Published: Thu, June 28, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Uruguay beat Russian Federation 3-0 to top Group A

Uruguay beat Russian Federation 3-0 to top Group A

Russian Federation then had Igor Smolnikov shown a red card for a second bookable offence in the 36th minute, basically putting the result beyond doubt.

Uruguay go into the game having yet to concede a goal at Russian Federation 2018, seeing off Egypt and Saudi Arabia both by 1-0 scorelines.

Uruguay, on the other hand, have been less entertaining and less convincing.

Cavani could have added a third just after the hour, but the Paris Saint-Germain striker elected to go down under pressure from Sergei Ignashevich rather than get a shot off, failing to fool referee Malang Diedhiou.

Suarez looked determined to impress after his poor opening match against Egypt, and it was his clever low free-kick that set the tone for what was a very comfortable victory.

The only advantage of the Russian national team's loss to Uruguay in the final round of the group stage of the World Cup is the place of the next match in the 1/8 finals - at the Moscow stadium Luzhniki.

Oscar Tabarez's men raced into a two-goal lead with just 23 minutes gone, thanks to a smart Luis Suarez free-kick and a deflected Diego Laxalt effort that came off Cheryshev.

"It is clear we were not happy having lost such a creative player as Alan but naturally when we're getting ready for a tournament we have to think about all the options", the head coach told a media conference. He scored one goal in each tournament in South Africa in 2010, when Uruguay reached the semifinals, and in Brazil in 2014, when the South Americans were eliminated in the round of 16.

Edinson Cavani celebrates Uruguay's third goal.

Egypt also gave 45 year-old keeper Essam El-Hadary a chance to become the oldest ever player to appear at a World Cup.

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

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.

Their struggles so far mean a shake-up in midfield is likely, with Sampdoria's Lucas Torreira a certain inclusion after impressing as a substitute against the Saudis.

At the opposite end of the pitch, Suarez provided that extra touch of quality that Saudi Arabia - or a half-fit Mohamed Salah - could not.

Portugal finished second in Group B after a draw with Iran.

Seeing as the Russians' next match will be against Group B winners Spain in the round of 16 on Sunday, it's hard to disagree with their manager's assessment.

The Three Lions have cruised to the knockout stages and captain Harry Kane is leading the scoring at the tournament so far with five goals, including a hat trick.

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