Team Uruguay finished the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the top spot of Group A after defeating hosts Russia 2-0 on Monday night at the Samara Arena.
Hosts Russia wore white uniforms and kicked in the ball to start the match amid the sunny weather with sweltering heat of 33-34 degrees Celsius (over 93 Fahrenheit). The match at the 45,000-seat capacity Samara Arena saw tonight an attendance of 41,970.
The score was opened by Uruguay on the 10th minute after Russian midfielder Yury Gazinsky was slapped with a yellow card for a tackle on Matias Vecino near the box of his goal.
Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez confidently executed a free-kick curving the ball into the bottom right corner of the Russian net putting his team in a 1-0 lead over the hosts.
Fourteen minutes later the Uruguayans upped the score to 2-0, when a ball, kicked by midfielder Diego Laxalt, bounced off Denis Cheryshev’s leg straight into his own net.
The Uruguayan squad could have scored another goal with Suarez getting an opportunity to go one on one with Igor Akenfeyev, but the Russian goalkeeper blocked the shot. Moments later Russia’s Igor Smolnikov was booked for fouling Vecino.
Shortly after receiving his first yellow card Russia’s Smolnikov received another one for chopping down Laxalt and subsequently left his team and the field with the red card.
Being down to 10 players, Russia was forced to make a reshuffle and scoring midfielder Cheryshev was replaced with full back Mario Fernandes.
Although the referee decided for additional two minutes, hosts Russia did not respond and the opening half ended with 2-0 in favor of Uruguay.
The opening fifteen minutes of the second half saw the Uruguayans upping their possession of the ball. The Russians went on rare attacks and the players were looking to pass the ball to Artyom Dzyuba, but he was isolated up in the front by the Uruguayan defense.
The score of 2-0 seemed to remain unaltered until the end of the game, but Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani was quick to react to the ball in the Russian box and nailed it into the net after it ricocheted off Akenfeyev’s hands on the very last minute of the match.
The referee added four minutes to the game time but the score of 3-0 never changed until the final whistle.
Both Russia and Uruguay already secured places in the next Round of Last 16 of the global football championship, each enjoying wins over opponents in their two previous group stage matches. Today’s match was a decider on the winner of their Group A, which also enrolled the teams from Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Next opponents for Russia and Uruguay will be decided later in the day in two fixtures of Group B.
A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15.
Russia is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14.
The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.