Suarez vs. Ronaldo subplot of Uruguay-Portugal Round of 16 showdown

Portugal

Portugal

Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani scored a stunning brace to lead the South Americans to a 2-1 win over European champions Portugal in the World Cup round of 16 on Saturday and set up a quarter-final against France.

His four-goal tally in three games - including a hat-trick against Spain - had Portugal dreaming of their first World Cup quarter-final appearance since 2006.

Earlier in the day, France beat Argentina 4-3 and sent Lionel Messi and his squad packing.

Messi's return in Russian Federation was more meagre - at times he looked disillusioned on the field as Argentine struggled to find anything like their usual style and he drifted deep into midfield in the forlorn hope of influencing games.

Ronaldo finished his World Cup campaign with four goals, one adrift of England´s Harry Kane who leads the standings with five. The Uruguayans had gone 598 minutes since November 2017 without allowing a goal.

Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez provided the bulk of the defensive work, being situated at the heart of the backline, but Diego Laxalt was particularly impressive in an unfamiliar left back position, winning the ball and stopping crosses coming in, before using his pace and tenacity to get on the front foot. Godin marked Ronaldo in keeping away the latter's aerial threat. Pepe was again excellent, and a tactical switch by Fernando Santos at half time perhaps points the way for Portugal going forward, Bernardo Silva proving far more effective when moved into the middle, and looking Portugal's most likely route back into the game.

Pepe headed Portugal level in the 55th minute, the first goal Uruguay have conceded in the tournament.

Paris Saint-Germain striker Cavani curled home a superb 62nd-minute victor to settle a thrilling second round duel in Sochi which sends Uruguay into a quarter-final against France next Friday.

After huffing and puffing his way through the opening two group matches, Uruguay's talisman Edinson Cavani has finally arrived at the party, and in some style. Muslera's long goal-kick was brought down by Bentancur 30 yards away, before the latter rolled a ideal pass towards the left where Cavani was unmarked.

Cavani sent the ball across the field to Suarez, who aggressively dribbled to the top corner of the penalty area.

Uruguay's hero of the evening, Cavani had to be substituted due to what looked like to be a muscle pull. Bentancur made way for veteran midfielder Cristian Rodriguez to see his side home towards the end.

62' - GOAL! Uruguay 2-1 Portugal: Wow, wow, WOW!

"There was a cross to the left, then a cross to the right - there is no scheme against that".

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