Portugal beat Uruguay 2-0 to qualify for the FIFA World Cup knockout stage thanks to a brace from Bruno Fernandes.
Portugal needed the win to progress to the knockout stage and the Manchester United midfielder made it possible.
Recall that Group H exhibited an intriguing group openers; Fernando Santos’ team held on to beat Ghana 3-2; and the three points gave the team the motivation to contend more for the World Cup trophy.
Despite Suarez and Darwin Nunez of Liverpool’s efforts to spark Uruguay’s offense after they were held to a drab 0-0 draw with South Korea – they could barely do anything worthwhile against Portugal.
Portugal did not just outplay the South Americans, they made it difficult for them to qualify after Ghana won South Korea 3-2 in an intriguing match earlier today.
Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in five World Cup competitions as Portugal displayed their offensive flair against Ghana prior to today’s encounter.
Although they were tested by Uruguay’s tenacious defenders, they ensured that they exacted revenge for La Celeste’s Round of 16 elimination they suffered four years ago.
Portugal started off in a good foot as Ronaldo led the attack as they mounted pressure on Uruguay for the first 30 minutes.
Despite setting up a Roberto Carlos run, Ronaldo’s free kick hit the wall. The freekick was captured on camera for at least 20,000 times.
Portugal amassed a total of 75% possession within the first half-hour with a total of 255 passes while Uruguay barely completed 100 passes.
Rodrigo Bentancur, who did brilliantly to get past Portugal’s defense, gave Uruguay the best opportunity of the game, but he blew it.
Firing from a one-on-one position right at Diogo Costa.
Cristiano Ronaldo was presented with another opportunity for Portugal when a cross from the right landed on his chest close to the six-yard box. However, the star forward was unable to score as he shot directly at Rui Patricio.
After several misses, that was Portugal’s first shot that was close enough to put pressure on the defense of the Uruguay.
The first half came to an end after three additional minutes with just an attempt on goal for both countries.
Second half started in a fast pace as Uruguay came all out with hard tackles on the Portuguese squad.
Referee paused the game in the 50th minute as a fan ran into the pitch wielding the LGBTQ flag and dumped it on the pitch.
Portugal was given the chance to investigate Uruguay’s goal right away after Joao Felix won a corner kick from the left.
From the set piece, Bruno Fernandes moved the ball to Ruben Neves, who fired a cross toward the six-yard box, but Uruguay headed it clear and the South American team avoided trouble.
When Portugal’s efforts appeared to be in vain, Bruno Fernandes scored for the team.
Fernandes of Manchester United gave his team the lead in the 54th minute by a cross that seemed like it was headed past Sergio Rochet by Cristiano Ronaldo.
In the 72nd minute, Uruguay again went to their bench, bringing in Maximiliano Gomez and seasoned striker Luis Suarez.
For the two players, Darwin Nunez and Edison Cavani made room.
As he entered the game, veteran striker Suarez came close to scoring.
From the next free kick, the Uruguayans had a fantastic opportunity for Suarez, but the former Liverpool and Barcelona striker missed the ball from close range.
Just when we thought the match was going to end in a one nil, Uruguay committed a foul in the penalty box. But it took the intervention of the VAR before a spot-kick was given.
Fernandes tried to dummy the Uruguay defender but the defenders hand blocked the ball and VAR reviewed it to be a handball.
Manchester United’s midfielder Bruno Fernandes scored from the penalty spot with his signature style, run, jump and placed the ball in the back of the net.
The goal was scored in the 93rd minute which obviously was the end of the South American team who might not make it past the group stage.
Portugal safely navigated the remaining minutes to earn a 2-0 victory that ensures their spot in the round of 16.