settled a tense game.
New coach Jorge Sampaoli started his reign with a morale boosting 1 - 0 victory over Brazil.
Argentina started the game with Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Lionel Messi up front but were totally outrun by Brazil who fielded Gabriel Jesus, Willian and Coutino up front.
Brazil could have taken the lead when Coutinho was found one on one with the goalie in the 22nd minute but after taking out the Sergio Romero in goal his effort was cleared off the line by Nicolas Otamendi.
Next was Gabriel Jesus whose effort was blocked by Romero when it looked easier to score.
Argentina would get the goal against the run of play when Messi's free-kick was directed goal ward by Higuain but punched unto the path of Mercado who slotted into an empty net.
At the beginning of the second half, Di Maria saw a volley from the left punch for a corner with the goalie's view blocked by a sea of shirts.
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Gabriel Jesus was once against wasteful in front of goal as his effort struck the post after dribbling past Romero.
The follow up by Willian also hit the post while Paulinho's attempt at a third rebound saw the ball robbed off him as Argentina held firm.
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