Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Uruguay primed to quell Ronaldo threat

Luis Suarez Cristiano Ronaldo Uruguay's Diego Godin holds the key to locking out Cristiano Ronaldo
Freda Brock | 01 July, 2018, 04:10

Uruguay sent Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal crashing out of the World Cup on Saturday as two stunning goals from Edinson Cavani gave the South Americans a 2-1 victory.

The European champions face Uruguay at Fisht Stadium on Saturday, aiming to secure a quarterfinal meeting with either Argentina or France in Nizhny Novgorod next Friday.

Edinson Cavani, who failed to finish the match after suffering a late injury, scored a superb goal in each half, and although Pepe scored in between, it was not enough to halt the Uruguayans, who have won all four of their matches so far in Russian Federation.

It was thanks to his header that Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 in their decisive group game in Brazil to reach the last 16 of the last World Cup and even though they fell to Colombia in the next round, the memory of the goal lives on. And up front they boast two of the greatest goal-scorers of their generation in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

Uruguay is the only team that didn't concede a goal in the first round - in a group containing Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Quaresma bent a cross towards Ronaldo, but just over him, and Bernardo Silva's low ball in was cleared before Manuel Fernandes came on for Portugal in place of Joao Mario.

The goal opened up Uruguay who, notoriously cagey throughout the tournament, pressed forward, sensing that a Portugal defense that had leaked five goals in four games could crack again. Just a few steps inside Portugal's half, Cavani hit Suarez with a pinpoint cross over the top of the back line, and immediately made a run behind the Portuguese defense.

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In the final moments of the half, with Suarez down following a challenge from Raphael Guerreiro, Portugal won a corner that came to nothing before a half-chance was steered wide by Cavani at the far post. One more and he will equal 1950 World Cup-winner Oscar Miguez's Uruguayan record of eight goals at the tournament.

"Everybody can see that in this World Cup there are no easy games", Alves said.

Stopping Ronaldo. It was that simple for Uruguay.

And as he limped off the pitch, he was given a helping hand courtesy of Portugal's captain.

And after 12 years in charge of the team, Tabarez believes Uruguay are a contender to win the competition.

Not long after the restart, Portugal found their breakthrough when Cavani's earlier leap was mimicked by Pepe in the 55th minute when he rose unmarked to meet a cross into the box and power a header past a rooted Muslera.

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