Portugal Are Out The World Cup After 2-1 Loss To Uruguay

La Liga rivalries renewed as Ronaldo and Suarez take center stage in World Cup knockout tie

98sp Elmar Kremser Frank Hoermann

The biggest surprise of Uruguay's win over Portugal on Saturday evening wasn't the result and nor was it Cristiano Ronaldo's lack of effect on the game, further than helped Edinson Cavani off the pitch, but it was actually the fact that Uruguay conceded. He is trying to return the national team to its former glory, when it won two World Cup titles in 1930 and 1950. Despite topping its group undefeated, coach Oscar Tabarez's team did little to raise expectations in the tournament's open stages.

Despite being one of just five teams to have won the World Cup a few times and boasting two of the finest strikers in European soccer in its attack, Uruguay flew under most people's radar heading into the World Cup.

In his fourth World Cup, Ronaldo couldn't hide his frustration late in the match in Sochi, furiously complaining with the referee after a non-call for a foul that could have given Portugal a last chance to equalize. Everywhere he went, the Portugal great was hounded by two or three Uruguayan defenders.

He failed to breach Iran's gritty defence in a 1-1 draw where Portugal suffered some nervous stoppage-time minutes during which the Asian powerhouse could have eliminated them at the group stage.

It took Portugal almost 60 minutes to answer, with a technically executed header by Pepe on 55 minutes following a high ball cross from the corner.

By that time, Ronaldo's situation at club level will be clearer after he raised doubts about his future with Real Madrid in the wake of their Champions League final win against Liverpool in May.

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"But in five days we have a match and we don't have a lot of time for recovery here".

Cavani struck in the seventh minute of Saturday's last-16 tie in Sochi to put Uruguay in control, but Portugal hit back after the interval when Pepe headed home Raphael Guerreiro's cross.

Uruguay will now lock horns with France, who earlier defeated Argentina 4-3 in their round of 16 match, at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod on July 6.

"Cavani has to thank Suarez today, but his movement has always been brilliant, finishing not always great but, for the first, he improvises brilliantly", said Keown. His four-goal tally in three games - including a hat-trick against Spain - had Portugal dreaming of their first World Cup quarter-final appearance since 2006. To my mind, Portugal played better than Uruguay.

Cavani picked out Suarez on the left with a cross-field ball, before continuing his run into the penalty area and meeting the Barcelona striker's return delivery at the back post, the ball smacking off his face and flying in.

"Now we have a very strong opponent in France", Tabarez said.

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