Diaz dazzles in day of upsets as Colombia beat Brazil

Sports Desk, Nov 17 (EFE).- Luis Diaz rebounded from his personal shock to score a brace as Colombia shocked Brazil 2-1, while Uruguay ended Argentina’s unbeaten run with a 2-0 win in Buenos Aires in the South American qualifiers for the World Cup 2026 on Friday.

Diaz’s father Manuel Diaz, who was released by guerillas last week after his kidnapping in late October, watched in pride as the Liverpool winger struck two late goals to earn Colombia their first-ever win against Brazil in a World Cup qualifier.

Brazil took an early lead in Barranquilla through Gabriel Martinell, who collaborated with Vinicius Junior to strike in just three minutes of the game, but Colombia kept pressing hard for an equalizer and were rewarded by late Diaz goals.

Diaz put the score level in 74 minutes after a cross from full-back Cristian Borja, which found him unmarked.

Four minutes later, James Rodriguez sent a pass after a good play by winger Daniel Munoz on the right, and Diaz did the rest.

A fatigued Brazil were unable to comeback after going down and suffered a back-to-back qualifying defeat for the first time in their history after their loss to Uruguay in the previous game.

With the win, Colombia climbed to third place in the standings with nine points from five matches, while Brazil slipped to fifth with seven points.

A bigger shock, however, was waiting at La Bombonera in Buenos Aires, where Lionel Messi’s world champions Argentina faced Uruguay, having never suffered a defeat in their last 25 World Cup qualifiers.

That record came in tatters after Barcelona full-back Ronald Araujo scored for Uruguay in 40 minutes, the first goal in Argentina’s net since Kylian Mbappe scored the World Cup final in Qatar in December last year.

Argentina had scored the first goal in 41 consecutive games in all competitions until Araujo broke the deadlock, but that was not going to be the end of Argentina’s misery on the night.

Messi had a free kick hit the crossbar in 56 minutes, and in 87 minutes, just 10 seconds after the 2023 Ballon d’Or winner had the ball on the edge of the Uruguay penalty area, Darwin Nunez struck from a counterattack to make the score 2-0, the final outcome of the game.

It also ensured Uruguay won away to Argentina by more than a goal for the first time in 103 years since their 3-1 win in Buenos Aires in 1920.

After the end of the fifth round’s play on Friday, Uruguay are now in second place in the table with 10 points, just behind Argentina, who are still the leaders courtesy of their wins in the previous four matches.

In the other matches of the fifth round, Bolivia kick started their campaign with a 2-0 victory over Peru, while the Venezuela-Ecuador and Chile-Paraguay games finished goalless.

Veteran Marcelo Moreno set up Henry Vaca’s opening goal before Ramiro Vaca made sure of Bolivia’s first points of the campaign.

The top six teams from South America’s 10-team qualifying competition are guaranteed a place in the World Cup, which will be hosted jointly by the US, Canada, and Mexico. EFE


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