Uruguay silence Russia to top Group A

Uruguay silence Russia to top Group A
epa06839073 Igor Smolnikov of Russia (R) fouls Diego Laxalt of Uruguay during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Uruguay and Russia in Samara, Russia, 25 June 2018.

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Jun 25, 2018. 17:59

Uruguay ended Russia’s winning run with a 3-0 triumph in their final Group A match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Samara Arena on Monday afternoon.

Both teams came to this clash hoping to secure a win to finish on top of the log table: Russia bagged two wins over Egypt and Saudi Arabia whilst the Uruguayan also overcame the Pharaohs and the Saudis.

Uruguay started to come out of the blocks within the first 10 minutes and were awarded a set piece on the edge of the box, Luis Suarez blasted home from a low driven shot two minutes later.

In their response, Artem Dzyuba nearly caught the South American defence napping in the 12th minute as he unleashed a powerful shot which Fernando Muslera failed to hold, but they cleared for a corner.

Oscar Tabarez’s men doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when Diego Laxait’s long range effort was deflected by Denis Cheryshev into the top corner to beat Igor Akinfeev.

With nine minute to the interval, the hosts were reduced to 10 men after Igor Smolnikov was shown his second yellow card for a foul.

Coach Stanislav Cherchesov made changes immediately after they were numerically disadvantaged, but they went to the tunnel trailing by two goals.

Few chances created in the final third by both sides in the second half, but Dzyuba received a wonderfulball in the box, yet the forward wasted the chance just before the final 20 minutes of the match.

Despite their efforts to pull one, Russia were exposed at the back, allowing Edinson Canvani to make it 3-0 from a rebound in the box.

The South Americans held on as they finished the group stages without conceding and have nine points at the top whilst the hosts finish second with six points.

Uruguay: (2) 3 (Suarez 10’, Cheryshev OG 23’, Cavani 90’)
Russia: 0

Uruguay: Muslera, Godin, Coates, Caceres, Vecino, Laxalt, Nández (Rodriguez 73’), Bentancur (Arrascaeta 63’), Torreira, Cavani (Gonzalez 90’), Suarez

Russia: Akinfeev, Kutepov, Smolnikov, Kudryashov, Ignashevich, Samedov, Gazinsky (Kuzyayev 46’), Miranchuk (Somolov 60’), Cheryshev (Fernandes 38’), Zobnin, Dzyuba

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