Bruno Fernandes sank Uruguay and sent Portugal to the last 16

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the goal long after the final whistle and despite all available evidence to the contrary. The star without a club was denied, and was also denied a piece of Portuguese football history, and may finally have to accept his country's quiet progress to the somewhat more important round of 16 of the World Cup. Bruno Fernandes scored twice – despite Ronaldo's protests that he converted the first goal against Uruguay – to ensure Portugal joined Brazil and France as the only teams with 100% starts in the competition.

The long-awaited clash of two talented and tempestuous heavyweights did not live up to expectations, but the repercussions could prove huge for Uruguay. South America must beat Ghana on Friday and hope Portugal help them against South Korea to avoid an early exit. Ghana have waited 12 years for the chance to avenge their famous defeat at the hands of Luis Suárez at the 2010 World Cup. How eager they are to torment a Uruguay team that is yet to become a household name in Qatar.

"It's a crucial game but it has nothing to do with what happened 12 years ago," said Uruguay head coach Diego Alonso. “This is a different situation. We will take all the weapons we have.” Alonso started with Federico Valverde, Rodrigo Bentancur, Darwin Núñez and Edinson Cavani. He brought on Suárez and Maxi Gómez, who both came close to equalizing before Portugal were awarded a huge penalty in stoppage time.

But they are the second best ever Portuguese side who needed to be patient before finding holes in Uruguay's tough defense in the second half. Uruguay committed its first foul in 25 seconds and earned its first yellow card after six minutes, when Bentancur foolishly fouled Rúben Dias. But it didn't develop into a game of needles and a game of boils, despite Pepe, Suárez and others. There was little sign of urgency from Uruguay either in the opening half hour as they allowed Portugal to dominate possession without seriously bothering goalkeeper Sergio Rochet. Cavani and Núñez were isolated until Bentancur brought some late positivity to Uruguay's performance.

The Tottenham midfielder should have opened the scoring after a good run from inside his own half that took him past William Carvalho and Dias. There was one job left to be done but, as Diogo Costa stepped up, he shot straight at Portugal's goal which saved with his thigh before rallying for the second attempt. The faces said everything. Bentancur looked up at the sky and cursed the finish. Dias and Carvalho glared at each other for lack of protection.

A lone and daring pitch invader ran onto the pitch early in the second half carrying a rainbow flag in protest at Qatar's discriminatory laws. The protesters wore Superman t-shirts which also read 'Save Ukraine' on the front and 'Respect the Women of Iran' on the back. He tussled with two security guards before the others helped escort him away.

As play restarted, Portugal took control thanks to Fernandes' wonderful cross from the left. Ronaldo read the Manchester United midfielder's intentions perfectly and, played onside by right full-back Guillermo Varela, rose to send a header into the far corner. Or so everyone thought of Ronaldo's celebration. Replays showed he never made contact and Fernandes deserved the goal.

Ronaldo stared at the giant screen with an expression of amusement and amazement as his ninth World Cup goal was ruled out. That would put him level with Eusébio's World Cup scoring record for Portugal. All nine of them came in the 1966 edition. "The most important thing is that we achieve our objective which is to qualify for the next round," said Fernandes. "I celebrated as if it was Cristiano's goal. It seemed to me that he had touched the ball. My goal is to pass the ball to him."

Uruguay responded well and it was a shame not to equalize when Gómez hit the post following a neat exchange on the edge of Portugal's penalty area. Costa was well beaten but saved by his left post. Suárez, who sparred with the fourth official before setting foot on the pitch, was inches from Giorgian de Arrascaeta's free kick at the near post. Their misfortunes were carried into extra time when Portugal were awarded a penalty after Fernandes nut-megged José María Giménez on the edge of the area. The ball hit the left defender's hand as he fell into a challenge and used his arm to support himself, but the Iranian referee was advised to check the pitchside monitor.

He awarded the cruelest of penalties, sparking understandable outrage among the Uruguay players. Fernandes kept his cool and with jumps, jumps and jumps, sent Rochet the wrong way from the spot. The United midfielder was denied a hat-trick by the foot of the Uruguay keeper and a post in stoppage time. He then had to listen to Ronaldo, who would have taken a penalty had he not been substituted, rambling on about the first goal while glancing at his hair. Ah well, so on and up. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form