Fernandes double ensures Portugal secure last 16 spot
Portugal defeated Uruguay in a gritty match at Lusail Stadium to advance to the round of 16 of the World Cup.
A cross from Bruno Fernandes drifted past Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet in the 54th minute, breaking the scoreless tie in a game lacking in actual quality. Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the ball had rebounded off his head, but the goal was awarded to the Manchester United midfielder.
While Uruguay, who must now defeat Ghana in their last Group H game to have a hope of qualifying, generated opportunities of their own and had a chance to earn a point, Portugal made the majority of the running up until they took the lead.
Rodrigo Bentancur’s first-half run was stopped by Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa’s save, and as Uruguay attempted to equalize, substitute Maxi Gomez struck the post.
When Fernandes scored from the penalty in stoppage time following a video assistance referee intervention that determined Jose Gimenez had handled, Portugal secured the victory.
Before the final horn, Fernandes came close to scoring his hat-trick but saw a low shot hit the post.
A pitch invader with a rainbow flag and sporting a t-shirt with the phrases “Save Ukraine” on the front and “Respect for Iranian lady” on the back interrupted the game in the second half. Ronaldo was silent, but he was still adamant that he had scored the first goal during some amusing post-game celebrations. Although he left Manchester United in disgrace, his popularity among Portuguese supporters has not diminished as evidenced by the rousing applause he received both when he was substituted