Friday, 20 July, 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo struggles in the face of Uruguay's Madrid centric defence

Portugal Portugal
Jeannette Daniel | 01 July, 2018, 05:15

Prior to Saturday's showdown, Ronaldo had failed to score or assist a goal in the knockout stages of a World Cup.

Cavani now has three goals at the World Cup, but limped off in the 70th minute with an apparent injury and had to be replaced. It is no longer about winning the World Cup; his targets are predominantly personal.

La Celeste managed to contain Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal for the remainder of the first-half but Pepe found space at a corner just 10 minutes into the second period to restore parity.

Although a draw against Iran in Portugal's own final group game very almost turned into an early exit from the World Cup, Ronaldo is nevertheless primed to play a pivotal role; for however long Fernando Santos' side remain in Russian Federation.

That doesn't sound like a player who is ready to give up on what has been a life-long World Cup dream and Ronaldo insisted he has enjoyed Russian Federation 2018 despite the outcome for his team.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, will have to be content with a last 16 finish in what could well be his final World Cup.

Suarez and Cavani have both found the net in three consecutive World Cups, and they have five goals between them here in Russian Federation.

Portugal had 61 percent of the possession and four times as many shots at goal as the Uruguayans, but Tabarez dismissed possession as a mere statistic and said what mattered was creating and converting chances.

The Uruguay vs Portugal round of 16 game will be played on June 30, Saturday at 11:30 pm India time.


Uruguay got off to a flying start, with Edinson Cavani scoring after just seven minutes, putting pressure on Ronaldo's side nearly immediately.

Being level lasted only seven minutes.

It was a five-pass buildup from deep in their own end that culminated in Uruguay's first goal, and the final two passes were flawless.

Edinson Cavani's early opener from a superb Luis Suarez cross put La Celeste in the driving seat, enabling them to sit back and soak up the Portuguese pressure. Suarez makes a brilliant cross from the left for Cavani to head the ball past the goalkeeper.

Uruguay has been one of the best teams at the 2018 World Cup having won all three of their Group stage games.

Uruguay chased every ball as if it was their last, with Cavani often dropping back to form a five-man midfield.

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.

2 minute: Free-kick to Portugal after Pepe goes down in a challenge from Cavani.

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