Uruguay lead 2-0 against 10-man Russia in Group A decider

Elena Summers
June 28, 2018

Uruguay comfortably beat World Cup hosts Russian Federation 3-0 yesterday to seal top spot in Group A courtesy of a Luis Suarez free kick, a Denis Cheryshev own goal and a late Edinson Cavani strike.

Things didn't start well for Russian Federation, with Luis Saurez firing in a low free-kick with only 10 minutes on the clock.

In the second half, Uruguay was in no hurry to kill the opponent, but in the end still brought the score to devastating - the first goal of the tournament scored by Edinson Cavani.

Andrei Kanchelskis may have described them pre-tournament as "the worst Russian team I have ever seen" but that kind of negativity has not rubbed off on Cherchesov's men, who swept past Saudi Arabia 5-0 on opening night before subduing Egypt and Mohamed Salah to make it six points from six.

"Even though we had ten men we wanted to play".

Edinson Cavani eventually got the third goal for Uruguay in the last minute of regulation time with a close-range finish after Diego Godin's initial header was saved.

The coach rejected the notion that Smolov's presence alongside him guaranteed the striker would be starting, and suggested his yellow card when he did come on against Egypt could influence selection decisions, to avoid any potential suspensions for the second round. A reported 15 million pints of beer were sold in pubs and other venues televising the game.

"After winning the first two matches 1-0, our goal was to get another", Suarez said.

There was plenty of noise from the stands - so Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera will have had many quieter games in terms of volume - but he had little work to do as he became his country's all-time leading appearance maker at the World Cup.

Akinfeev kept his side's fading hopes alive by denying Betancur a goal on his 21st birthday five minutes later, although they were dealt a further blow nine minutes before the break when Smolnikov, who had earlier been booked for a foul on Cavani, felled Laxalt and received a second yellow card.

Russia, meanwhile, will face Group B winners Spain after last night's 2-2 draw with Morocco.

"The team is a mechanism and everyone has to be a part and we have to create comfortable conditions for every player to demonstrate his best abilities".

Uruguay have finished as first round group winners for the fifth time, having done so previously in 1930, 1950, 1954 and 2010.

Fourteen minutes later, the Uruguayans upped the score to 2-0, when a ball, kicked by midfielder Diego Laxalt, bounced off Denis Cheryshev's leg straight into his own net.

Because Russia had the advantage on goal difference from its first two group matches, it would have won the group with a draw. Both Spain and Portugal had a goal difference of plus-1, but Spain scored six goals in its three group matches while Portugal had five.

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