Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Suarez fires Uruguay past Saudi Arabia into the Round of 16

Luis Suarez of Uruguay celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group A match between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia at Rostov Arena on June 20, 2018 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

On his 100th worldwide cap, the Barcelona striker tapped home the winning goal from close range in the 23rd minute - his first of the tournament.

However, while they largely eliminated their defensive errors and enjoyed more possession than their opponents, they were made to pay for one lapse by goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais, whose misjudgement allowed Suarez to score.

The team are now qualified for the knockout stage and have a chance to win the group when they face host nation, Russia, on Monday in Samara. He takes on the pressure and he lives with pressure all the time and that's a very distinctive feature of Luis. "We'll see who we get now (in the next round)". Many Uruguayan fans do not care what style of football is played or what level the performance is at, so long as the final result is preferable. All the teams out there are good we respect all of them.

Juan Antonio Pizzi's Saudi Arabia continued to look far more assured on the ball than they did in the 5-0 drubbing by Russian Federation on the opening day of the tournament, with Hatan Bahbri firing a wild volley over shortly after seeing a long-range effort tipped away by Fernando Muslera. They were more functional than exhilarating and reliant upon the threat carried by Barcelona's Suarez and strike partner Edinson Cavani.

"The first game is over and nerves are easing a bit", the Juventus midfielder told reporters.

"That was a huge blow to us and I'm proud of how my players came back from it", Pizzi said. Tonight we showed a lot of the things that we are capable of doing ...

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