Suarez scores again, Uruguay beats host Russian Federation 3-0

Arnold Nichols
June 28, 2018

Goals from Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani - either side of a luckless Denis Cheryshev own goal - condemned Russian Federation to second place in the group.

Igor Smolnikov received his marching orders on 36 minutes for two bookable offences to take the fight out of Sbornaya, who conceded a late third goal to Edinson Cavani. Coach Oscar Tabarez is expected to make changes in midfield and could even alter their tactical system, due to the inclusion of Lucas Torreira.

Much of the pre-match focus of this game has been on whether we should be suspicious of Russia's stunning start to the competition.

The hosts were rewarded with their best chances of the match, the first to Artem Dzuba, who fired wildly over the bar from inside the box, the second by Fedor Smelov, who dazzled to find space in behind the Uruguay defence but failed to pick out a team-mate with what looked to be an easy cut-back. Both are already assured of progressing to the round of 16.

The Association of British Travel Agents is reporting a rush on requests from England fans trying to get to Russian Federation for the World Cup. Both teams are already assured of spots in the round of 16, but they will be fighting to top Group G.

This year is the first time that Russian Federation have advanced from their group, the Soviet Union finished fourth in 1966, and face either Spain or Portugal in the next round after an impressive start to the tournament.

After an impressive win over Russia, Paul Mariner is impressed with Uruguay's attacking mentality and thinks they can challenge the top teams in the world.

Uruguay quickly settled into a passing rhythm and space opened up for Matias Vecino in the second minute, but his ambitious shot from 30 yards out rolled harmlessly wide of the left post. The last act was for Cavani to get his goal, converting a rebound from a Diego Godin header.

Salem Aldawsari scored with nearly the last kick, shooting from a tight angle inside the Egypt penalty area and poking the ball past El Hadary.

They may live to regret an error-strewn early spell that gave Uruguay a comfortable evening and, if the joy of the last 10 days is not to fall flat, will certainly need to regroup when they walk out at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday. The FIFA World Cup is always decided by fine margins, so an advantage such as finishing as group winners rather than runners-up can potentially be a crucial factor in the long run.

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