September 20, 2018
Professional Sports Latest News | Poll Questions | High Lobsters | Carpet Fire Hazard | Goose Reunion

Uruguay wins; Spain, Portugal also advance after ties in group finales

Rebecca Blackwell | AP
Rebecca Blackwell | AP
Russia's Igor Smolnikov stops Uruguay's Cristhian Stuani during the group A match between Uruguay and Russia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Samara Arena in Samara, Russia, Monday, June 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Updated:

SAMARA, Russia — Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani scored a goal each and Uruguay went on to defeat Russia 3-0 on Monday, finishing undefeated in group play and handing the host nation its first loss of the World Cup.

Uruguay, which also benefited from an own-goal in the first half, had its third straight shutout of the tournament after consecutive 1-0 victories over Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

By advancing to the round of 16 with victories over Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Russia secured its best World Cup showing in the post-Soviet era.

Suarez, who seems to have put past World Cup controversies behind him, scored with a low shot from just outside the box that sailed past the wall of Russian players and into the right corner of the goal. The Barcelona striker blew a kiss to the corner of Samara Stadium where most of La Celeste’s cheering supporters were seated.

Uruguay went up 2-0 over Russia on an own-goal — the sixth of the World Cup to tie the tournament record. Midfielder Diego Laxalt’s shot from long range deflected off Denis Cheryshev’s foot and past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

Russia, the lowest ranked team in the field at No. 70, went down to 10 men after right back Igor Smolnikov received a second yellow card in the 36th minute. Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov immediately took off Cheryshev for defender Mario Fernandes.

Cavani scored in the 90th minute and was taken out a short time later. The Paris Saint-Germain forward put a rebound into the left corner of the net after Diego Godin’s header was parried by Akinfeev.

Portugal, 1, Iran 1

SARANSK, Russia — Cristiano Ronaldo’s missed penalty cost Portugal first place in its World Cup group.

Portugal finished second in Group B after a 1-1 draw with Iran on Monday. The 2016 European champions will next face Uruguay on Saturday in the round of 16.

Instead of Ronaldo, it was Ricardo Quaresma who scored for the Portuguese. The 34-year-old midfielder responded to his first start of the tournament by producing one of the more aesthetically pleasing goals of group play.

Quaresma became Portugal’s oldest scorer in World Cup play by hitting a curling shot from the edge of the penalty area that went beyond the reach of diving Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand.

Quaresma’s goal came on a night when Ronaldo — who had scored all four Portugal goals in its first two games of Group B play — was denied on a penalty by Beiranvand.

Karim Ansarifard scored a late penalty for Iran, which need to win to advance but couldn’t break through a second time despite a furious charge in the waning minutes.

Spain won the group after its 2-2 draw with Morocco. Both Spain and Portugal had a goal difference of plus-1, but Spain scored six goals in its three group matches while Portugal had five.

Spain will next face host Russia on Sunday in Moscow.

Quaresma had never scored in a World Cup game; he had nine international goals in 78 previous appearances. But his goal had all the flare of a Ronaldo strike. He sent the shot with the outside of his right foot right into the far corner near the end of the first half.

Ronaldo has now missed six of his last 14 penalty kicks.

Iran has now been to five World Cups — all since 1978 — but has yet to advance out of group play.

Portugal 2, Morocco 2

KALININGRAD, Russia — A video replay in injury time gave Spain the goal it needed to win Group B at the World Cup.

Spain substitute Iago Aspas scored the late equalizer Monday in a 2-2 draw with Morocco. His clever deflection off a cross from Dani Carvajal was initially disallowed for offside, but the video assistant referee overruled the call at Kaliningrad Stadium. The decision set off a touchline melee among players from both sides.

Another substitute, Morocco forward Youssef En Nesyri, headed in a goal in the 81st minute to give already-eliminated Morocco hope of a victory.

Earlier, a mix-up by Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos gifted Morocco its first goal of the World Cup, with Khalid Boutaib pouncing on the loose ball and scoring in the 14th minute. Iniesta made amends five minutes later by setting up Isco at the other end to bring Spain level at halftime.

With Portugal also drawing with Iran, Spain progressed as group winner because it scored more goals and next plays host Russia on Sunday in Moscow, while Portugal plays Uruguay in Sochi a day earlier.

Spain, on a 23-match unbeaten run, was far from convincing in group play and again displayed defensive frailties to concede twice against a Morocco team that hadn’t scored a goal in its two previous group matches.

Spain is through as group leader and faces Russia in the round of 16 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday. Portugal’s 1-1 draw with Iran left Ronaldo’s team second and facing a knockout match against Uruguay on Saturday in the next round.

Saudi Arabia 2, Egypt 1

VOLGOGRAD, Russia — The oldest person to play in a World Cup match gave up a pair of goals Monday, allowing Saudi Arabia to beat Egypt in a game between two teams that had already been eliminated.

Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, who is 45, took the field for his team’s final group match to set the record.

Although he gave up the two goals, he also saved a penalty in the first half.

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

Mohamed Salah had put Egypt ahead in the 22nd minute when he deftly controlled a long ball from Abdalla Said that split the Saudi defense and then lobbed goalkeeper Yasser Almosailem.

Salman Alfaraj got the Saudis level with a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time after Ali Gabr brought down Fahad Almuwallad in the area.

Saudi Arabia finished Group A in third place with three points, while Egypt was last after losing all three of its games.


Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like