The Colombians, propelled by a double from their winger Luis Diaz, overthrew Brazil 2-1 on Thursday in Barranquilla (Colombia) in a qualifying match in the South America zone for the 2026 World Cup.
The Liverpool striker, whose father was freed a week ago by the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) after 12 days of captivity, struck twice, with a header, in the 75th and the 79th minute. First by rising above the Auriverde defense to equalize, then by victoriously recovering an offering from James Rodriguez.
This is the first success for the Colombians against the five-time world champions in the qualifying phase.
Before, at the very start of the match, Brazil had opened the scoring through Gunner Gabriel Martinelli (4th). But the Seleção suffered a second defeat in a row after that against Uruguay on the previous day (2-0) and is in fifth place in the regional play-offs for the next World Cup, with 7 points.
In addition to the defeat, another bad news was added on the Brazilian side: Vinicius Jr, the Real Madrid star, left injured in the left thigh in the 27th minute.
Opposite, Luis Diaz was omnipresent, multiplying the opportunities and rushes in the opposing camp, galvanized by the presence of his father in the stands.
The player's parents were kidnapped in Colombia by armed men on motorcycles on October 28. His mother was quickly rescued, but he was not reunited with his father until Wednesday.
“Life makes you strong and courageous and I think that’s what football is,” Luiz Diaz said after the match. Brazilian players, including his club teammate, goalkeeper Alisson, who also repelled an attempt by Diaz in the first period, came to congratulate him on this family reunion.
Colombia appears in third place with 9 points, led by the swirling Liverpool winger. She is undefeated in five days and will meet Paraguay (5 pts) next Tuesday. As for Brazil, a South American clasico against the Argentinian leader (12 pts) awaits them, the same day.
The first six in the AmSud qualifiers will earn their ticket to the 2026 World Cup, while the seventh will go to the repechage.