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Football PIX: Messi's Argentina lose; Colombia shock Brazil

November 17, 2023 10:24 IST
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IMAGE: Colombia's players celebrate after Luis Diaz scored a goal against Brazil during the World Cup qualifier match in Barranquilla, Colombia, on Thursday. Photograph: Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters

Brazil lost their second consecutive World Cup qualifier match as Colombia fought back to win 2-1 against the five-times champions, who dropped to fifth place in the South American standings on Thursday.


It was a cathartic evening for Liverpool forward Luis Diaz, who scored twice within four minutes late in the second-half to give his country the shock win just days after Colombian guerrillas freed his kidnapped father.

IMAGE: Luis Diaz, right, celebrates scoring Colombia's first goal with team-mate James Rodriguez. Photograph: Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters

Brazil started well and dominated early proceedings, taking the lead in the fourth minute through a strike by Gabriel Martinelli, assisted by Vinicius Jr.'s fine first touch pass.

The jet-heeled Real Madrid winger was forced out due to a thigh injury halfway through the first-half after which the home side slowly took control, roared on by the crowd at the sold-out Metropolitano stadium in Barranquilla.

IMAGE: Winless in the last three games, Brazil will be under heavy pressure as they are set to host Argentina on Tuesday. Photograph: Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters

Luis Diaz alone created 10 attempts on target for Colombia, but was denied the equaliser by a string of fine saves from his Liverpool team mate Alisson, before defensive mistakes helped him net two headers in the 75th and 79th minutes.

Diaz burst into tears as he dedicated the win to his father who was celebrating emotionally in the stands.

IMAGE: Luis Diaz's father Luis Manuel Diaz poses for selfie with a fan. Diaz, 58, was recently released by the leftist National Liberation Army (ELN) after he was kidnapped on October 28 in Barrancas. Photograph: Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters

Winless in the last three games, Brazil will be under heavy pressure as they are set to host long-time rivals Argentina at the iconic Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday.

Argentina will also be looking to bounce back after dropping their first points in five games in the South America World Cup Qualifiers, losing 2-0 at home to Uruguay on Thursday but keeping their place at the top of the standings.

IMAGE: A dejected Lionel Messi after World champions Argentina were beaten by Uruguay. Photograph: Agustin Marcarian/Reuters

Goals in each half from Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez gave Uruguay victory over Lionel Messi's Argentina in a nervy affair at the World Cup champions' Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires.

The visitors were the better side from start to finish and the win put them second in the standings on 10 points, two behind Argentina.

Araujo scored in the 41st minute with a first time strike from inside the box that was just beyond goalkeeper Emiliano Martinezm, and Nunez secured the points with a tidy finish in a counter-attack in the 87th.

IMAGE: Uruguay's players celebrate after Ronald Araujo scored the first goal against Argentina. Photograph: Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters

"They are a strong and physical team and played with more intensity. We struggled mightily to find ourselves and our game," Messi told TyC Sports.

"We never felt comfortable, didn’t find a way to end up with the ball or the control of the actions, were not able to have long possessions, didn’t create chances and played the game that they wanted, in their rhythm. They are a physical team that bring a lot of danger in the counter-attacks and they showed that with the goals they scored."

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 point behind Brazil, who are fifth on seven points.

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