Uruguay cruise past Russia 3-0 to secure top spot in Group A
Uruguay entered the match in second place with six points from their first two matches against Egypt and Saudi Arabia with a goal difference of six. Hosts Russia came into the match atop the group also with six points a goal difference of six, but had eight goals compared to Uruguay’s two and were thus in first place. Both Uruguay and Russia had qualified to the Round of 16 after Uruguay beat Saudi Arabia last week, thus this match only determined who would finish in first and second place.
It took just nine minute for La Celeste to go ahead against the hosts when Barcelona striker Luis Suárez scored a wonderful free-kick. The goal was his second of this World Cup and his seventh since making his World Cup debut in 2010.
Shortly after, Russia attempted to get back into the match but between the goalkeeper and defenders, Uruguay were able to keep them at bay. Though Russia looked promising, they quickly conceded a second goal after Diego Laxalt’s initial shot that looked to be going wide was redirected by Denis Cherychev past the keeper. Things went from bad to worse for the hosts as right back Igor Smolnikov received two yellow cards in quick succession to force Russia to play with ten men the rest of the match. In response, Stanislav Cherchesov replaced Cherychev with Mario Fernandes.
The second half saw Uruguay dominating the hosts who were a man down. La Celeste had 11 shots just in the second half with four of them on target. Edinson Cavani opened is 2018 World Cup account with one of those shots which he scored in the dying minutes of the match to put the final nail in the coffin of an otherwise dominant performance. With the result, Uruguay finish atop Group A and will face the second placed finisher of Group B while Russia will face the winner of Group B. Their opponents will be final after Monday’s matches.
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