Uruguay beats Saudi Arabia, moves to FIFA World Cup knockout stage
The Uruguay men’s national football team has claimed it second narrow win in the preliminary round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and got a berth in the knockout stage of the tournament.
The Uruguay side, nicknamed La Celeste (The Sky Blue), exhibited a largely tepid performance against Saudi Arabia in a Group A fixture at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don on Wednesday, and won the game 1-0.
Striker Luis Suarez scored Uruguay’s winner in the 23rd minute after Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed al-Owais made a terrible mistake following a corner.
The result means the South Americans and hosts Russia have propelled into the next round, while Saudis have been eliminated.
Later in the day, the Iran men’s national football team, better known as Team Melli, will face Spain in a Group B match at the Kazan Arena in Kazan.
During the official 2018 FIFA World Cup draw ceremony at Kremlin State Palace in the Russian capital city of Moscow on December 1 last year, the Iran football team joined the Portugal national football team, nicknamed A Selecção, Spain’s La Furia Roja and Atlas Lions of Morocco in the preliminary round of the tournament.
The host nation, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay form Group A in the upcoming quadrennial international sports event.
France is drawn in Group C, and is pitted against Australia, Peru and Denmark.
Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria are drawn in Group D.
Group E consists of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
While the 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea shape Group F, Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England are in Group G.
Group H has Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will run through July 15. Russia opened the event against Saudi Arabia in a Group A fixture at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. The hosts won the match 5-0.
A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.
Iran started its World Cup campaign against Morocco at Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on June 15.
The Iranians were gifted a 1-0 win over Atlas Lions when Moroccan striker Aziz Bouhaddouz thumped a powerful header into his own net five minutes into injury time.