Portugal advances to World Cup playoffs, thanks to Fernandes’ double

Portugal advances to World Cup playoffs, thanks to Fernandes’ double

Portugal advances to World Cup playoffs, thanks to Fernandes’ double

Portugal advances to World Cup playoffs, thanks to Fernandes’ double

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  • Uruguay lost to Portugal 2-0 in the World Cup match
  • The team led by Cristiano Ronaldo breezed through the group stage
  • To move on to the next round, Uruguay must defeat Ghana
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Bruno Fernandes scored twice as Portugal defeated Uruguay 2-0 on Monday to go to the World Cup’s knockout rounds alongside France and Brazil.

Nine minutes into the second half, the Manchester United midfielder netted a cross-corner goal. He later added a penalty in stoppage time after Jose Maria Gimenez was penalised for handball.

The first pitch invader of the Qatar tournament made an appearance during the game at Doha’s magnificent 89,000-seat Lusail Stadium; the man carried rainbow flags and words of support for Iranian and Ukrainian women.

As Portugal has already advanced from Group H, Uruguay must now defeat Ghana in order to have any chance of doing the same.

Both teams made three adjustments from their first games, with Portugal substituting veteran Pepe for the hurt Danilo Pereira, who sustained a shattered rib during practise.

In World Cup history, Pepe rose to the third-oldest outfield position.

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Portugal dominated the first half, controlling possession of the ball and creating numerous opportunities, but they never put Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet to the test.

Despite being denied access to the ball, Uruguay’s attackers Edinson Cavani and Darwin Nunez still had the greatest opportunity of the opening frame.

In his own half, Rodrigo Bentancur gained possession of the ball and charged forward, eluding two defenders to have a one-on-one with goalkeeper Diogo Costa, who stretched himself out well to block the midfielder’s attempt.

Cristiano Ronaldo, the captain of Portugal, was largely inconspicuous during the opening 45 minutes, but he did delight spectators with a shoulder pass to find William Carvalho, who volleyed over.

Pitch intruder

After the interval, the big drama occurred.

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Portugal took the lead shortly after a pitch invader stormed onto the field holding an LGBTQ rainbow flag and wearing a T-shirt that supported Ukrainian and Iranian women before being spectacularly tackled by security.

On the left, Fernandes found a gap for himself and curled an inswinging cross towards the middle, where Ronaldo broke the offside rule and attempted a glancing header.

Ronaldo whirled away in celebration as the ball slid into the net, but FIFA determined he had not touched the ball, depriving him of a ninth World Cup goal that would have tied him with Portuguese legend Eusebio.

As the South Americans finally started to apply some pressure, Uruguay coach Diego Alonso brought on strikers Maxi Gomez and Luis Suarez, and both nearly scored an equaliser.

Costa was beaten after Gomez’s rasping 20-yard shot bounced off the post, and Suarez’s close-range shot hit the side netting.

Gimenez’s trailing hand deflected the ball away from the midfielder just before the end of the 90-minute period, preventing Fernandes from going one-on-one with Rochet.

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After a VAR check, Iranian referee Alireza Faghani gave Fernandes the penalty kick, and after his trademark hop-skip run-up, Rochet was sent the wrong way.

Later, he came close to scoring a hat-trick but missed the post from 20 yards.

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