Cavani fires Uruguay into last eight as Ronaldo dream ends
Cavani fires Uruguay into last eight as Ronaldo dream ends
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01 July, 2018, 05:16
Argentina's 4-3 defeat to France left Messi without a goal in 756 minutes of World Cup knockout football, while Ronaldo failed to find the net as Portugal lost 2-1 to Uruguay, extending his goalless streak outside the group stage to 514 minutes.
Following Lionel Messi and Argentina's earlier loss to France, the result arguably marked the second time in one day that the world's greatest player had been eliminated from the tournament.
Cavani opened the scoring for Uruguay with a header off a cross by Luis Suarez in the seventh minute and added his second goal with a perfectly-timed side-footed shot in the 62nd, seven minutes after defenderPepe had equalized for Portugal in what was the first goal conceded by Uruguay at the tournament.
Edinson Cavani gave Uruguay the lead after just six minutes of play, heading home a Luis Suarez cross.
Coach Oscar Tabarez spoke ahead of the game about his team's togetherness and deep-rooted unity, with many of his players having first emerged during Uruguay's 2011 Copa America triumph, and their club mentality was on show against Portugal.
"I believe that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best strikers in the world", the Uruguay coach told a pre-match press conference.
It took Portugal almost 60 minutes to answer, with a technically executed header by Pepe on 55 minutes following a high ball cross from the corner.
But there was no late video review to benefit Portugal as Ronaldo's fourth World Cup came to an uneventful end.
Pepe's goal was the first time the South Americans' defence had been breached in this tournament, but they stood firm after that and are beginning to look like genuine contenders moving into the latter stages in Russian Federation. The world record is held by Iran's Ali Daei, who scored 109; if Ronaldo continues for another four years, that tally might not be beyond him.
Unfortunately for Portugal, none of the supporting cast stepped up in a match in which the team's captain, marquee player, and talisman registered just a single shot on target.
Ronaldo was involved somewhat in Portugal's goal, even if he didn't come close to getting a touch on the cross.
But parity did not last long, Cavani steering a brilliant curling finish into the corner after 62 minutes following Bentancur's beautifully-weighted pass into his path.
From it, Portugal were level as Pepe stormed in to head home from Guerreiro's delivery and grab the goal that they had increasingly threatened since the break.
Cavani sent the ball across the field to Suarez, who aggressively dribbled to the top corner of the penalty area.
He said: 'We played better than Uruguay but it's those who score more goals who win.
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