Uruguay, the team with the best defensive record in the group stage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ with zero goals conceded, held firm to sink Portugal 2-1 in Sochi on Saturday to set up a quarter-final tie against France.

Edinson Cavani’s early opener from a superb Luis Suarez cross put La Celeste in the driving seat, enabling them to sit back and soak up the Portuguese pressure. The European champions huffed and puffed but could not blow down the Uruguayan house, searching in vain for a moment of magic from Cristiano Ronaldo, who passed up a presentable chance from a dangerously positioned free-kick.

It was from another sort of dead-ball delivery that Portugal found a chink in the armour, Pepe equalising with a header from a corner after the break. However, the veteran centre-back’s joy was short-lived, as Cavani restored the South Americans’ lead with a stunning side-footed finish not long afterwards.

The Uruguayans will have to be just as solid at the back if they are to emerge victorious from their quarter-final tie against France, who were scintillating going forward during their win over Argentina earlier in the day. The stage is set for a cracker in Nizhny Novgorod on 6 July.

Team Reporter Analysis
Florencia Simoes with Uruguay [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]​
It was not Uruguay’s finest performance, but the result is what counts for La Celeste. Oscar Tabarez had called on his players to be calm and collected and, leaving aside his irrepressible strike force, that is what made the difference in midfield and defence.

Raquel Branco with Portugal [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]​
Portugal unmistakably dictated the game, but despite trying every which way, came up short due to their struggles breaking down the well-organised Uruguay defence. The European champions bow out of the World Cup with a feeling of unfinished business, having come unstuck against opponents who were more accomplished on the day.

Budweiser Man of the Match
With his match-winning brace, Edinson Cavani provided a masterclass in clinical finishing. The Paris Saint-Germain marksman, who now has three goals to his name this tournament, also showcased his usual selfless running and pressing before being forced off with injury.

The stat
35 – At the age of 35 years and 124 days, Pepe’s goal made him Portugal’s oldest scorer at a FIFA World Cup. This is the third time that this record has changed hands in Russia, with Ronaldo and Ricardo Quaresma having both broken it during the group stage.

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Uruguay, the team with the best defensive record in the group stage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ with zero goals conceded, held firm to sink Portugal 2-1 in Sochi on Saturday to set up a quarter-final tie against France. Edinson Cavani's early opener...