Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Brilliant Edinson Cavani double sends Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal home

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo has scored four goals in this World Cup for Portugal
Diane Mills | 01 July, 2018, 05:14

The World Cup lost its headline acts on Saturday as the game's two biggest stars, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, readied to leave Russian Federation after their teams were eliminated in the round of 16.

However, Cavani struck a well-placed shot in the 62nd minute to ensure that Portugal moves on to the quarter finals. It is no longer about winning the World Cup; his targets are predominantly personal.

Cavani had already put Uruguay in front early on, only for Pepe to head Portugal level in the 55th minute in a thrilling contest that was not the battle of attrition many predicted.

Uruguay, the two-time world champions who reached the semifinals in 2010, will next face France on Friday (Saturday NZ time) in Nizhny Novgorod.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos is adamant his captain will continue to make himself available for selection and when asked if Ronaldo still will be in action at the European Championships in 2020 and the World Cup two years later, he said: 'Certainly, yes.

Suarez and Cavani have both found the net in three consecutive World Cups, and they have five goals between them here in Russian Federation.

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.

Two-time winners Uruguay cruised through Group A, winning all three games, scoring five times and not conceding any, with a 3-0 win over Russian Federation securing top spot.

Ronaldo was involved somewhat in Portugal's goal, even if he didn't come close to getting a touch on the cross.

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But they were level for just seven minutes as Cavani swept home a sensational victor.

EARLY GOAL It was a five-pass build-up from deep in its own end that culminated in Uruguay's first goal, and the final two passes were ideal. Just a few steps inside Portugal's half, Cavani hit Suarez with a pinpoint cross over the top of the back line, and immediately made a run behind the Portuguese defense.

Edinson Cavani latches onto the end of a Luis Suarez cross to nod in Uruguay's opener.

Mbappe, the first teenager since Brazilian great Pele in the 1958 final to score two goals in one World Cup match, then took over to send Argentina slumping out of the finals before the quarter-final round for the first time since 2002.

However, Uruguay soon led again when Cavani curled in a peach of a finish, though his delight soon turned to anguish as the striker limped off after appearing to pull a muscle.

And the Uruguayans hold their opponents in equally high regard, conscious that Ronaldo is supported by younger talents like Bernardo Silva and Goncalo Guedes.

20 minute: Free-kick to Uruguay Suarez goes down after a challenge from Raphael Guerreiro.

It was not Uruguay's finest performance, but the result is what counts for La Celeste.

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