Brazil have lost their second consecutive World Cup qualifier as Colombia fought back to win 2-1 against the five-times champions, who are winless in the last three games and dropped to fifth in the South American standings.
It was a cathartic evening for Liverpool forward Luis Diaz who, just a few days after Colombia guerrillas freed his kidnapped father, scored twice within four minutes late in the second-half to give his country the shock win, after Brazil got an early lead with a Gabriel Martinelli strike – the Arsenal forward’s first for his country.
Colombia’s game up front depended almost exclusively on Diaz. The striker nearly scored after dribbling past several Brazilians in the 30th minute and was stopped by Liverpool teammate and goalkeeper Alisson on two more dangerous shots in the second half.
Diaz equalised with an easy header in the 75th minute; he didn’t even need to jump. He added a second goal four minutes later. His father, Luis Manuel Diaz, fell on top of some people next to him in the stands as his son celebrated.
“He is a friend, he suffered a lot these days. This is beyond soccer,” Alisson said. “But we are leaving here in disappointment.”
In Buenos Aires, gritty Uruguay got a statement win beating Lionel Messi’s Argentina 2-0 at their iconic Bombonera stadium thanks to goals from Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez in each half.
Núnez scored in the 87th minute on a counter after the Uruguayan defence stopped Messi at the edge of its box.
“We never felt comfortable in this match,” Messi said. “Uruguay is a physical team, they have good teamwork. It is always like that against them.”
Uruguay were the better side from start to finish and climbed to second in the standings on 10 points with the win, two behind leaders Argentina who dropped their first points in five games in the South America World Cup qualifiers.
Colombia are third on nine points, one ahead of Venezuela who were held to a goalless draw at home by sixth-placed Ecuador, who are one behind Brazil on seven points.