Cavani fires Uruguay into last eight as Ronaldo's World Cup dream ends

Cavani Ronaldo and Suarez

Edinson Cavani scored two superb goals as Uruguay beat Portugal to set up a World Cup quarter-final meeting with France.

Uruguay secure a place in the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup courtesy of a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Portugal at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi. In the 22nd minute, Suarez almost added his name to the scoresheet when he was brought down by Jose Fonte from around 25-yards.

The only downside for Oscar Tabarez's side was the sight of Cavani limping off late on, raising a question mark over his fitness for next week's last eight showdown with the French in Nizhny Novgorod.

Suarez and Ronaldo are both huge worldwide stars tasked with guiding their countries to the World Cup final.

Pepe's headed equaliser on 55 minutes had given Portugal hope, but Cavani, who has earned a reputation for failing to deliver in the most important games for club and country, silenced his critics with a memorable showcase of centre-forward play.

"But I do feel that the second half was very good from us in terms of desire and our determination to score".

Wow, what a spectacle in the first knockout game at this World Cup as France produced a stunning display to send Messi's Argentina packing.

'Furious' Maradona wants to meet Argentina players
This team has lost the past three finals they have played - the 2014 World Cup and the Copa America in 2015 and 2016. Taking everything into consideration, I am going to predict that Nigeria wins this game.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi look dejected after their respective Round of 16 matches.

For all of Portugal's endeavour for an equaliser, Uruguay showed standout organisation to silence the Iberians and they nearly doubled their lead, Suarez forcing a smart reaction save from Patricio, who dived late to palm away the forward's free kick from the bottom corner.

Uruguay, meanwhile, had not conceded a goal in 2018 - an impressive run of six games, three of them at Russian Federation 2018.

Cavani opened the scoring for Uruguay with a header off a cross by Luis Suarez in the seventh minute and added his second goal with a perfectly-timed side-footed shot in the 62nd, seven minutes after defender Pepe had equalized for Portugal in what was the first goal conceded by Uruguay at the tournament.

Suarez went close to a second when Patricio pushed out his 22nd-minute free-kick and Cavani shot wide in the final moments of the first half after controlling Godin's towering punt. They carry a huge burden on their shoulders, yet each scored crucial goals in the Group stage.

The first FIFA World Cup meeting between Uruguay and Portugal is bound to be a doozy. That was Suárez's 12th assist for Cavani in his 44 goals for Uruguay. The European champions bow out of the World Cup with a feeling of unfinished business, having come unstuck against opponents who were more accomplished on the day.

Ronaldo was lifted. Portugal grew.

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