Uruguay defeated Russian Federation to win group A

28 June, 2018, 16:48 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • A fan of Team Russia waves the Russian flag ahead of a 2018 FIFA World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Uruguay at Samara Arena

Uruguay secured Group "A" honours at the Russia World Cup finals following their 3-0 trouncing of host nation Russia in the top-of-the-table clash on Monday.

Coach Stanislav Cherchesov had made two more changes but they also backfired spectacularly, with Igor Smolnikov sent off in the 36th minute after a second booking, and Fyodor Kudryashov equally overworked in defense.

Oscar Tabarez switched to a back-three for this one, with Sampdoria's Lucas Torriera joining Rodrigo Bentancur of Juventus and Inter's Matias Vecino in midfield.

World Cup debutant Igor Smolnikov's red card in the 36th minute was the knockout blow for Russian Federation.

Russian Federation pushed hard in the second half to try and get back into the game, but Edinson Cavani scrambled home from a corner to seal a comprehensive win.

Edinson Cavani later added a third goal for his country with a poacher's finish from Diego Godin's header at a corner.

But his two past World Cups have been marked by controversy: He was sent home from Brazil four years ago for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

The veteran forward said that while Gimenez is an important member of the squad, there are other quality players who can replace him in Monday's match.

Nearly every set-piece was delivered too long, and there were so many key sloppy passes - like Yuri Gazinskiy's to begin the passage of play that led to Suarez scoring from a free-kick - or Mario Fernandes' when for once early in the second half Uruguay looked like they might be opened up. Ranked No. 14, La Celeste defeated Egypt 1-0 in its tournament opener and then had the same result against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

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Cherchesov also says that Russian football players rode roughshod over the beginning of such hard matches as the one against Uruguay was.

Uruguay is making its 12th appearance at the World Cup, which it won in 1930 and 1950.

However, without detracting from Uruguay's performance, Cherchesov had some harsh words for his own side's undisciplined display - particularly Igor Smolnikov's dismissal for a second bookable offence in the first half.

"After winning the first two matches 1-0, our goal was to get another", Suarez said.

The Sky Blues doubled their lead in the 23rd minute after Diego Laxalt's strike from outside the box took a huge deflection off Denis Cheryshev and sailed into the back of the net, 2-0. The decision was confirmed after a video review.

The same goes for Russian Federation, who will face the Group B winners.

Yet the hosts are brimming with confidence having made it past the group stage of a World Cup for the first time since the Soviet Union lost to Belgium in the last 16 in 1986.

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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