Luis Diaz lifted his jersey to reveal a T-shirt with the words “Libertad Para Papa” (“Freedom for Papa”) after scoring a late equalizer Sunday in his first appearance for Liverpool since his parents were kidnapped in his native Colombia.
Diaz bundled home a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time to earn Liverpool a 1-1 draw at Luton in the Premier League and immediately sent a message for his father, who is still missing after the kidnapping by a guerrilla group, National Liberation Army, known as ELN.
Both of Diaz’s parents were taken in the small Colombian town of Barrancas last weekend, though his mother was rescued within hours by police.
Diaz returned to training on Thursday after missing two Liverpool games and said he was ready to play against Luton, with manager Jurgen Klopp selecting him on the bench. He came on in the 83rd and spared Liverpool from embarrassment with a goal off Harvey Elliott’s cross.
Klopp said before the game that “positive” negotiations were taking place about the release of Diaz's father.
Tahith Chong looked like being the match-winner for Luton, converting a finish at the end of an 80th-minute counterattack that came after a Liverpool corner. It would have been Luton's statement win in its first ever season in the Premier League.
It could have been a spectacular save by Emi Martinez. In the end, the Argentina goalkeeper made a big error.
Aston Villa was already trailing 1-0 to Nottingham Forest when Martinez attempted to save midfielder Orel Mangala’s long-range shot with his outstretched left hand. He only succeeded in palming the ball back toward goal and over the line in the 47th minute.
That added to the fifth-minute opener by fullback Ola Aina from outside the area as Forest won 2-0 to extend its unbeaten record at the City Ground to eight league matches.
Villa six-match unbeaten run came to an end. A win could have lifted Unai Emery's team into the top four.
Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80
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Steve Douglas, The Associated Press