A day that started with Lionel Messi being knocked out of the World Cup ended with his rival as the world’s best player, Cristiano Ronaldo, eliminated as well.
Uruguay beat Portugal, 2-1, in Sochi on Saturday on two goals by Edinson Cavani, It advances to face France in the quarterfinals.
Uruguay got on the board in a hurry with spectacular sequence in the 7th minute. Cavani crossed the ball completely across the field to his attacking counterpart, Luis Suarez. He collected it, stutter-stepped a couple of times, then whipped the ball back to Cavani, who had raced to goal. He finished the job with a header.
That left Portugal in a tough spot as Uruguay had yet to surrender a goal in this Cup. It went on the attack and got a series of chances, but could not get the equalizer until the second half.
In the 55th minute, Portugal took a short corner, then Raphael Guerreiro crossed the ball. Several Portugal players leaped, but it was Pepe who got his head to it and put it in the net.
But just seven minutes later, Uruguay was back on top. A misdirected header by Pepe gifted Uruguay a three-on-three break, and Cavani was left too open. He one-timed a pass from Nahitan Nandez into goal.
Portugal threw men forward, including with seconds to go its keeper Rui Patricio, but could not get another equalizer.
Uruguay, a nation of just three million, was back in the last eight of the World Cup for the seventh time.
Here’s how Uruguay defeated Portugal:
96’: Last-Chance Corner
Portugal has sent its keeper Patricio into the box and he gets a head to it. But no. We’re well past the four minutes.
95’: Portugal Chance!
Quaresma from 10 feet … but it’s straight to the keeper and saved.
Quaresma of Portugal really, really wants a foul called when he’s brought down outside the box by Stuani. The ref, who has let them play in this game, says No.
91’: Ronaldo Shoots!
Here’s an update to frighten Uruguay fans: Ronaldo shoots. But it’s from far out and wide. Four minutes of added time.
88’: Uruguay Applying Pressure
Uruguay breaks two-on-one, but Portugal scrambles back on defense before they can get anything much going.
86’: Portugal Desperate
Fernandes figures he’ll try a shot from way out. It’s on net but saved. Portugal starting to look a little desperate.
84’: Ronaldo! Ronaldo?
He leaps high just in front of goal for a cross from Bernardo Silva, but it is just barely too high.
82’: Ball Not Where It Needs to Be for Portugal
A lot of midfield dueling at the moment. Time is not Portugal’s friend.
77’: Long Shot for Portugal
Guerreiro of Portugal from distance but he puts it over.
76’: Portugal Running Out of Chances
Ricardo Pereira puzzlingly puts a cross opportunity over the endline. Portugal needs to do a lot better.
72’: Cavani Limps Off
Edinson Cavani, two-goal scorer comes up limping. His rival Ronaldo supports him off the pitch in a nice show of sportsmanship that the crowd cheers. Stuani will replace Cavani for Uruguay.
70’: Another Portugal Chance
Uruguay keeper Muslera could not get control of a shot and chased it deep into his box. . That left Bernardo Silva with a shot at a clear net. He misfired. Good chance for Portugal.
68’: More Pressure
Portugal is throwing men forward, with the ball seldom straying far from Uruguay’s end.
65’: Portugal Threatening
Bernardo Silva scoots a dangerous ball through the box, but Torreira is there to boot it away for Uruguay.
63’: Hero to Goat
Pepe, Portugal’s goal scorer, was the guilty party who misdirected that header that led to the goal.