Uruguay 2-1 Portugal: Ronaldo & Portugal sent packing by coruscating Cavani brace

Wendy Jensen
July 1, 2018

Luis Suarez has insisted that his El Clasico rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo will be put to one side when Uruguay take on Portugal in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Earlier that day, Lionel Messi departed after France knocked out Argentina 4-3 in Round of 16 match.

Although a draw against Iran in Portugal's own final group game very almost turned into an early exit from the World Cup, Ronaldo is nevertheless primed to play a pivotal role; for however long Fernando Santos' side remain in Russian Federation.

INJURY CONCERN While Uruguay is advancing, it now must be concerned with the status of Cavani after he limped off the field and immediately called for a substitute.

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How Godin and Gimenez fare against Ronaldo is one of the intriguing subplots surrounding this fixture, though both sides' defensive records have some fearing a tiresome contest. And up front they boast two of the greatest goal-scorers of their generation in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

Pepe finally breached the Uruguay defence ten minutes after the break with a powerful header following a corner to make 1-1 for Portugal.

Real Madrid forward Ronaldo has scored four of Portugal's five goals so far, while Barcelona star Suarez netted against Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation. Cavani continued his run and Suarez curled the pass to the back post while Portugal defender Raphael Guerreiro was watching.

"Sometimes it is inevitable because when one midfielder or striker goes towards the goal to shoot, you have to cut the play before".

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Uruguay: Muslera 7, Gimenez 8, Godin 8, Laxalt 7, Caceres 6, Bentancur 6, Nandez 6, Torreira 6, Vecino 6, Suarez 8, Cavani 9.

Defender Jose Gimenez is set for a return for Uruguay after missing the victory over Russian Federation with a back injury. The five-times world player of the year may have filled his boots against Godin on several occasions, including two hat-tricks against Atletico, but the defender has also kept the prolific Portuguese quiet in many games, preventing him from finding the net in 13 of their last 20 meetings. KEYS TO THE GAME Stopping Ronaldo.

Ronaldo had company everywhere he went on the field and Portugal's supporting cast was unable to provide enough help.

Despite being one of just five teams to have won the World Cup a couple of times and boasting two of the finest strikers in European soccer in its attack, Uruguay flew under most people's radar heading into the World Cup. The Uruguayans had gone 598 minutes since November 2017 without allowing a goal. But with Uruguay sitting back, Portugal did equalise 10 minutes into the second half.

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