Luis Suarez marked his 100th international cap by sending Uruguay into the last 16 of the World Cup as the striker benefited from some poor goalkeeping to eliminate Saudi Arabia with a 1-0 win on Wednesday.
Suarez tapped in midway through the first half after keeper Mohammed al-Owais failed to grab the ball on a corner. The goal put Uruguay second in Group A with a maximum six points behind hosts Russia.
Suarez’s goal was by no means pretty, but it did the trick.
At least Suarez, who missed three sitters in Uruguay’s 1-0 opening win against Egypt, was his vintage efficient self with his 52nd international goal although he will not have dismissed fears he was not 100 percent fit.
Saudi Arabia, who suffered a minor scare when an engine on their plane caught fire before landing on Rostov-on-Don on Monday, instead have not found the back of the net in their last four World Cup outings.
After a 5-0 drubbing by Russia in the tournament’s opening game, they were more playful but ultimately comparatively toothless at the Rostov Arena before 42,678 fans.
With temperatures reaching 33 degrees Celsius, two-time world champions Uruguay and Saudi Arabia got off to a cautious start.
Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani wasted a chance in the 14th minute, skying a half volley over the bar.
Suarez on the spot
Suarez has now scored in three consecutive World Cups.
The Saudis continued to move the ball around but barely threatened the typically gritty Uruguay defence.
They suffered a setback shortly before the interval as veteran Taisir al-Jassim was replaced by Housain al-Mogahwi with an apparent thigh injury.
They did come close to doubling the tally in the closing stages, however, when Lucas Torreira’s wild shot took a deflection off of Cavani and almost beat al-Owais.
Source : english.alarabiya.net