Talking Points: Are Uruguay the most complete team at the tournament?
Written by: Rohan Philip
The Latin Americans excelled in every department against the Europeans.
The second knockout game of the FIFA World Cup 2018 was played between Portugal and Uruguay at Sochi, with the South Americans coming out on top. Edinson Cavani popped up with two supreme finishes as his country took the lead twice on either side of the halftime as Pepe scored the only goal for the Europeans.
5. Uruguay are almost a complete team
Jose Gimenez came back to the heart of the Uruguayan defence which was yet to concede a goal in 2018 before this game. Diego Godin was immense at the back as usual and martialled the considerable Portuguese attacking force very effectively for most of the night barring the goal from a set piece. In attack, the South Americans have one of the world’s most lethal attacking duos, with 97 international goals between them.
4. Suarez’s histrionics are a blemish to the game
Diving and other forms of simulation have been long condemned by the followers of the sport, but unfortunately, it is still prevalent in the game today. Luis Suarez is one of the world’s most prolific strikers but has seen his legacy marred to an extent due to his antics on the field. Suarez went down under a number of soft challenges which took away from what was a very competitive game of football.
3. Edinson Cavani stole the show
This match was billed to be the Suarez-Ronaldo showdown but in fact, it was Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani who took the headlines with two sublimely taken goals to send his country into the quarter-finals of the quadrennial competition. Cavani was forced to leave the pitch midway through the second half due to a calf injury but not before he had done the damage to the Portuguese title hopes.
2. It is possibly the end of Ronaldo’s World Cup story
The Portuguese captain started the competition like a man on a mission with a hattrick in his first game but failed to drag his team over the line against Uruguay. A 33, this might well have been the final time we see the mercurial forward gracing the world’s biggest stage. However, it would be unwise to bet against him making a return in the next edition of the competition.
1. Portugal’s old guard failed to deliver
Fernando Santos decided to field a team that sported eight out of the 11 players that started the finals of the Euros in 2016, a tactic that failed completely. Portugal lacked the penetration and power needed from midfield and were too dependent on Ronaldo to pull off miracles higher up the pitch. Jose Fonte and Pepe were given no chance against the raw striking instinct of Cavani.
Uruguay will face France on 6th July in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Published: Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:21 AM IST