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2T7PJ2K Uruguay's Darwin Nunez celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Argentina during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup 2026 at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

Darwin Nunez scores hat-trick of first-time finishes in Copa America warm-up

Darwin Nunez scored an excellent hat-trick for Uruguay against Mexico, with every goal coming thanks to first-time finishes.

A big pre-season awaits for Nunez as he seeks to impress new head coach Arne Slot. With the new boss no doubt keeping an eye on proceedings, he has done himself no harm with an international hat-trick.

Playing against Mexico at the Denver Broncos’ stadium in the USA, he started for Uruguay as the sole striker in a 4-2-3-1.

It took just seven minutes for the Liverpool forward to open the scoring, turning home at the second attempt inside a crowded penalty area.

After Facundo Pellistri had doubled Uruguay’s lead, Nunez then sealed the win with goals either side of half time.

His second of the night was a simple finish, sliding the ball into an empty goal, but he had already done the hard work, driving through midfield and playing a precise one-two with Maximiliano Araujo to set up the goal.

His third was even more simple, tapping into another empty net at the back post. In a way, though, these kind of goals may give Liverpool fans some hope.

Perhaps it is a good sign that he has scored three striker’s goals from getting into good positions.

It is also a positive for Uruguay, who begin their Copa America on June 24 – they have been drawn in a group with Panama, Bolivia and the USA.

The No. 9 divided opinion across the last campaign, starting off well before being dropped at the end of the season.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 24, 2024: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister (L) and Darwin Núñez during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 244th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. Everton won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He scored 11 Premier League goals but missed 27 big chances – only Erling Haaland missed more.

The end of the season was also clouded by abuse that saw him delete all Liverpool-related posts on his Instagram account.

While he has had unwavering support at Anfield, online it clearly hasn’t been the same.

“From the moment you start playing and until you retire, there will always be someone who will criticise you,” he told Uruguayan TV channel Canal 10.

“I avoid reading those comments; before, I did look at them a lot and it affected me.

“Whoever says that those negative comments do not affect them is lying, those negative comments that are directed towards you will always affect you.

“I ignore those comments because they are of no use to me.

“I never look at the negative comments on social media, at least now I’m not looking at anything, not even the good stuff.”