Uruguay is on to the quarterfinals of the World Cup after a 2-1 over Portugal in Sochi on Saturday, sparked by Edinson Cavani’s sensational double.
Cavani scored in the seventh minute and then again in the 62nd, restoring Uruguay’s lead after Pepe had equalized on a header from a corner kick.
That goal ended Uruguay’s shutout streak at the World Cup, but La Celeste won’t pay too much mind to that as they prepare for a quarterfinal date vs. France, a 4-3 winner over Argentina earlier in the day.
Portugal tested Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera early, with a looping header going over his goal in the second minute, and then Ronaldo rifling a low shot from 20 yards right at the Galatasaray backstop three minutes later.
Uruguay was the one to strike first, though. It came in the seventh minute off an incredible combination between Cavani and Luis Suarez. The former played a cross from one touchline to the other for the latter, with Suarez returning the favor with a sumptuous cross toward the opposite post. Cavani met it with a powerful header to open the scoring and make it 1-0.
Suarez nearly doubled Uruguay’s lead in the 22nd minute. After earning a free kick, Suarez opted for a low ball the split through the wall, forcing a diving save from Rui Patricio to keep the Barcelona star from scoring.
Ten minutes later, Ronaldo was given the chance to equalize off a free kick of his own, taken from almost the same spot (albeit on the other side of the field) as his stunner vs. Spain in Portugal’s opening match. He blasted his kick into the wall, though, and Uruguay cleared the danger.
Pepe pulled Portugal even in the 55th minute off a corner kick. The veteran center back was first to the ball off a cross from the short corner, and he connected with power to make it 1-1.
The scoreline didn’t last long at all. Cavani scored his second of the match seven minutes later on a first-time curler off a pass from Rodrigo Bentancur, beating Rui Patrico and giving Uruguay the 2-1 lead.
Uruguay was dealt a setback when Cavani was forced off in the 70th minute with an apparent leg injury. Ronaldo, showing good sportsmanship, helped him off the field as he limped toward the sideline.
Portugal pushed for a second equalizer and forced Muslera into a tough save in the 86th minute. Manuel Fernandes fired in a tricky, speculative blast from distance, which bounced just in front of the goalkeeper, but he made the clean catch off the hop.
Things got heated late, when Portugal barked at the referee over a non-call over what it thought was a foul on Ricardo Quaresma and then again over what it thought was a handball off a late corner kick deep into stoppage time. The equalizer never came, though, and the final whistle sparked celebrations on the Uruguay sideline, with the South Americans one step closer to a third World Cup title, and a first since 1950.
Here were the lineups for both teams:
Here are the rosters for both sides:
Goalkeepers: Martin Campana (Independiente), Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama)
Defenders: Martin Caceres (Lazio), Sebastian Coates (Sporting Lisbon), Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Maximiliano Pereira (Porto), Gaston Silva (Independiente), Guillermo Varela (Penarol)
Midfielders: Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus), Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro), Nahitan Nandez (Boca Juniors), Gaston Ramirez (Sampdoria), Cristian Rodriguez (Penarol), Carlos Sanchez (Monterrey), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria), Matias Vecino (Inter Milan)
Forwards: Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Maximiliano Gomez (Celta), Cristhian Stuani (Girona), Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Manager: Oscar Tabarez
Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Beto (Goztepe), Rui Patrício (Sporting)
Defenders: Bruno Alves (Rangers), Cédric Soares (Southampton), José Fonte (Dalian Yifang), Mário Rui (Nápoles), Pepe (Besiktas), Raphael Guerreiro (Dortmund), Ricardo Pereira (FC Porto), Rúben Dias (Benfica)
Midfielders: Adrien Silva (Leicester), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), João Mário (West Ham), João Moutinho (Mónaco), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv), William Carvalho (Sporting)
Forwards: André Silva (Milan), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Gelson Martins (Sporting), Gonçalo Guedes (Valência), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas)
Manager: Fernando Santos