Match No. 34 – Uruguay(3) vs Russia (0)
Stadium: Samara Arena, Samara
Uruguay beat 10-man Russia 3-0 in Samara to secure top spot in Group A and ends the hosts’ perfect start to their home World Cup.
Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a low free-kick and Denis Cheryshev deflected a Diego Laxalt shot into his own net (23) before Igor Smolnikov was sent off for a second yellow card nine minutes before half-time.
Both sides had already qualified for the last 16 and Edinson Cavani poked home Uruguay’s third in injury-time to seal a victory.
With 57% of the ball, Uruguay were the better side, and with that much possession they hit a total of massive 16 shots, of which 6 were on target. And poor Russia only managed 3 shots, only 1 on target.
9: Gazinskiy receives a yellow card as he clatters into Bentacur.
10: GOOOAL! 1-0 Uruguay! Suarez steps up and drills a fantastic free kick into the bottom right hand corner, beyond the reach of Akinfeev.
14: SAVE! Dzyuba heads the ball down to Cheryshev, who smashes at goal and forces Muslera into a save.
23: GOOOOAL! 2-0 Uruguay! Dzyuba heads clear Lucas Torreira’s corner to the feet of Laxalt on the edge of the area and his shot took a wicked deflection off Cheryshev, completely wrong-footing Akinfeev, and nestling in the corner.
28: Smolnikov goes into the book after a foul on Cavani.
36: RED CARD! The game gets worse for Russia! Smolnikov lunges in on Laxalt and earns a second yellow card.
38: Russia respond by making a substitution, introducing Fernandez in place of Cheryshev.
60: Russia make their final change by bringing on Smolov for Miranchuk.
63: Uruguay replace Bentacur with De Arrascaeta in their first change of the game.
82: SAVE! Rodriguez tries to beat Akinfeev from distance but his effort is kept out.
90: GOAL! 3-0 Uruguay! Cavani finally gets his goal! Diego Godin’s powerful header after an Arrascaeta corner forced another sprawling stop from the Russia goalkeeper and the PSG forward was alert to prod home.
90: SAVE! Rodriguez strikes a fierce shot from outside the box towards the top right corner, but Akinfeev dives to superbly tip the ball over the bar.
93: Cavani is replaced by Gomez in the final change for Uruguay.
Luis Suarez(***): Suarez was again off the mark when he opened the scoring with a fantastic free kick and was always a constant threat to the Russian goal.
Artem Dzyuba(**): Dzyuba threatened the Uruguay goal on occasions but the reduction to ten men minimized his effect.
Player Ratings (***- Exceeded Expectation, ** – Met Expectation, * – Didn’t meet the expectation):
Outstanding Player: Lucas Torreira
In truth, there was not an outstanding performer on either side in a game which had a testimonial feel to it in the second half, but Lucas Torreira was effective in midfield for the winning side. He boasted the best pass completion of any Uruguay player and also made the joint-most interceptions (3), to help his team control the game for long spells. His corner also led to the Cheryshev own goal which ultimately secured top spot in the group.
Uruguay: Uruguay controlled the game for long spells and after Smolnikov’s red card, their task was just made much more easier.
Russia: After being two down and reduced to 10 men, Russia knew that they were down and out, but still a good effort from them.
Viewer Rating: **
Uruguay were too good for Russia in the end and a 3-0 victory ensures La Celeste advance to the round of 16 with a 100% record from the group stages. The host nation struggled to deal with Uruguay’s two star strikers and know that this may be just the beginning of their challenges, as fierce competetitors await in the knockout stages.
Match Implication: Uruguay and Russia will now have their eyes firmly set in this evening’s final fixtures in Group B, as they will face off against one of those nations. Portugal and Spain look to be the most likely teams they will face but Iran still have chances to cause an upset.
Until then however, thank you for joining us – and have a good day!