Russia 2018: Cavani stars as Ronaldo joins Messi

Russia 2018: Cavani stars as Ronaldo joins Messi

Edinson Cavani scored a brace, as Uruguay defeated European Champions, Portugal, 2-1 in their round of 16 tie on Saturday.

On the day that his rival, Lionel Messi crashed out, Cristiano Ronaldo put up an underwhelming performance in the first round of the knockout phase.

Instead, it was Paris Saint-Germain forward, Edinson Cavani, who stole the show with his man of the match display, netting a brilliant brace as Uruguay advanced to the last eight.

 

Cavani scored in either half, before he limped off with an injury late into the second half, with Cristian Stuani taking his place.

The 29-year-old gave his side a first half lead, courtesy of a bullet header, after meeting a wonderful cross from Luis Suarez in the seventh minute.

Portugal found their way back into the game, as they equalised through Pepe, who found space and all the time to head home from a Raphael Guerreiro cross, to level scores at 1-1.

It was the first goal Uruguay had conceded in the tournament, having finished the group stages without letting in a goal.

However, just seven minutes after Portugal’s goal, it became the Cavani show, the ex-Napoli hitman latched on to a through pass from Rodrigo Bentancur, bending excellently beyond the reach of Rui Patricio to restore Uruguay’s lead.

Despite a late barrage of attacks from the Europeans, the South Americans defended stoutly, holding on for their first win over Portugal in what was their third encounter.

The result means they secured a quarter tie against France, who defeated Messi and Argentina earlier on in their first match of the round.

It also is the first time Uruguay will be winning their first four games at the world cup since they last achieved the feat in 1930.

For Ronaldo and his teammates, it’s the end of the road for them, as they book their flight back to Portugal.

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