An Edinson Cavani brace was enough to sink Portugal 2-1 in a last 16 clash in Sochi on Saturday and dash Cristiano Ronaldo’s dreams of an elusive World Cup.
It means Ronaldo followed Lionel Messi out of the World Cup on the same day. Uruguay advanced to a quarterfinal against France, which beat Argentina 4-3 earlier Saturday.
Two-time world champion Uruguay hadn’t reached the last eight at the World Cup since a fourth-place finish in 2010.
The Uruguay frontman’s early opener was a goal good enough to win any game. A move he started with an exceptional 40-yard cross-field pass to strike partner Luis Suarez, he finished with an equally impressive dive to meet Suarez’s return at the far post.
The forwards’ eventual winner was another stunning strike, opening up his body to curl a right-footed strike past Rui Patricio to finish a counter attack that began from his own area, to cancel out a Pepe equalizer.
Cavani had given Uruguay the lead with a header into the top corner after a cross by Luis Suarez in the seventh minute.
Cavani jumped to meet a cross by Luis Suarez in the seventh minute to open the scoring at Sochi. Cavani started the play on the other side of the field before running to meet the Suarez cross.
Suarez almost made it 2-0 with a low free kick that was saved by Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio in the 22nd.
Pepe equalized for Portugal 1-1 with a header in the 55th minute.
Two defenders tried to mark Cristiano Ronaldo after a ball crossed into the area and an unmarked Pepe came in behind them to level the match.
It was the first goal conceded by Uruguay at the World Cup.
Edinson Cavani then scored his second goal to give Uruguay a 2-1 lead over Portugal. Cavani found the net with a perfectly-timed side-footed shot from the left edge of the area after a breakaway in the 62nd minute.
Edinson Cavani tonight became the oldest Uruguayan to score a World Cup brace as the 31-year-old is 108 days older than Diego Forlan was when he did this against South Africa in 2010.
Uruguay are into the last eight! It was not the most entertaining match of Russia 2018 but in these cases all that counts is the result, and La Celeste have secured a huge win.
At 33, Cristiano Ronaldo may never again have the chance to lift a World Cup, joining Lionel Messi, who crashed out hours before with Argentina, as harboring forlorn hopes of taking his national team to the highest level.
With Uruguay’s win, Cavani and Suarez booked a quarter-final date with France in Nizhny Novgorod on July 6.
“First of all, congratulations to Uruguay. It’s very sad for Portugal though. We know that the squares have been full back home and that the people there were really rooting for us. We could feel their presence with us and there’s a real sadness in the dressing room that we weren’t able to make it through for them. In football, there are no moral victories and I would have preferred to play worse and win the match. But I do feel that the second half was very good from us in terms of desire and our determination to score. We tried our best and we played a good game, I think. But you always want to win, and we lost, so well done to Uruguay for making it through.” Fernando Santos, Portugal coach said at the post game presser.
“The distinctive feature of the game was the dedication the players showed on the pitch, and that is the way that we see football. It was difficult. Portugal had more possession and were often in our half of the pitch, and it would have been better for us to have more of the ball and play the game closer to their goal. But we have a very strong team in terms of our mindset and I am very happy. Cavani sustained an injury tonight and we will have to see how that evolves as it’s not clear at this stage how serious it is. But as always we will bank on the strength of our team as a collective. That is our best chance against any adversary, and we know that France will be very tough indeed. They have two exceptional strikers, Griezmann and Mbappe – they’re very fast indeed. And you can see how defenders struggled to keep up with Mbappe today. It will be very difficult for us. But we will try our best and look to impose our way of playing on them, using our strengths. We’re here to play all seven matches, right up until the Final, and we will see what happens.” Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay coach said,
A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15.
The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups proceeded to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Russia is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14. The World Cup is being held at 12 arenas across 11 cities with the final set to be played at Luzhniki on July 15. The 11 host cities are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.