Liverpool stars take centre stage to create historic night in South American World Cup qualifying

Goals from Liverpool duo Luis Diaz and Darwin Nuñez helped create a little bit of history in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers on Friday.

Diaz scored twice in the second half to give Colombia a memorable 2-1 win over neighbours Brazil in Barranquilla – a performance that was given added emotional weight in the context of the winger's father's kidnapping.

Luis Manuel Diaz's celebrations inside the stadium were caught on camera as his son inspired Los Cafeteros to their first win over Brazil in eight years.

Diaz Snr was only recently released from kidnapping, having been abducted by armed gunmen from Colombian rebel group ELN on 28 October. Father and son were reunited for the first time since the ordeal during the international break.

Speaking after the famous victory, Liverpool's number seven told reporters: “You have to suffer if you want to win.

“We’ve lived through some difficult moments, but life makes you stronger and brave.

“Not just in football but in life. I think we deserved this win. Not just me. All of us. I’m grateful to my teammates and the coaching staff. They were there for me at all times. I want to dedicate this win to the people (of Colombia).”

The Diaz-inspired Colombia win wasn't the only game in South America during which a Liverpool star took centre stage. Darwin Nuñez scored the second of Uruguay's 2-0 win away at Argentina, with his finish on the counter attack after 87 minutes confirming a huge three points for Marcelo Bielsa's side.

The defeat at Boca Junior's iconic La Bombonera stadium ended Argentina's longest unbeaten run in FIFA World Cup Qualifying history – which lasted 25 games.

Uruguay jump up to second in the CONMEBOL World Cup 2026 qualification table, just two points behind leaders Argentina after five games.

Meanwhile, Colombia's win sees them leapfrog Brazil, with Diaz and co now third in the standings.

History makers

A great night for Diaz and Nuñez was a terrible one for another Liverpool duo, Alisson Becker and Alexis Mac Allister, who were on the wrong end of the results for Brazil and Argentina respectively.

Incredibly, as per Squawka, Friday's results mark the first time since October 2015 that both Argentina and Brazil have lost World Cup qualifiers on the same day.

Back then, it was Chile who saw off Brazil 2-0, while Argentina suffered a shock defeat by the same scoreline at home to Ecuador.

Mac Allister's Argentina and Alisson's Brazil have a chance to bounce back from their latest humblings when they meet on Wednesday 22 November at the Maracanã, for what promises to be an exciting showdown.

Meanwhile, Diaz's Colombia next face Paraguay away on the same date, with Nuñez's Uruguay hosting Bolivia.

Concerningly for Liverpool, those fixtures come just three days before the Reds' crunch clash with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, 25 November.

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