Liverpool forward Luis Diaz came off the bench on Sunday to score a late equaliser in a 1-1 Premier League draw at struggling Luton Town and dedicate the goal to his father who is in the hands of Colombian kidnappers.
The 26-year-old dropped out of Liverpool’s game last week as news broke that his parents had been seized by armed men, but he asked to be back in the squad and manager Jurgen Klopp sent him on for the final minutes with the visitors a goal down.
As Liverpool poured forward, Diaz leapt to meet a Harvey Elliott cross in the fifth minute of time added on, before revealing an undershirt that read “Freedom For Dad”.
A Colombian guerrilla movement has said they will release his father, after earlier freeing his mother.
On the back foot for most of the game, Luton had taken a shock lead when Ross Barkley drove forward in the 80th minute to release Issa Kabore who passed for Tahith Chong to slide the ball past Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.
That triggered delirium in the quaint and raucous Kenilworth Road stadium, whose capacity is just over 11 000 and where Luton had managed to register only one previous point this season.
“When you score that late, you are already thinking of winning the game,” said Chong.
“But they have quality and you know they are going to keep coming and unfortunately we conceded in the last minute. But I am very proud of the team.”
Liverpool dominated possession and could have won had it not been for a string of missed chances by Darwin Nunez. The Uruguayan saw a powerful shot strike the bar in the first half and another sting the gloves of Luton goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski in the second period.
The result left Liverpool third on 24 points, three behind leaders Manchester City. Luton inched out of the relegation area to go 17th on six points, two off the bottom.