Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Life&Culture | By Jesus Walton

Cavani sends Uruguay to World Cup last eight as Portugal bow out

Cavani sends Uruguay to World Cup last eight as Portugal bow out

After almost five and a half hours of football, it was the first goal Uruguay had let in at this World Cup - indeed it was the first they had conceded in 2018.

Uruguay played a flawless group stage against relatively weak opponents to make it to the Round of 16, but the South American side proved it has what it takes to make a deep run at the World Cup by sending the reigning European champions home on Saturday.

On the same day Lionel Messi was sent home in Argentina's loss, the other "GOAT" at this tournament was also eliminated. It was two weeks ago that Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in the same stadium against Spain, in a thrilling 3-3 draw in their opening game in Russian Federation.

Veteran coach Oscar Tabarez is at his third World Cup in his current stint with Uruguay. "It's not the time to talk about the future of the coach, the players, the squad", he said, "but rest assured that this national team will continue to be one of the best in the world".

What time does the FIFA World Cup 2018 Uruguay v/s Portugal match starts (time in IST)? Cavani switches the play with a lovely diagonal pass, which Suarez takes down.

Cavani switched play with a long cross to Luis Suarez and continued his run to head home a pinpoint deep cross from the Barcelona forward and give Uruguay a seventh-minute lead. With that said, Rodrigo Bentancur soon restored the advantage as he laid on the second for Cavani. I don't have words to describe it. He was helped to the sideline with his arm around Ronaldo's back.

Portugal have not lost a competitive match with Ronaldo in the side since the 2014 World Cup, although they were beaten on penalties by Chile at last year's Confederations Cup.

Known for being deadly from set pieces, the 33-year-old drilled his effort into the wall this time - unable to repeat his free kick heroics against Spain in the first game of the tournament - but it was his look rather than his right-foot thunderbolt that had fans talking.

"It's not just in this World Cup that they have not been conceding goals - it has been like that for the whole of 2018".

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Since the format of the World Cup changed in 1986 to include a round of 16, Uruguay have been eliminated on three of the four occasions they have reached that stage, losing in 1986, 1990 and 2014, but progressing in 2010 against South Korea.

Ronaldo is one of the best strikers in the world, he has great potential. Meanwhile, three of Portugal's last four goals have come from outside the box.

Portugal defender Pepe made Uruguay pay for sitting back when he leapt unmarked to head in a cross from Raphael Guerreiro following a short corner to level the match at 1-1 in the 55th minute.

However, 10 minutes later, Cavani was done, limping off in obvious pain.

It was a five-pass buildup from deep in their own end that culminated in Uruguay's first goal, and the final two passes were ideal. It was Cavani who floated a cross-field ball to Suarez on the opposite flank before sprinting to the far post. Suarez makes a brilliant cross from the left for Cavani to head the ball past the goalkeeper.

There are many possible factors for Europe's grip on the World Cup, but South America's contribution to the world game is at least on a par with Europe, with so many of its players starring for European clubs.

Stopping Ronaldo. It was that simple for Uruguay.

And as he limped off the pitch, he was given a helping hand courtesy of Portugal's captain. They're fortunate to have advanced and need to find a way to capitalize on scoring opportunities to get by a tough Uruguay team. The Uruguayans had gone 598 minutes since November 2017 without allowing a goal.

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