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In the global battle of the super strikers, it was advantage South America as Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani's Uruguay knocked Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal out of the World Cup Saturday.

Portugal's defeat saw Cristiano Ronaldo's hopes of lifting the World Cup ended, just hours after Lionel Messi and Argentina suffered the same fate against France. It was Cavani who launched the attack, switching play to the other flank where his ball found a charging Suarez.

In the second half, Portugal was able to answer with a corner kick header from Pepe to tie things up and give Uruguay their first goal against since November 2017. Gimenez returned to training this week for Uruguay, but Tabarez wouldn't respond to questions about his selection in the team.

He curled in a first-time right-foot shot from Rodrigo Bentancur's pass to beat Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio before going off injured in the 74th minute as the Uruguay defence dug in to hold on to their lead.

Portugal had been first to threaten, Joao Mario getting down the left and crossing to the far post where Bernardo Silva could not steer his header on target. "This is the World Cup and we are playing for our national teams". The five-times world player of the year may have filled his boots against Godin on several occasions, including two hat-tricks against Atletico, but the defender has also kept the prolific Portuguese quiet in many games, preventing him from finding the net in 13 of their last 20 meetings.

There were pre-match concerns over the fitness of Jose Gimenez, yet he returned to training on Friday and was back to partner his domestic teammate, Diego Godin, at the heart of Uruguay's defence. They have eight shots but just two on goal compared to Uruguay's four shots with two on goal.

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

Oscar Tabarez's men will now face France for a place in the semi-finals. But what it did do was not drop any points as it racked up successive wins against Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Russian Federation, without ever managing to look overly troubled.

Cristiano Ronaldo struck four goals to spearhead Portugal through the group stages, though the Euro 2016 champions were very almost dumped out of the tournament by Iran.

Uruguay's Edinson Cavani has scored three World Cup goals, one v Germany in 2010, one v Costa Rica in 2014 and one v Russian Federation in 2018.


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