Ronaldo had the opportunity to stake his claim as the GOAT at the World Cup following Messi’s elimination but he, too, is being sent home after Portugal lost 2-1 to Uruguay courtesy of a dazzling Edinson Cavani display. Even though Portugal does not have the World Cup history that Uruguay has, Oscar Tabarez is quick to remind everyone that Portugal are the reigning European champions and that means they will come into the match with the experience garnered in winning a major title.
The concern going forward will be whether or not Suarez can do it without his strike partner if the injury that saw Cavani limp off with the aid of Ronaldo proves serious.
And Uruguay has identified Ronaldo, with four goals so far at Russian Federation 2018, as the biggest threat to their hopes of a place in the last eight.
Ronaldo did take defenders away from Pepe, allowing the defender to head in a 55th-minute equaliser, but this was a night when nobody else was able to come to the party and ease the creative burden on the Real Madrid superstar.
There was promise for Portugal when Silva threaded intelligent balls into the penalty area, but the threat was quickly snuffed out with the Atletico Madrid pair of Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin commanding throughout.
The World Cup match between Uruguay and Portugal will be broadcast live on Fox. Diego Simeone has enjoyed great success at club level, so why can’t Uruguay, with not just one but two outstanding strikers? It is hard to envisage Suarez, Godin, Pepe, Ricardo Quaresma and Edinson Cavani making it to Qatar in 2022 – although Ronaldo’s attempt to be a footballing Peter Pan ensures his presence can not be ruled out at age 37.
Uruguay are yet to concede a single goal at the 2018 World Cup, facing just six shots on target in three games – the last South American team not to concede in their first four matches of a World Cup tournament was Brazil in 1986.
Uruguay’s previous five goals at Russian Federation 2018 all came from set-pieces but they opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a goal of the highest quality.
Uruguay are yet to concede a goal in Russian Federation. It was that simple for Uruguay.
“We have to be strong as a team, as strong as Uruguay”.
Guerreiro fired over from the edge of the box after a corner had fallen to him, and then Ronaldo laid the ball back to Adrien Silva, whose shot was deflected behind for a 55th-minute corner.