Synopsis: Portugal’s 2-0 victory advances them to the World Cup knockout stage, the third team after France and Brazil.
Portugal advances to the last 16 when Fernandes scores twice against Uruguay.
Bruno Fernandes scored twice as Portugal defeated Uruguay 2-0 to advance to last 16 of the World Cup with one group game remaining.
Portugal dominated possession in a goalless first half on Monday, but Uruguay’s Rodrigo Bentancur created the best chance of the half, running past three Portugal players only to fire his shot directly at Diogo Costa in goal.
In the 54th minute, a cross from Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes found the back of the net.
Cristiano Ronaldo had initially celebrated the goal as his after the ball appeared to graze his head, but FIFA determined 10 minutes later that it had actually been Fernandes’ goal.
In the 72nd minute, Uruguay brought on veteran striker Luis Suarez and Maximiliano Gomez to replace Darwin Nunez and Edinson Cavani.
Despite Suarez winning a free kick with some acrobatics and Gomez rattling the post shortly after entering the pitch, Uruguay were unable to convert their chances.
After a VAR review, Portugal was awarded a penalty in injury time, with Jose Maria Gimenez found to have handled the ball as he fell, after Fernandes knocked it past him in the penalty area.
Portugal advanced to the round of 16 when Fernandes converted a penalty. A late strike against the post prevented him from completing a hat-trick.
Uruguay is at the bottom of Group H, but if they beat Ghana on Friday and Portugal wins or draws against South Korea, they could still qualify.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos thinks his squad deserved to beat Uruguay.
“The crew did an excellent job of carrying out my instructions. “They had one or two bad moments,” he said after the game. “We’re done, but we need to keep working and improving.”
Ronaldo, according to Fernandes, scored the first goal.
“He appeared to have touched the ball,” he stated. “We’re even happier with the win, regardless of who scores.”
Uruguay coach Diego Alonso stated his players needed to “get over” their loss and focus on the next game.
“We have to win. “We must maintain our faith and optimism,” he said.
- Diogo Costa saves Bentancur’s shot in a one-on-one situation on the 32nd minute.
- Match interrupted in 51st minute after an invader runs onto the pitch with a rainbow flag.
- Bruno Fernandes gives Portugal lead in the 54th minute with a cross which goes into the bottom right corner. Ronaldo claims a touch with his head but goal is officially awarded to Bruno.
- Maximiliano Gomez strikes the right post in the 75th minute, three minutes after being subbed on for Darwin Nunez.
- Fernandes converts a penalty and makes it 2-0 for Portugal in the third minute of stoppage time.
Defending champion France was the first team to seal a round of 16 berth with 4-1 and 2-1 wins over Australia and Denmark, respectively in Group D.
Five-time winner Brazil too ensured a spot in the knockout round after its 1-0 win over Switzerland earlier in the day. The South American nation had defeated Serbia 2-0 in its tournament opener.
For more, visit Zesacentral!