World Qualifier 2026 – Argentina falls for the first time since the coronation, Brazil is toppled by Luis Diaz

Argentina has fallen. In Buenos Aires, Lionel Messi’s teammates were defeated 0-2 by Uruguayan Marcelo Bielsa. The first defeat for the Albiceleste since the world title. On the elimination side, the Argentinians were undefeated until then with 12 points in 4 days. However, they remain in the lead in qualifying, even if Uruguay moves closer thanks to their success today (2nd, 10 points).

FC Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo scored the first goal for Marcelo Bielsa’s men (41st) shortly before half-time, before Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez sealed victory for his team at the end of the match (87th). The Uruguayans presented themselves against the Argentines based on their 2-0 victory over Brazil the day before and with a similar recipe: aggression and constant pressure, Bielsa’s trademark.

This system largely disrupted the Argentinians’ ball circulation and created risks on the counterattack. Out of desire, Uruguay and Araujo forced the lock, ending goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez’s 752-minute invincibility. He had not conceded a goal since that of Frenchman Kylian Mbappé in the 2022 World Cup final. Nunez, clumsy at times, doubled the lead after a lightning counter-attack, well served by De la Cruz.

The realism of Bielsa’s players, with two goals from as many shots on target, highlighted the sterile possession of the Albiceleste, who had few clear chances to sink in despite the Uruguayan’s intensity. The entries from Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria changed nothing, even though the former put Sergio Rochet to work late in the match, and the latter narrowly missed the target with a cross from the right. The Golden Ball Messi hit the crossbar with a free kick.

In the next meeting on Tuesday, Uruguay hosts Bolivia, while a South American classic looms in Brazil for world champions Argentina. The first six in the AmSud qualifiers earn their ticket to the 2026 World Cup, while the seventh goes to the rematch.

Brazil toppled by Luis Diaz

The Colombians, propelled by a double by winger Luis Diaz, defeated Brazil 2-1 on Thursday in Barranquilla (Colombia). The Liverpool striker, whose father was freed a week ago by National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas after 12 days in captivity, struck twice with a header in the 75th and 79th minutes.

First by rising above the Auriverde defense to equalize, and then by victoriously winning back a James Rodriguez offer. It is the first success for the Colombians against the five-time world champion in the qualifying phase. Before that, at the very beginning of the match, Brazil had opened the scoring through Gunner Gabriel Martinelli (4th).

But the Seleçao suffered a second defeat in a row against Uruguay (2-0) the day before and are in fifth place in the regional play-offs for the next World Cup, with 7 points. In addition to the defeat, another bad news came to the Brazilian side: Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr injured his left thigh in the 27th minute.

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Endrick with Brazil against Colombia.

Credit: Getty Images

On the other side, Luis Diaz was omnipresent and multiplied the chances and rushes in the opponent’s camp, stimulated by the presence of his father in the stands. The player’s parents were kidnapped in Colombia on October 28 by armed men on motorcycles. His mother was quickly rescued, but he was not reunited with his father until Wednesday. “Life makes you strong and brave and I think that’s what football is all aboutLuiz Diaz said after the meeting.

Brazilian players, including his clubmate, goalkeeper Alisson, who also repelled Diaz’s attempt in the first period, came to congratulate him on this family reunion. Colombia appear in third place with 9 points, led by Liverpool’s dazzling winger. She is undefeated in five days and will face Paraguay (5 points) next Tuesday.

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