Brutal tackle on Luis Diaz sparks brawl in Colombia friendly

A friendly match between Colombia and Bolivia descended into chaos on Saturday afternoon - and Liverpool's Luis Diaz was at the centre of it all.

The game, played at Rentschler Field in Connecticut in the build-up to Copa America, heated up in the 66th minute following a reckless tackle by Bolivia's Hector Cuellar on Diaz, sparking a mass brawl.

At that moment, the game was firmly in Colombia's favour, with the team leading 3-0 thanks to three first-half goals in which 'Lucho' played a vital role.

Jhon Arias’ fifth-minute opener came after Diaz collected a loose pass and made a driving run, leading to the ball falling to Arias inside the area.

He then laid on Colombia’s second goal in the 25th minute when his low cross from the left flank found John Cordoba, who spun and shot into the net.

Three minutes before half time, Diaz then got on the scoresheet himself, marking the 100th goal of his career for both club and country.

Then, as the game was nearing its conclusion, Bolivia adopted a much more aggressive strategy to prevent further goals.

This culminated in Cuellar’s dangerous lunge from behind as Diaz dribbled towards the touchline.

Two red cards

Diaz’s teammates reacted immediately to the reckless challenge, confronting both the referee and Cuellar.

The situation quickly escalated into a heated exchange during which Colombia's Daniel Muñoz and Bolivia's Cesar Menacho were both shown red cards after nearly coming to blows over the incident.

Muñoz, who plays for Crystal Palace, will miss his country's next friendly match but will be available for Colombia’s Copa America campaign.

Cuellar, despite being the instigator, only received a yellow card.

Diaz appears to avoid serious injury

Liverpool fans witnessing this event will have been wincing as their star winger was left in a heap on the ground.

Luckily for Diaz, though, he seems to have not suffered any serious injury despite appearing to be in considerable pain immediately after the tackle—although official confirmation from the Colombian FA is still pending.

Until that moment, Diaz had managed to avoid several aggressive challenges from Bolivia players, who were clearly targetting Colombia's talisman.

Nonetheless, Colombian officials are hopeful that Diaz will be fit to lead the attack in their opening Copa America match against Paraguay on 24 June.

His presence is crucial for the team’s success, and his recovery will be closely monitored in the coming days.

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