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Uruguay stun Argentina

MONTEVIDEO (AFP) – Uruguay ended Argentina’s 14-match unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory over the world champions in World Cup qualifiers yesterday as Luis Diaz scored twice to fire Colombia to an emotional 2-1 win over Brazil.

Defender Ronald Araujo fired Uruguay ahead on 41 minutes before Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez made the game safe with an 87th-minute goal on the counterattack to settle a hard-fought clash at the Bombonera Stadium in Buenos Aires. It was Lionel Messi and Argentina’s first defeat of the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign, and their first loss since they were stunned 2-1 by Saudi Arabia at the 2022 finals in Qatar.

“We never felt comfortable,” Messi said after the defeat.

“They’re a physical team that works well and on the counterattack they were very dangerous,” added Messi, praising the work of Uruguay’s revered Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa.

“You can see his hand in the team. In all the teams or clubs he’s been involved in, including Argentina, you can see his hand,” said Messi.

Argentina’s Cristian Romero and Uruguay’s Maximiliano Araujo battle for the ball during a qualifying football
match for the FIFA World Cup 2026 at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. PHOTO: AP
ABOVE & BELOW: Argentina’s Lionel Messi leaves the field; and Colombia’s Luis Diaz celebrates after scoring a goal against Brazil. PHOTO: AP & AFP
PHOTO: AP & AFP

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni meanwhile backed his team to recover in time for next week’s showdown with Brazil.

Argentina, who had won all four of their opening qualifiers, remain on top of the standings with 12 points from five matches. Uruguay’s win leaves them in second place on 10 points.

In other South American qualifiers, Nunez’s Liverpool team-mate Diaz scored two goals in five minutes as Colombia came from behind to stun Brazil 2-1 in Barranquilla.

Diaz’s dramatic double capped a roller-coaster month for the forward, whose father was taken hostage by Colombian guerrillas at the end of October before being released last week. Diaz’s father, Luis Manuel Diaz, was watching from the stands in tears as his son scored in the 75th and 79th minutes to fire Colombia to a crucial win.

Diaz’s second-half double cancelled out Brazil’s opener, which came from Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli after only four minutes.

A disappointing result for Brazil was compounded by an injury to Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr, who limped off clutching his left thigh after 27 minutes.

Colombia moved up to third place after the win with nine points from five games.

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