For Darwin Nuñez and Uruguay, the October international break presented just about as tough a pair of games as they could have been given, with World Cup qualifiers away to Colombia and at home to Brazil.
A 2-2 draw against Colombia in isolation was a solid result on the road against one of CONMEBOL’s stronger sides, but a Brazilian side that hadn’t lost in its 36 previous World Cup qualifiers looked an even tougher test.
It was a test that in the end Uruguay passed with flying colours, breaking Brazil’s streak and earning all three points in a 2-0 victory, with Nuñez scoring the first from the penalty spot and then assisting on the second.
“We started talking about this game after Colombia,” said the Liverpool striker after the match. “It was a difficult, direct rival, but we played a great game when it came to attacking and defending and today we won.
“It had been 22 years since we beat Brazil and they are a very strong team, that’s clear. We can celebrate making history. I came to leave everything on the field and I think it was noticeable today, so I’m happy with the victory.”
Nuñez impressed beyond the goal and assist he scored, defending from the front and dropping deep at times to link play, showing the increasingly well rounded game that has been on display at Liverpool this season.
Now heading back to Liverpool, long flights and timezone differences may mean he doesn’t start against Everton in the early Saturday kickoff, but its clear to all that he is a player increasingly confident and in top form.