Diaz doubles helps Colombia stun Brazil in front of freed father

Luis Diaz scored twice as Colombia stunned Brazil 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier, with his father watching in the stands days after he was released by kidnappers.

The Liverpool winger found the net twice in four minutes late in the second half to hand Colombia their first win over Brazil in eight years.

After the match, Diaz said: “I thank God. He makes it all possible.

Parents of Colombia's soccer player Luiz Diaz, Luis Manuel D..az, right, and Cinelis Marulanda , holds their hands in prayer before the start a qualifying soccer match between Colombia and Brazil for the FIFA World Cup 2026, at the Roberto Melendez stadium in Barranquilla, Colombia, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. The father of Liverpool striker Luis D..az was released Thursday by members of a guerrilla group who kidnapped him in northern Colombia, the government announced, ending a 12-day ordeal for the family. (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)
Luis Manuel Diaz and Cinelis Marulanda – parents of Liverpool’s Luis Diaz – watched their son star for Colombia

“We have always lived tough moments but life makes you strong and brave. So is soccer and so is life. We deserved this victory.”

Luis Manuel Diaz, who had been held by the ELN guerrilla group for 12 days before being freed last week, wept as his son won the game for his country.

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli had put Brazil in front after just four minutes but the Selecao are now fifth in South American Qualifying, with Colombia up to third.

Alisson, Brazil’s goalkeeper and Diaz’s Liverpool team-mate, said of the Colombian match-winner: “He is a friend. He suffered a lot these days.

“This is beyond soccer. He deserves it.”

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Luis Diaz was reunited with his father after arriving home in Colombia for the first time since his parents were kidnapped

Nunez helps Uruguay stun Argentina

On a night of surprises in South American qualifying, goals from Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez saw Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay beat Argentina 2-0.

Lionel Messi struggled to impose himself, hitting the crossbar in the second half as Argentina’s 100 per cent record since lifting the World Cup last December was ended.

Uruguay's Darwin Nunez celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Argentina during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup 2026 at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)
Darwin Nunez celebrates his goal as Uruguay upset Argentina

Uruguay’s win lifts them to second in the table, two points behind Argentina.

Venezuela are in fourth after a goalless draw with Ecuador, while Chile and Paraguay also drew 0-0.

Bolivia won the battle of the bottom two with a 2-0 victory over Peru.

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