Edition 1483
14 July 2018
Edition: 1483

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Portugal fail to deliver

by Chris Wright, in Sport · 05-07-2018 14:59:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal were eliminated by Uruguay in the World Cup and it was the double act from the city of Salto that did the damage.

Portugal fail to deliver

Uruguay’s second largest city, located some 500kms north- west of the capital Montevideo is where, on 24th January 1987, Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz was born.
A mere three weeks later, on Valentine’s Day, he was joined by Edinson Roberto Cavani Gómez and three decades on they were once again doing their hometown proud.
Barely seven minutes had been played at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi when Cavani, in a deep-right wing position, swept a pass out to the left flank where Suárez, having cut inside Ricardo Pereira, sent a perfectly weighted cross towards his strike partner as he moved towards the back post.
Cavani threw himself at the ball, which appeared to bounce off his face before flying past Rui Patrício and into the back of the net.
Portugal, in response, were unable to make any inroads at the opposing end, as Uruguay stood strong to frustrate Fernando Santos’ men and hold onto their 1-0 lead going into the interval.
The complexion of the game changed ten minutes after the restart as a quick corner and delivery from Raphaël Guerreiro was dropped into the box for Pepe, lurking behind the man-marked Cristiano Ronaldo, to head powerfully past Fernando Muslera.
The sides were level for a mere ten minutes before a poor defensive header fell to the feet of Rodrigo Bentancur who fed the ball out to Cavani, with the 31-year-old opening up his body to bend in a second goal from the edge of the box and making it 2-1 for Óscar Tabárez’s men.
Portugal dominated play for long spells and will regret Bernardo Silva’s miss shortly after Uruguay’s second, when the goalmouth was gaping.
Uruguay, however, were always confident that their backline would hold fast.
In fact Pepe’s goal was the first the South Americans had conceded in over eight-and-a-half hours of football going back to October last year when they beat Bolivia 4-2 and even then they were both own goals!
Bernardo Silva had the chance to bring Portugal back level after Fernando Muslera struggled to keep a hold of Guerreiro’s cross soon after, but the Manchester City starlet would snatch at his shot and fire over the bar.
In the closing minutes, when what appeared to be a blatant foul on the edge of the Uruguay area penalty went unpunished, Ronaldo screamed at referee Cesar Ramos and received the first and only yellow card of the game.
It was the outburst of a man who knew that in the fifth World Cup knockout game of his career, he would fail to find his first World Cup knockout goal.
His quest for the Golden Boot and perhaps the Ballon d’Or are gone.
He left the tournament on the same day as Lionel Messi and like his rival, there will be questions as to whether he will return.

 

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Edition 1483
14 July 2018
Edition: 1483

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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