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Uruguay Tops Group A, Saudis Add to Salah’s Misery

Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani celebrates scoring his team’s  third goal against Russia.Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani celebrates scoring his team’s  third goal against Russia.

Uruguay burnished its World Cup credential with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Russia on Monday, finishing top of Group A with a perfect record while dampening the hopes of the tournament host, which had to settle for second.

Luis Suarez grabbed his second goal of the tournament to open Uruguay’s account with a free kick after 10 minutes and the tam doubled the lead with an own goal from Russia’s Denis Cheryshev soon afterwards, Reuters reported.

That silenced a vociferous home crowd which had been in party mode after Russia’s opening two victories and were not expecting their final group contest to be effectively ended in the 36th minute when Igor Smolnikov was sent off.

Edinson Cavani bundled home a third goal for Uruguay at the death to wrap up his team’s third straight victory, ensuring it finished above the Russians, which will now have to face Spain in the last 16. Uruguay, which kept its sixth straight clean sheet, will face Portugal.

Saudi Arabia pulled off a last-gasp 2-1 win over Egypt as the two sides departed from the tournament on Monday, adding to the misery of Egypt’s prolific striker Mohamed Salah and giving the Saudis their first victory at a World Cup since 1994.

In an often end-to-end game between two teams already packing their bags for the journey home, Salah put Egypt ahead but wasted a golden opportunity to double the lead, allowing the Green Falcons the chance to claw their way back.

The win, settled by midfielder Salem Al-Dawsari’s angled strike in the 95th minute, meant Saudi Arabia finished third in Group A.

Egypt finished in last place with no points, a result likely to heap pressure on Argentine coach Hector Cuper.  ” It was a sad send-off for Salah who missed the opening game of the tournament with the shoulder injury he picked up during Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid in May.

 

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