Uruguay defeated Saudi Arabia 1-0 in their FIFA World Cup Group A preliminary round football (soccer) match at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-On-Don, Russia on Wednesday.
Luis Suarez scored the only goal midway through first half in the 23rd minute becoming first Uruguayan to score in three World Cups.
The first half did not rise to expectations, with most of the action confined to the middle of the pitch, and there were no serious attacks except the Suarez goal and the Hatan effort soon after.
Saudi Arabia gave a far better performance than it produced in a 5-0 loss to Russia, but a poor mistake from replacement goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais handed the South Americans the winner in Rostov-on-Don on Wednesday.
A corner from the left taken by Carlos Sanchez was missed by the keeper, with Suarez on hand to knock home the winner. A left-wing Sanchez corner was completely missed by Al Owais, giving Suarez a simple close-range finish into an unguarded net.
The flat feel of the game continued after the interval with both sides struggling to build tempo in hot conditions at the Rostov Arena.
Sanchez and Suarez wasted half-chances to extend the lead for Uruguay, which also won its opener against Egypt 1-0 thanks to a set-piece goal, defender Jose Gimenez heading home a late winner.
A second successive 1-0 win for Uruguay books their spot in the Round of 16 but Saudi Arabia cannot progress beyond the group stage.
Uruguay’s result also means host Russia, which won its opening two Group A matches, is through to the next phase with one game to spare, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia are both out of the tournament.
With Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men unable to create a clear chance, Saudi Arabia is without a win in 12 World Cup matches and in danger of finishing at the bottom of the group, as it has in all three previous appearances.
Russia and Uruguay can look forward to a likely second-round meeting against either Portugal or Spain, depending on the outcome of Group B’s remaining contests.
Russia will face Uruguay on Monday to decide who tops Group A.
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 will proceed 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.