Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani scored a superb brace to give his side a 2-1 win over European champions Portugal in their World Cup round-of-16 match.
Keep readinglist of 4 items
Uruguay’s victory earned them a quarter-final against France on Friday and sent world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo home after a subdued performance.
Pepe headed Portugal level in the 55th minute, the first goal Uruguay have conceded in the tournament.
But Uruguay regained the lead seven minutes later when Rodrigo Bentancur found Cavani and he curled a brilliant first-time shot past Rui Patricio from the edge of the penalty area.
Portugal’s loss means there will be no quarter-final showdown between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, whose Argentina were knocked out by France earlier on Saturday.
‘Cristiano still has a lot to give’
After the match, Fernando Santos, Portugal’s head coach, was asked if Ronaldo would go on playing for Portugal after this World Cup.
“Certainly, yes. Cristiano [Ronaldo] still has a lot to give, a lot to give to football and there is a tournament in September with UEFA and we hope Cristiano [Ronaldo] will be there with us.
“Of course, to help the younger ones to grow and this growth which is natural, we have a team with many young players and it’s important to have a captain present there and he is always there for us,” Santos said.
Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay’s coach, was satisfied with his side’s performance.
“I think that the distinctive feature here was the dedication that all the players showed and displayed on the pitch. And that is part of football, it’s part of the way of how we see football.
“It was difficult, our opponents had more ball possession, they were very often in our half of the pitch, something that we weren’t able to achieve, that could have been also better, to control the ball or even better carry it forward into the opponent’s half,” Tabarez said.
“At the beginning of the second half, it also showed, because Portugal were able to equalise, but they were constantly in our box. I was joking with my players, saying that even if you do everything that is necessary in football – intensity, focus, tactics, there will always be a mistake, because in football there are always mistakes in every match.”
Uruguay will play against France in the quarter-finals.
“It will be very difficult for us, but we will try to do it and we’ll do our best, which we think it is a lot. We won’t take anything for granted. We are in the quarter-finals and we are here to play all seven matches until the final,” Tabarez added.
“This is our dream and we will see when we play [against France] if we can make it become a reality,” he said.