World Cup: Bruno Fernandes shines and guarantees Portugal's place in the round of 16

World Cup: Bruno Fernandes shines and guarantees Portugal’s place in the round of 16

Portugal relied on the brilliance of midfielder Bruno Fernandes to overcome Uruguay by 2-0, this Monday (28) at Estádio de Lusail, and guarantee one of the two places in Group H for the round of 16 of the Qatar Cup .World Cup: Bruno Fernandes shines and guarantees Portugal's place in the round of 16

This duel served as a kind of rematch of the round of 16 game of the last edition of the World Cup, in 2018 (Russia). On that occasion, Uruguay eliminated Portugal with a 2-0 victory.

Now, in Qatar, Giménez, in the 11th minute, had the first opportunity for Uruguay, heading a corner over Diogo Costa’s goal, while Portugal had kicked just one ball over Rochet’s goal, with Bruno Fernandes. It was clearly a marking game and with minimal space to develop more accurate moves.

In the 15th minute, it was João Félix who took a risk from outside the area. The deflection in Giménez almost complicated the life of the goalkeeper Rochet, but it was only for the corner. However, the best move was from Uruguayan Bentancur, in the 32nd minute, who decided to dribble the entire Portuguese defense and ended up in front of Diogo. He ended up shooting low and the goalkeeper defended with his leg.

Interestingly, from whom much was expected in the 1st half: Cristiano Ronaldo, on the one hand, and Cavani, on the other, little was seen. The talented forwards were not the protagonists, not least because the ball did not always reach them in good condition. In this way, the 0-0 tie was a fair result for 45 minutes in which the marking overlapped the creation.

In the final stage, spaces were appearing and João Félix, at 7 minutes, appeared free diagonally in the area and kicked hard, but into the net from the outside. For Portugal, it was the beginning of a period of dominance. In the next minute, Bruno Fernandes’s cross in the area, Cristiano Ronaldo appears to head. The ball misses, it’s true, but it scares goalkeeper Rochet and the shot ends up in the Uruguayan net. 1-0 to Portugal. Fifa named Fernandes as the scorer of the goal.

In the 29th minute, after coach Diego Alonso put on the field the stars Arrascaeta (from Flamengo) and Luís Suárez (from Nacional), the team improved a lot and Gómez took a risk from the half moon of the penalty area, hitting the crossbar by Diogo Costa. Incredible! It was the third ball on the crossbar that Uruguay hit in this Cup (the previous two were against South Korea, in the debut). At 32 minutes, it was Suárez’s turn, in the small area, to adjust and kick the net from the outside. In the next minute, Arrascaeta entered the area and tried to touch Diogo’s exit, but missed the golden opportunity, when he saw the ball being saved by the goalkeeper.

The match turned into an attack against the defense, with the Portuguese entrenched inside the area, trying to guarantee the skinny 1-0. Until, at 45 minutes, the Iranian referee consulted the VAR (video referee) and punished Uruguay with a very controversial penalty. A hand hit in which the ball hit Giménez’s supporting arm. As Cristiano Ronaldo had already been substituted, the responsibility fell on Bruno Fernandes, who, with a short break, made it 2-0.

At 53 minutes, Bruno Fernandes missed the chance to score the third goal, when he kicked from outside the area and hit Rochet’s post. That way, with 2-0, Portugal got its rematch of elimination in the 2018 World Cup.

The victory consolidates Fernando Santos’ team at the top of Group H, greatly reducing the possibility of a confrontation with Brazil in the round of 16. The fight for the second spot will take place next Friday (2), starting at 12h (Brasília time), when South Korea plays its luck against the Portuguese and Ghana measures forces with Uruguay.

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