The Portuguese advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals on Monday with France and Brazil thanks to a 2-0 win over Uruguay. A cross-come-shot nine minutes into the second half and a penalty in stoppage time from a handball by Jose Maria Gimenez were both goals for the Manchester United midfielder. Bruno Fernandes scored twice to beat Uruguay 2-0.
The first pitch invader of the Qatar tournament was present for the match in Doha’s beautiful 89,000-capacity Lusail Stadium; he carried words of support for Ukrainian and Iranian women and a rainbow flag. Since Portugal has already advanced from Group H, Uruguay’s only hope of joining them is a victory over Ghana in their final match.
Bruno Fernandes scored twice to beat Uruguay 2-0
Both teams made three substitutions from their previous games, with Portugal replacing Danilo Pereira, who suffered cracked ribs in training, with veteran Pepe. Pepe’s participation in the World Cup set a record for the third-oldest starting outfielder in tournament history. The first half was controlled by Portugal, who kept the ball for most of it and created several scoring opportunities but never threatened Uruguay’s goalkeeper Sergio Rochet.
Although Edinson Cavani and Darwin Nunez, Uruguay’s forwards, saw little of the ball. So, the South Americans enjoyed a better scoring chance in the first quarter. Rodrigo Bentancur took possession deep in his half and charged up the field. Also dribbling past two defenders before finding himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Diogo Costa.
The keeper spread himself effectively to block Bentancur’s attempt. In the first half, Portugal’s captain Cristiano Ronaldo was largely invisible. Still, he did provide a highlight for the crowd. It was by making a beautiful shoulder pass to set up William Carvalho for a volley he missed.
Once the intermission was through, the real action began. Portugal scored just as a pitch invader was spectacularly tackled off the field for waving an LGBTQ rainbow flag. Together with a message is supporting women in Ukraine and Iran. Ronaldo snuck in behind the defence to make a glancing header. As it was after Fernandes found some room on the left and curled an inswinging cross into the six-yard box.
Ronaldo turned away in celebration as the ball lodged in the goal, but FIFA ruled that he had not touched the ball, robbing him of a ninth World Cup goal that would have tied him with Portugal’s great Eusebio. As the South Americans started to apply pressure, Uruguayan coach Diego Alonso substituted strikers Maxi Gomez and Luis Suarez. Gomez’s 20-yard rip beat Costa but rebounded off the post.
While Suarez’s close-range effort went wide of the goal. Nearing the end of the 90 minutes, Fernandes nutmegged Gimenez, whose trailing hand deflected the ball away from the midfielder and prevented him from having a one-on-one with Rochet. Following a VAR review, Iranian referee Alireza Faghani awarded a penalty kick, which Fernandes converted with his trademark hop, skip lead-up. Then, from 20 yards out, he nearly scored a hat trick, but he missed the target.