The Philippine Star
HEADED FOR HOME:
Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo (left) heads the ball next to Uruguay’s forward Luis Suarez (upper right) during the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Uruguay and Portugal at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. Uruguay shocked Portugal, 2-1, as the World Cup sees the last of Ronaldo, one of football’s greatest stars.
SOCHI, Russia – Edinson Cavani upstaged Cristiano Ronaldo, first with his head and then with his right foot, and sent Uruguay to the World Cup quarterfinals.
Cavani, Uruguay’s oldest player, scored twice and Ronaldo none Saturday to give Uruguay a 2-1 victory over Portugal.
On the same day Lionel Messi was sent home in Argentina’s loss, the other “GOAT” at this tournament was also eliminated. It was two weeks ago that Ronaldo scored a hat trick in the same stadium against Spain, stroking his chin after the first goal to imply he was the “greatest of all time.”
There was no goal from Ronaldo this time. Everywhere he went, the Portugal great was hounded by two or three Uruguayan defenders.
“We had our chances, but this is football,” Ronaldo said. “We have to keep our heads high. We gave our best. The team played well. As the team captain I am proud of this group. Everyone worked hard to make sure things went well.”
It was Cavani who instead took the spotlight. He combined with Luis Suarez to complete a series of precision passes to give Uruguay the early advantage with a header in the seventh minute. And after Portugal equalized on Pepe’s header in the 55th minute, it was Cavani again finishing a perfect Uruguay counter in the 62nd with a shot from just inside the penalty area that caught Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio slightly out of position and curled inside the far post. “The truth is, it was really exciting,” Cavani said. “There aren’t words to describe this.”
Cavani now has three goals at the World Cup, but limped off in the 70th minute with an apparent injury and had to be replaced. He was helped to the sideline with his arm around Ronaldo’s back.
“Right now we are only worried, but we don’t know how grave this injury is,” Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said.