Fernandez double sends Portugal to World Cup round of 16


A second-half double from Bruno Fernandes took Portugal through to the knockout stages of the World Cup on Monday to join France and Brazil after a 2-0 victory over a lackluster Uruguay.

A second-half double from Bruno Fernandes took Portugal through to the knockout stages of the World Cup on Monday to join France and Brazil after a 2-0 victory over a lackluster Uruguay.

Fernandes scored with a cross aimed at Cristiano Ronaldo which fortuitously sailed into the net in the 54th minute and converted a kick in stoppage time to put his side through to the knockout stages with one game to play.

Portugal took the lion’s share and dominated for most of the Group H game but struggled to create clear chances until the second half in a game where Uruguay looked jaded and uncomfortable.

It was the third time at a World Cup that Portugal had won back-to-back group stage matches and the previous two times had led to semi-final streaks.

Ronaldo set the tone of the match with some early displays when he used a shoulder to redirect a long shot into the path of William Carvalho, whose powerful volley sailed over the bar.

Portugal looked threatening on the approach but struggled to create goalscoring chances, with Bernardo Silva, Fernandes and Joao Felix frustrated in front of goal early on.

But it was Uruguay with the best chance of the 32-minute half-time when Rodrigo Bentancur collected the ball and raced halfway up the pitch, jumping around three defenders before firing a low shot which was blocked by forward goalkeeper Diogo Costa.

Bentancur was again in the center of the action a few minutes later when his outstretched leg met a cross from the left by Mathias Olivera, rippling into Darwin Nunez who failed to convert from close range.

Portugal fought hard for a goal and Felix came close to the 52nd minute when he exploded low into the side netting.

They finally broke the deadlock two minutes later when Fernandes’ cross went past Uruguay keeper Sergio Rochet, who was rooted to the spot as Cristiano Ronaldo rose to head the ball and initially celebrated the goal as his own.

Uruguay had a brief rally to try to get back into the game after a series of substitutions, with Facundo Pellistri making an instant impact, Luis Suarez closing in and Maxi Gomez hitting the post.

But the game belonged to Portugal and Fernandez, who coolly converted a stoppage-time penalty after a handball into the box that required a VAR review.

Hungry for more, Fernandez nearly scored a hat-trick in stoppage time, with his effort saved at the near post by Rochet and a dying strike that fired the post.


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