Portugal vs. Uruguay 2-0, and a double by Fernandes seals qualification.

Portugal vs. Uruguay 2-0, and a double by Fernandes seals qualification.

Portugal vs. Uruguay: Portugal made it to the round of 16 of the World Cup with one game to spare after beating Uruguay 2-0.

Uruguay always looked like a team that would like to mess up the game, and that’s what they did in the first half. Even though Portugal had the ball most of the time, it was hard for them to beat the disciplined and strong South Americans.

Portugal had a few half-chances, and William Carvalho should have done better with an early long-range shot after Cristiano Ronaldo held the ball up well.

Ronaldo got a look at the goal when he chested down a cross at the back post, but he couldn’t shoot because there were too many people in the way.

Even though Portugal had more of the ball, Uruguay had the best chance in the first half. Rodrigo Bentancur, who is very quick and agile, was able to get through the Portuguese defense and face Diogo Costa one-on-one. But he lost his cool at the worst possible time, and the goalkeeper for Porto was able to clear the ball.

Portugal started the second half much better, and Joao Felix had a great chance to score from the inside left channel. He tried to find the target, but he couldn’t.

But that was a warning shot, and Portugal took the lead a few minutes later. Bruno Fernandes sent a great ball into the box, and Ronaldo tried to touch it just a little bit. Even though he was celebrating, it didn’t look like he scored, and Fernandes’ cross went right in.

Then Uruguay had to stop hiding and come out a lot more, though it took them a while to get into their groove.

They couldn’t put pressure on the defense until Maximiliano Gomez and Luis Suarez replaced Darwin Nunez and Edinson Cavani up front. Gomez hit the post with a good shot from outside the box, but when the ball fell to Suarez in the six-yard box, he could only find the side net.

Georgian De Arrascaeta, another substitute, missed a great chance when he failed to beat Costa when he was through on goal.

All signs pointed to a dramatic finish, but VAR had other plans. Jose Gimenez was found to have used his hands while falling backward in the area. Even though it was a close call, Fernandes didn’t care and scored from the penalty spot to put Portugal in the next round.

Fernandes even tried to get a hat trick in the last few seconds of the game, but the post stopped him.

It was Portugal’s first World Cup win against a South American team since 1966 when they beat Brazil at Goodison Park.

Portugal (4-3-3)

Diogo Costa, the goalie, got a 7/10 because he made a key save in the first half.

RB: Joao Cancelo gave it a 6/10, saying it was neither savage nor annoying.

CB: Ruben Dias, 7/10: Quality is guaranteed.

CB: Pepe, 6/10. His smarts were important that night, but I never felt all that safe with him.

LB: Nuno Mendes – 5/10 – Didn’t do anything wrong, but didn’t affect the game. In the first half, someone got hurt.

CM: Ruben Neves – 5/10 – Did okay but didn’t seem to enjoy the physical stuff as much as others.

CM: William Carvalho (6/10) is a big, strong presence in the middle of the field.

CM: Bruno Fernandes (7/10): He scored the first goal, but Ronaldo might be able to take it from him. Literally. I almost scored three goals.

RM: Bernardo Silva – 6/10 – Usually clean, but not much more than that.

CF: Cristiano Ronaldo – 7/10 – Even though he’s not as good as he used to be, he was still a pain for Uruguay’s experienced defense all night.

LF: Joao Felix got a 6/10 because he always said he would do something but never did.

Raphael Guerreiro came in for Mendes in the 42nd minute and did a good job.

Rafael Leao came on in place of Neves in the 69th minute.

Manager: Fernando Santos – 7/10 – It wasn’t pretty, but it helped his team pass a hard test.

Uruguay (3-5-2)

GK: Sergio Roche (6/10): The Uruguay defense mostly kept him safe until they left him wide open for the first goal.

CB: Jose Gimenez (5/10): He was too often out of sync with his central defensive teammates, but it was a shame that he gave away a penalty.

CB Diego Godin – 6/10 – A weakening power. His mind is still sneaky, but his body isn’t as willing as it used to be.

CB: Sebastian Coates is reliable but not in charge.

Mathias Olivera – 6/10 – Had the drive and energy but not the skill.

Federico Valverde got a 6/10 from CM, which means he wasn’t at his best.

CM: Rodrigo Bentancur gets a 7/10. He was Uruguay’s best player that night.

CM: Matias Vecino got a 5/10 because he never put his stamp on the game.

LM: Guillermo Varela – 5/10 – It didn’t impress me much.

CF: Darwin Nunez – 5/10 – Will not be happy with how he did.

CF: Edinson Cavani – 5/10 – Not at his best, but he didn’t have much help.

SUB: Giorgian De Arrascaeta (62′ for Vecino) – 6/10 – He was important but missed his best chance right before the goal.

Facundo Pellistri replaced Godin in the 62nd minute and scored 6/10. He gave Uruguay’s attack some speed and direction but not much else.

SUB: Maximiliano Gomez (72′ for Nunez) – 6/10 – shook everything and was unlucky not to score.

Luis Suarez replaced Cavani in the 72nd minute. Suarez got 6/10 for missing a great chance from inside the 6-yard box.

Matias Vina came in for Oliviera in the 86th minute.

Manager: Diego Alonso – 6/10 – A little unlucky because his subs should have gotten him something.

Bruno Fernandes was the best player in the game.