Portugal dismantled Uruguay 2-0 to secure their spot in the round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup 2022 as Bruno Fernandes stole the show for the Europeans.
Quite First Half
The game started with few chances as both teams looked goal-shy. While Uruguay hardly threatened Portugal’s penalty box, Portugal controlled possession and had some brilliant passages of play but none resulting in many clear-cut opportunities.
In the 3rd minute, Ronaldo headed the ball inside the Uruguay penalty box from a Mendes throw-in to set up William on the volley, who fired it high and wide. In the 7TH minute, Mendes’s cross-field ball found Ronaldo on the right, who leaped majestically above his man to head it to the feet of Bruno, who took a shot from outside the box just wide off the far post.
Uruguay saw some of the little action they had in the first half in the 11th minute when Jimenez sent a header just over the bar. But the best chance of the half came for the South Americans in minute 31 when Bentancur went on a marauding run through the heart of Portuguese midfield and then snuggled the ball past William and Ruben Dias and took aim at goal, forcing Costa into making a great save.
Game Comes to Life After the Break
The second half had more intent from both sides to change the nil on the scoresheet. In the 51st minute, Portugal got a chance on the counter when Ronaldo shouldered down the ball with a classy touch into the path of Bernardo Silva, who glided ahead before playing it to Felix on the left. However, the Athletico playmaker could only hit the side netting from an acute angle.
Portugal finally got the goal to show up for all the possession they have had when in the 53rd minute Silva gave the ball to Guerreiro on the left. Bruno dropped in to take the ball from the left-back before turning towards the goal and whipping a delicious cross in for Ronaldo, who perfectly timed his run to leap in and head the ball past Rochet into the far bottom corner. However, replays showed that the ball didn’t need the touch by Cristiano to take it past the keeper and the goal was given to Bruno Fernandes.
The goal opened up the game as Uruguay pushed for an equalizer. In the 74th minute, the substitute Pellistri who was making things difficult for Portugal on the right since coming on, squared the ball to Gomez on the edge of the box, Gomez took a first-time shot, curling it past Costa but only to rattle the bar.
In the 77th minute, Arrascaeta swung in a freekick from the left to the near post, which bounced off to Suarez, who took a touch before firing into the side netting from inside the six-yard box. A minute later Valverde made a run on the right before sliding in a beautiful through ball onto the path of Arrascaeta, who got in-behind Dias and tried to dink the ball past Costa, but the goalie managed to save the 2016 European champions.
In the 88th minute, Silva cut in from the right and gave the ball to Bruno who nutmegged Giminez as the defender fell, with his hand landing behind his back and touching the ball inside the box. The play continued, but a minute later referee decided to go to the VAR and deemed it as a foul. Though completely accidental, Portugal got awarded a penalty for the handball, and Fernandes stepped up as he stuttered and hopped before coolly slotting the ball in the back of the net.
In the 7th minute of stoppage time, Leao sent a looping ball in from the left for Fernandes to poach upon on the far post. But the Manchester United man’s first-time shot was saved by Rochet. A minute later Bruno again was denied his hat trick, this time by the post. Leao did some good work on the byline before cutting it back to João Palhinha, who squared the ball to Fernandes, whose shot from the edge of the box shook the crossbar.
Portugal booked their places in the Round of 16 of the World Cup and will play South Korea in their last game hoping to secure pole position in the group. While Uruguay faces Ghana and would need win to have any chance to qualify for the next round.