A second half brace from Bruno Fernandes despatched Portugal by way of to the final 16 of the World Cup on Monday to affix France and Brazil after a 2-0 win over a lacklustre Uruguay.
Fernandes scored with a cross supposed for Cristiano Ronaldo that sailed fortuitously into the web on 54 minutes and transformed a spot kick in stoppage time to place his facet into the knockout levels with a match remaining.
Portugal had the lion’s share of the possession and dominated for a lot of the Group H match, however struggled to create clear-cut probabilities till the second half in a recreation the place Uruguay seemed jaded and out of kinds.
It was the third time at a World Cup that Portugal had gained two successive group stage matches and the earlier two occasions led to streaks into the semifinals.
Ronaldo set the tone for the match with some early showboating when he used a shoulder to redirect a protracted throw into the trail of William Carvalho, whose highly effective volley sailed over the bar.
Portugal seemed threatening on the method however struggled to create goalscoring probabilities, with Bernardo Silva, Fernandes and Joao Felix pissed off in entrance of purpose early on.
But it surely was Uruguay with one of the best likelihood of the half 32 minutes in when Rodrigo Bentancur picked up the ball and ran half the size of the sphere, skipping round three defenders earlier than firing off a low shot that was blocked by the advancing keeper Diogo Costa.
READ: Portugal vs Uruguay stopped as fan invades with rainbow flag
Bentancur was on the centre of the motion once more a couple of minutes later when his outstretched leg met a cross from the left from Mathias Olivera, trickling by way of to Darwin Nunez who did not convert from shut vary.
Portugal battled arduous for a purpose and Felix got here shut on 52 minutes when he blasted low into the facet netting.
It lastly broke the impasse two minutes later when Fernandes’ cross floated previous Uruguayan goalkeeper Sergio Rochet, who was rooted to the spot as Cristiano Ronaldo rose to go the ball and initially celebrated the purpose as his.
Uruguay had a short rally to attempt to get again into the match after a raft of substitutions, with Facundo Pellistri making an prompt affect, Luis Suarez coming shut and Maxi Gomez hitting the put up.
However the match belonged to Portugal and Fernandez, who coolly transformed a penalty in stoppage time after a handball within the field that required a VAR evaluate.
Hungry for extra, Fernandez virtually scored a hat-trick deep into stoppage time, together with his effort saved on the close to put up by Rochet and a strike within the dying moments that cannoned off the put up.