- Suarez goal assures Uruguay a place in Round of 16.
- Pizzi made four changes from previous game, which include installing M. Al-Owais as Goalkeeper
- Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt mach would be inconsequential.
Luis Suarez booked Uruguay’s place in the World Cup knockout rounds, marking his 100th international appearance with the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia.
A corner from the left taken by Carlos Sanchez was missed by the keeper, with Suarez on hand to knock home and become the first Uruguay player to score at three World Cups.
This was a match where Uruguay rarely found into top gear. The temperature at kickoff was 89 degrees Fahrenheit, this might have played a factor. Perhaps it was the knowledge that in Saudi Arabia, they were going up against an high-ranking opponent.
Saudi Arabia, eager to provide a better showing for their fans, largely controlled the proceedings, with a three-man midfield of Salman Al-Faraj, Abdullah Otayf and Taiseer Al-Jassam giving their Uruguay counterparts all they could handle. Had Hatan Bahbri been a bit more clinical with two first-half opportunities, the Saudis might well have found an equaliser.
Russia and Uruguay, though, perhaps look forward to a likely second-round meeting against either Portugal or Spain, depending on the outcome of Group B’s remaining contests. Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez will be hoping — or perhaps demanding — that his side improve their game ahead of the group finale against Russia. This would also provide both the team testing platform before knock-out round.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt may be out of the tournament but they would meet each other in Volgograd. Uruguay will travel to Samara for their last group match against Russia.
G. Varela, J. Gimenez, D. Godin (C), M. Caceres;
C. Sanchez (N. Nández), M. Vecino (L. Torreira), R. Bentancur, C. Rodriguez (D. Laxal);
L. Suarez, E. Cavani
Saudi Arabia (4-5-1)
M. Al-Burayk, O. Hawsawi (C), A. Al-Bulayhi, Y. Al-Shahrani;
H. Bahbri (M. Kanno), S. Al-Faraj, A. Otayf, T. Al-Jassam (H. Al-Moqahwi), S. Al-Dawsari;
Fahad Al-Muwallad (M. Al-Sahlawi)