Portugal have qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup after their 2-0 victory over Uruguay at the Lusail Stadium, in what was a scrappy game for most parts. A game that lacked quality saw the deadlock broken in the 54th minute when a cross from Bruno Fernandes evaded Uruguayan keeper Sergio Rochet. Cristiano Ronaldo initially thought the goal was his, but FIFA later confirmed that the goal belonged to the Manchester United midfielder.
They were later awarded a very controversial penalty in stoppage time in which Fernandes comfortably converted to seal the win for Portugal, he almost secured his first World Cup hat-trick but saw a low shot strike the post just before the final whistle.
Uruguay also had chances of their own and could’ve stolen a point had they been more clinical in front of goal. Rodrigo Bentancur had a chance to score after a brilliant run all the way from Uruguay’s own half, but was stopped by Portugal’s keeper Diogo Costa, meanwhile substitute Maxi Gomez hit the woodwork as they continued to search for a response.
The game was briefly halted when a fan carrying a rainbow flag and wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Save Ukraine’ on the front and ‘Respect for Iranian woman’ on the back ran onto the pitch in the second half.
Portugal manager, Fernando Santos belived his side deserved the win: “It was a deserved victory. This team put our plan into practice. One or other phase we were not so good, but the group stage is done, and we’ve qualified. Now we have to keep working to improve what we have to improve.
It was a very tough game, Uruguay applied a lot of pressure, but we managed to break free and control the game. At the break I told the players we needed to get back to what we were doing. Uruguay tried everything but my players responded with professionalism and fantastic togetherness. We ended up winning deservedly.”
Portugal sit on top of Group H with six points, being the only team alongside France and Brazil to qualify for the round of 16. Meanwhile, Uruguay sit in third with just 1 point, knowing that they need to beat Ghana in the final group game if they want to keep their World Cup dreams alive.