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After all, Nigeria not alone, Colombia fight back to shock Brazil



World Cup - South American Qualifiers - Colombia v Brazil - Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Melendez, Barranquilla, Colombia - November 16, 2023 Colombia's Luis Diaz celebrates scoring their goal with teammates REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez Acquire Licensing Rights

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.

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.

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.

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.




Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.