Russia 2018 Watch: Uruguay put out Portugal
PUBLISHED: 09:29 01 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:29 01 July 2018
Uruguay and Portugal had met twice in friendlies, with the Portuguese winning 3-0 in 1966 and the sides drawing 1-1 in Brazil.
The South Americans had advanced into a third consecutive round of 16, while Portugal were making this stage for the first time in eight years, having failed to progress four years ago in Brazil.
Uruguay had won their last three successive matches and hadn’t conceded in 310 minutes, with Colombia’s James Rodríguez the last player to score (he scored twice in a 2-0 victory in the round of 16 in 2014).
Prior to the match, La Celeste’s longest run without conceding was 390 minutes, back in 2010.
Meanwhile Portugal, who were making their 30th appearance at the World Cup, were unbeaten in their last five World Cup fixtures (two wins and three draws) and I was wearing my lucky t-shirt (which hadn’t been washed) in the hope of another victory.
Uruguay’s only previous World Cup fixture to be played on June 30 saw them defeated 4-2 by Hungary in 1954.
However, they began this contest on the front foot and opened the scoring after just seven minutes thanks to Edinson Cavani, who headed home powerfully past Rui Patrício at the back post to score his 44th international goal from Luis Suárez’s teasing delivery.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Seleção drew level when Pepe met Raphaël Guerreiro’s terrific corner to head home unchallenged.
It was the first goal the Uruguayans had conceded in the tournament and the first they had conceded in the calendar year.
The European champions were level for barely seven minutes, however, as Uruguay regained their lead when Cavani curled home a superb strike into the far corner from inside the area.
The strike was enjoyed by Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, who said on Twitter: “Boy oh boy, Uruguay punch above their footballing weight like no other country. Cracking finish from Cavani, one of their 3 million people.”
Portugal had a good opportunity to level the scores once more when Guerreiro’s teasing cross was spilled by keeper Fernando Muslera into the path of Bernardo Silva, but the Manchester City man volleyed the ball over the bar of the unguarded net.
The Portuguese were doing everything to find an equaliser, while Óscar Tabárez’s men were doing everything within their power to deny Fernando Santos’ men and were throwing themselves at every shot.
Keeper Patrício even came up for a corner late on, but couldn’t produce a moment of magic as Portugal were eliminated at this stage for the second time in eight years and my t-shirt’s luck ran out.
In addition, Lineker commented on the fact that both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi would be exiting the competition on the same day on Twitter,
“Both Ronaldo and Messi go home. Both remain without a goal in the knockout stages of any World Cup. Remarkable for 2 of the games all time greats.”