Friday, 20 July, 2018

Uruguay sweating over Cavani for France clash

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Betsy Taylor | 03 July, 2018, 01:21

Two goals - one in each half from Edinson Cavani - gave Uruguay a 2-1 win over Portugal. But the Real Madrid superstar has been at the heart of much of what went right for Portugal at this World Cup.

He became the second teenager to score multiple goals in a knockout match at the World Cup.

Portugal opened their World Cup campaign in Sochi with a thrilling 3-3 draw against Spain, and midfielder Adrien Silva said his team have what it takes to score against a Uruguay rear-guard that has not been breached this year.

"We know that they were tight in the midfield, so we had some players playing wide to try to unblock the Uruguay defence, In the first half we did it less well".

Portugal will be disappointed with their performance against Uruguay after boasting nearly 70 per cent of possession and firing off 20 shots.

While Suarez seemed to play down or avoid questions about Ronaldo, it's clear Uruguay must continue to have the tightest defence in the tournament to keep Ronaldo and others under control.

Portugal won EURO 2016 and came to Russian Federation with high expectations after the surprise title in France two years ago, its first in a major tournament.

"In five days we have a match and we don't have a lot of time for recovery here", said Tabarez.

"France have so many young players who are full of talent, some experienced ones too, but once you get to the quarter-finals there are no favourites", warned Suarez.


Cavani headed in a Luis Suarez cross to open the scoring in the seventh minute and then curled in a brilliant 62nd-minute victor after Pepe had equalised for Portugal.

"Cavani has to thank Suarez today, but his movement has always been brilliant, finishing not always great but, for the first, he improvises brilliantly", said Keown.

But by defeating the reigning European champions, the two-time World Cup winners will face France in Nizhny Novgorod on Friday with hopes of making it to the semifinals and keeping alive the prospect of an all-South American clash in the final.

At 33, Cristiano Ronaldo must surely be nearing the end with Portugal's national team.

Portugal had no Plan B to fall back on to answer Cavani's masterful strikes on either side of Pepe's headed goal in the 55th minute. "The team didn't win because Uruguay scored twice".

Cavani received the ball from Rodrigo Betancur and sprayed a wonderful 40-yard diagonal pass to Luis Suarez.

And against Uruguay, they managed 61 per cent ball possession, played more than double the number of passes of their opponent, and with a much better pass accuracy.

"We have a very strong team in terms of mindset", Tabarez said.

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