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  • Writer's pictureBruno Asoka

Bruno's double secures Portugal into the knockout stage

Portugal has advanced to the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup (FWC) after a spirited 2-0 victory over Uruguay gave them a ticket to the last 16. As a result, they have now lost just one of their previous fourteen FWC group stage games.

A tight first period between the two teams was largely overshadowed by some tenacious Uruguayan defense. Despite William Carvalho's best efforts, who thundered a volley just past the bar, there weren't many opportunities in the first 30 minutes. Neither goalie was called into any noteworthy action. Rodrigo Bentancur nearly took full advantage of his reprieve when he wriggled through the Portuguese back line, but a deft stop from Diogo Costa stopped the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder. Bentancur may have been fortunate to still be on the field after a series of fouls after already receiving an early booking.

When Portugal ramped up their efforts after the interval and scored inside ten minutes of the resumption, Costa's save turned out to be even more significant. When Bruno Fernandes clipped a wonderful ball into the area from too far away on the edge of the box,with the slightest of touches, the vivacious, Cristiano Ronaldo felt he had matched Eusébio's nine FWC goals for Portugal, however he was unable to make contact, and the goal was instead given to his old Manchester United colleague.

With just under 20 minutes left, Edinson Cavani was substituted and replaced by Luis Suárez. Uruguay may have missed his [Luis Suárez] experience and cunning, but it was another replacement, Maxi Gómez, who came the closest to scoring a leveler right away, his shot slamming off the crossbar. After Fernandes extended their lead from the penalty spot in stoppage time, Portugal played the rest of the match rather effectively and added some gloss to the outcome, leaving them needing just a point from their last group stage match against South Korea to secure first place in Group H.

La Celeste must defeat Ghana in their final game to have any chance of moving on, since Uruguay's campaign is in danger.

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