Uruguay were heavily reliant on Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani to qualify. They will need help some help in Russia.
Uruguay World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia – (20th June)
Uruguay Starting XI: 1 Fernando Muslera, 2 Jose Gimenez, 3 Diego Godin, 4 Guillermo Varela, 5 Carlos Sanchez (8 Nahitan Nandez 82), 6 Rodrigo Bentancur, 7 Cristian Rodriguez (17 Diego Laxalt 59), 9 Luis Suarez, 15 Matias Vecino (14 Lucas Torreira 59), 21 Edinson Cavani, 22 Martin Caceres
Saudi Arabia Starting XI: 22 Mohammed Al-Owais, 3 Osama Hawsawi, 4 Ali Al Bulaihi, 6 Mohamed Al Brek, 7 Salman Al Faraj, 9 Hatan Bahebri (12 Mohamed Kanno 76), 13 Yasser Al Sharani, 14 Abdullah Otayf, 17 Taisir Al Jassim (17 Housein Al Hogahwi 44), 18 Salem Al Dawsari, 19 Fahad Al Muwallad (10 Mohhamad Al Sahlawi 78)
Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0
Uruguay: Suarez 23
Saudi Arabia: none
Uruguay joined Russia in the knockout stages after grinding out a result against Saudi Arabia, who restored some pride after being hammered in their opening game. Luis Suarez took the one opportunity that came his way but it was not the rout that many had predicted.
Saudi Arabia were much improved from the team that had surrendered five goals to Russia five days earlier. But while they were tidy in possession, they rarely came close to threatening the Uruguayan goal.
Matter of fact
Luis Suarez won his 100th cap and became the first Uruguayan player to score at three World Cups (2010, 2014 & 2018)..
Saudi coach Juan Antonio Pizzi rang the changes after the opening-game hammering by Russia, making four changes to his starting line-up. Their general performance was much better but inexperienced keeper Mohammed Al-Owais, who came in for Abdullah Al-Mayouf, was at fault for Suarez’s goal.
Possession (%): 47/53
Goal attempts: 13/8
Attempts on target: 6/3
Pass accuracy (%): 85/84
Distance covered (km): 101/100
Uruguay vs Egypt (15th June) Match Report
Uruguay Starting XI: 1 Fernando Muslera, 2 Jose Gimenez, 3 Diego Godin, 4 Guillermo Varela, 6 Rodrigo Betancur, 8 Nahitan Nandez (5 Carlos Sanchez 58), 9 Luis Suarez, 10 Giorgian De Arrascaeta (7 Cristian Rodriguez 59), 15 Matias Vecino (14 Lucas Torreira 87), 21 Edinson Cavani, 22 Martin Caceres
Egypt Starting XI: 23 Mohamed El-Shenawy, 2 Ali Gabr, 6 Ahmed Hegazy, 7 Ahmed Fathi, 8 Tarek Hamed (5 Sam Morsy 50), 9 Marwan Mohsen (11 Kahraba 63), 13 Mohamed Abdelshafy, 17 Mohamed Elneny, 19 Abdalla Said, 21 Trezeguet, 22 Amr Warda (14 Ramadan Sobhi 82)
URUGUAY 1 EGYPT 0
Uruguay: Gimenez 89
Uruguay won their opening game at the World Cup for first time since 1970 despite being lacklustre in attack for most of the game. Luis Suarez looked below-par throughout, putting an excellent first-half chance from a corner into the side netting, while his strike partner Edinson Cavani saw two efforts saved, first by Egyptian keeper Mohamed El-Shenawy and then by a post. Instead it was a defender, Jose Gimenez, who made the late breakthrough for Uruguay, as Egypt, who had done enough to earn a point, took their eye off the ball.
Mohammed Salah, injured in the Champions League Final for Liverpool against Real Madrid, failed to recover in time to play in Egypt’s opening game. His presence would have given the Egyptians a much greater threat in attack and forced Uruguay on to the back foot.
Possession (%): 43/57
Goal attempts: 8/14
Attempts on target: 3/6
Pass accuracy (%): 78/86
Distance covered (km): 107/106
Uruguay World Cup Guide
Uruguay started like a train and then came badly off the rails, with three defeats in the middle of a run of six games with just one win. But with a refreshed midfield they regained momentum and qualified for the 2018 World Cup in relative comfort.
Key Moments In Qualifying
Despite the absence of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, they kick off with convincing wins away to Bolivia and at home to Colombia providing a morale-boosting start and a tribute to
the depth of the squad.
Still without Suarez, Uruguay are ruthless in their use of set-pieces and with quick, direct attacks they chalk up a comfortable 3-0 win at home to continental champions Chile.
A 2-1 loss to Peru is their third defeat in a row – and on each occasion they had taken the lead. The sudden lack of defensive steel looks a real problem, and it got worse in June’s friendlies when they lose 3-1 to the Republic of Ireland and 3-0 to Italy.
A few days after a goalless draw with Argentina, in which Uruguay hardly crossed the halfway line, a 2-1 win away to Paraguay effectively seals qualification.
Uruguay World Cup Group
Uruguay World Cup Friendlies
Uruguay played a World Cup friendly against Uzbekistan which they won 3-0.
- 8th June – Uzbekistan (won 3-0)
Uruguay World Cup Fixtures
Uruguay will open their World Cup account against the Mohamed Salah led Egyptian team on the 15th June. On the 20th June they will then play Saudi Arabia, and finally the hosts Russia on the 25th of June.
Oscar Tabarez, age 70 (03.03.47)
Appointed for a second spell in charge in March 2006 and is approaching the end of what will surely be the last job of his career. Has put Uruguay back on the map, with his greatest achievement probably overseeing an enormously successful under-20 project.
Skilful, dynamic and often controversial, Luis Suarez is the team’s main attacking weapon and their biggest hope of glory. The country’s all-time top goalscorer is preparing for his third World Cup – and the last he will play close to his peak years.
Edinson Cavani was South America’s top scorer in qualification, leading the attacking line when Suarez was missing or playing alongside him and dropping deeper. Team captain Diego Godin is the respected organiser of the defensive line who, although he may be losing a little pace, remains a vital figure and scores important goals.
Just 32 players were used in qualification and most of the old guard are still in and around the squad, with the exception of injury-hit Alvaro Pereira.
All-round midfielder Federico Valverde was promoted from the under-20 side, bringing quality and controlled possession, and helping to change the characteristics of the side. Along with Rodrigo Bentancur, he represents the start of a generational change.
Uruguay World Cup Squad
Final 23-man squad –
GOALKEEPERS: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Martin Campana (Independiente).
DEFENDERS: Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez (both Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Sporting Lisbon), Maximiliano Pereira (Porto), Gaston Silva (Independiente), Martin Caceres (Lazio), Guillermo Varela (Penarol).
MIDFIELDERS: Nahitan Nandez (Boca Juniors), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria), Matias Vecino (Inter Milan), Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus), Carlos Sanchez (Monterrey), Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro), Diego Laxalt (Genoa), Cristian Rodriguez (Penarol), Jonathan Urretaviscaya (Monterrey).
Uruguay World Cup Injuries
We will update you with all the injuries regularly.
The Unanswered Questions
Who will supply Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani?
Oscar Tabarez finally seems to have given up on Gaston Ramirez as a playmaker, so it could fall to current favourite Giorgian De Arrascaeta to open up opposing defences.
Does the defensive unit lack pace?
There is certainly a fear that if the team push up then the defence can be by-passed too easily. Since the 4-1 home defeat by Brazil in March, Tabarez has not chosen Sebastian Coates alongside Diego Godin and has dropped holding midfielder Egidio Arevalo Rios.
Can Suarez get through a World Cup without picking up a suspension?
In 2010 he missed the semi-final after being sent off for his notorious handball against Ghana. Four years later he rushed back from injury to help Uruguay into the knockout stage but was thrown out of the competition for biting.
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