Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Ronaldo, Portugal unable to continue great run at World Cup

Ronaldo, Portugal unable to continue great run at World Cup

The biggest surprise of Uruguay's win over Portugal on Saturday evening wasn't the result and nor was it Cristiano Ronaldo's lack of effect on the game, further than helped Edinson Cavani off the pitch, but it was actually the fact that Uruguay conceded. Check out the brand new daily JOE World Cup Minipod hosted by Dion Fanning, Paddy McKenna and Carl Kinsella featuring Senior Football Correspondent and font of wisdom Melissa Reddy.

Uruguay has gone deep into the World Cup before, even with some of the same players, yet after four straight wins, it's clear there is something more to the group that Oscar Tabarez has brought to Russian Federation. In all probability, it is Messi (31) and Ronaldo's (33) last appearance at the World Cup stage. Messi on the other hand only managed one. Uruguay, however, soon demonstrated their hunger to win, with Cavani's one-touch curler.

Santos' side dominated the match for large portions but were defeated by two excellent goals from Uruguay talisman Edinson Cavani either side of Pepe's equaliser.

After the first Cavani's goal -where Luis Suarez delivered the ball over his head, finishing off the Portuguese goalkeeper- Portugal tried unsuccessfully to get close to the South American area.

"If Cristiano plays by himself, Portugal is going to lose", Santos said.

"Now it's not the time to talk about the future", Ronaldo said after Portugal's 2-1 loss to Uruguay at the World Cup. "He has a great potential obviously and in planning the match, especially focusing on the opponent and considering the level that every player has ... what Ronaldo has on top of the qualities is that he's the leader of that team".

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Portugal equalized the game on a Pepe header in the 55th minute, but Uruguay regained the lead seven minutes later on a break from a goal kick.

Uruguay will now prepare to face France on Friday with Cavani in a race to be fit.

"I think there is often a mistaken assumption that possession leads to goal-scoring opportunities", said the former coach of Cagliari and AC Milan. "I never said Cristiano wants to play alone", Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. But he chose to give the ball to Cavani, who has scored three goals in Uruguay's last three matches, including two in the win over Portugal. "Even if he scores three goals in match, you still need to have a team to support him".

Rodrigo Bentancur found Cavani on the right touchline and he swept a magnificent crossfield pass to Suarez.

"But we have a very strong team in terms of the mindset and we will always bank on the collective against any rival".

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