Uruguay leads Group A into the knockout stages after beating Russia 3-0 in their FIFA World Cup preliminary round football (soccer) match at the Samara Arena in Samara, Russia on Monday. Russia is the second team from the group to advance behind Uruguay.
Luis Suarez has given Uruguay the early lead in its match against Russia with a blistering free kick in the 10th minute.
The Barcelona striker ripped a low shot past a wall of Russian players and goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev from just outside the top of the box. Suarez pumped his fist afterward and blew a kiss to the corner of Samara Stadium where most of La Celeste’s supporters are seated.
Artem Dzyuba nearly tied it minutes later off a corner kick, but his header bounced off the turf and over the crossbar.
Uruguay doubled the lead 2-0 over Russia through an own goal, the sixth of this World Cup, tying the tournament record.
Uruguay midfielder Diego Laxalt’s shot from long range deflected off Denis Cheryshev’s foot and past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. Luis Suarez scored Uruguay’s first on a free kick in the 10th.
Russia then went down to 10 men after right back Igor Smolnikov received a second yellow card just 36 minutes in. Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov immediately brought off winger Cheryshev for defender Mario Fernandes to plug the gap left by Smolnikov’s dismissal.
Edison Cavani scored the third goal in the 90th minute, pouncing on a loose ball after Diego Godin’s header was saved. From a Uruguayan corner on their right-hand side, Diego Godin nods towards goal. The ball is palmed out by Igor Akinfeev, but right into the path of Edinson Cavani, who bundles the ball home. He becomes the second Uruguayan, after Luis Suarez, to score in three World Cups. 3-0
Russia and Uruguay have already gone through to the round of 16 with two wins apiece, so they’re playing for the top spot in Group A.
Uruguay came into the game having yet to concede a goal at Russia 2018, seeing off Egypt and Saudi Arabia both by 1-0 scorelines. La Celeste pride themselves on their tactical nous and cohesion from back to front. Their defensive discipline paired with the attacking threat that Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani provide made Uruguay the trickiest opponent that Russia has faced at the tournament so far.
The last time that Russia (in its former status as the USSR) won all three of its first-round matches was in England in 1966. A victory over Uruguay in Samara would be an excellent omen for Stanislav Cherchesov’s team, since the Soviets subsequently made it through to the semi-finals – their best-ever performance at the event.
Uruguay’s two previous encounters with Russia’s predecessor the Soviet Union at the FIFA World Cup have been quite dramatic. In 1962 in Chile, a last-minute goal from Valentin Ivanov against the run of play secured victory for the Soviets, but in 1970 the Celeste gained their revenge, with a goal from Victor Esparrago in extra time deciding the quarter-final between the two teams.
Uruguay made history today by beating the hosts in Samara this evening: the Celeste have never before won all three of their first-round games before. Although they did boast a perfect first-round record in 1930 and 1954, they only contested two games in the opening round at these events. There was also the curious case of 1950, in which their opening group consisted of only two teams!
June 25 used to mark an unhappy chapter in Uruguay’s participation at the FIFA World Cup: at Italy 1990, the hosts knocked the Celeste out of the event with a 2-0 win in their Round of 16 encounter. It would be twenty years before Uruguay would reach the knockout phase of the competition again. Uruguay changed that today.
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.