Uruguay vs. Russia: World Cup 2018 Live

Team news

Uruguay: Muslera; Coates, Godin, Caceres; Laxalt, Nandez, Torreira, Bentancur, Vecino; Suarez, Cavani.

Russia: Akinfeev; Smolnikov, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Kurdjasov; Samedov, Gazinskiy, Miranchuk, Zobnin, Cheryshev; Dzyuba.

Referee: Malang Diedhiou (Senegal).

Uruguay have changed their system, opting for a 3-5-2. Maybe that will give them more fluidity in attack. They’ve also changed personnel, with Sebastian Coates, Diego Laxalt, Lucas Torreira and Nahitan Nandez in for Guillermo Varela, Jose Gimenez, Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez.

Russia make three changes to the side that beat Egypt. Igor Smolnikov is in for Mario Fernandes, Fedor Kudriashov replaces Yuri Zhirkov, 83, and Aleksey Miranchuk makes his World Cup debut after stepping in for Aleksandr Golovin.

Here come the teams, marching out at a hot and sunny Samara Arena! “There is a Uruguayan comedian Darwin Desbocatti who describing Coates playing for the national team said that he was like a hand gun in your globe compartment, you are really hoping not having to use it but in some circumstances it can save your life,” Claudia Alen says.

Peep! Russia, all in white, kick off from right to left. Uruguay are in light blue shirts and black shorts and there’s a rare old atmosphere. Ros! Si! Ya! Ros! Si! Ya!

2 min: Uruguay seem to have lined up in a back four rather than a three. It’s another deceptive teamsheet! This will be debated for days and days on Twitter, no doubt. Enough of that, though. Here come Uruguay, pinching the ball in Russia’s half. Cavani plays it to Vecino, who drills a low shot wide from 25 yards.

3 min: It is loud.

6 min: Sam Matterface is commentating for ITV. I’ve texted Jason Cundy for his opinion on Sam.

9 min: Russia put themselves in a hole, a desperately poor pass from Samedov sending Suarez haring down the left. The striker cuts inside and tries to pick Cavani out in the middle. The cross is cut out – but the ball runs to Bentancur, who’s brought down by Gazinskii on the edge of the area. The Russian’s booked. And…

GOAL! Uruguay 1-0 Russia (Suarez, 10 min)

What a free-kick from Suarez!

This is magnificent. The free-kick is inside the D, inches outside the area. Ignashevich and Cavani are jostling and pushing on the edge of the wall. They’re slightly blocking Akinfeev’s view. Ignashevich ends up pushing Cavani, but he goes with the Uruguay striker and that opens up the space for Suarez to belt a low, right-footed shot firmly into the bottom-left corner! You always sensed that Russia were in trouble.

12 min: Back come Russia, looking for an instant response. A long ball’s sent to the left and Dzyuba nods it down to the edge of the area, where Cheryshev arrives to smack a shot straight at Muslera. The goalkeeper punches it out and the ball’s scrambled behind for a corner.

14 min: The Russian corner comes to nothing.

15 min: Amid all the talk of trying to plot a path to the final in the knockout stages, the start to this game feels instructive from an English perspective. For all the arguments about why it would be beneficial to throw the Belgium game in order to avoid Brazil or Germany in the last eight, another way of looking at it is that it would be dangerous to lose momentum. Uruguay are Russia are just playing instead of wondering.

17 min: Russia win a corner on the left. Cheryshev swings it in and Dzuyba’s header bounces over. He’d been penalised for a foul, though.

19 min: Cheryshev, who’s a very positive presence on the left, drives at Uruguay again and tries to send in a cross. The ball skews behind. Off a Uruguayan? The referee doesn’t think so. Goal-kick.

21 min: This is good fun. That is all.

22 min: Suarez wins a free-kick on the right, Kudriashov pushing him.

23 min: Dzuyba heads Torreira’s free-kick behind for a Uruguay corner.

GOAL! Uruguay 2-0 Russia (Cheryshev own goal, 23 min)
Cancel the tournament.

Torreira’s corner’s headed away and reaches Laxalt on the edge of the Russia area. Laxalt takes a touch and then lets fly with his left foot. The shot looks to be heading wide – until it hits Cheryshev’s heel and spins low to Akinfeev’s right! That is mightily unfortunate, not that Uruguay care.

26 min: Two set-pieces, two goals. Uruguay are stealing England’s thunder! This is identity theft!

27 min: I’m certain that was a Cheryshev own goal. Laxalt will claim it but the replay suggested the shot was going wide.

28 min: Smolnikov picks up a booking for fouling Vecino. Russia are in danger of imploding. Moments later Bentancur’s racing through the middle of Russia’s non-existent defence. He tries to slip the ball under Akinfeev, who stands firm! The ball squirms clear, but Cavani can’t force the rebound home and Russia somehow survive. But they’re flirting with humiliation here.

29 min: Suarez is outpaced by the 148-year-old Ignashevich.

31 min: Ronaldo could wrap up the Golden Boot if Portugal get Russia in the last 16.


36 min: Laxalt tears down the left flank and he has far too much pace for the Russian right-back, who slides to chop the Uruguayan down. That’s a second booking. Russia are down to 10 men. Can they get Toni Kroos to play for them?

37 min: Torreira overhits the free-kick.

38 min: Mario Fernandes replaces Denis Cheryshev, Russia’s best player.

39 min: “I would argue that finishing runner-up is better for Russia as their next game will be played in Moscow, as opposed to the winner of the group playing in Sochi,” Bill O’Leary says. “Plus, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between Spain and Portugal at present.”

This feels like an optimistic reading at the moment.

42 min: Uruguay are playing keep ball. This could become very boring.

44 min: “Taking off Cheryshev is surely a sign that Russia are throwing in the towel on this one now, and preserving their best player for the last 16 instead of trying to chase a 2-0 deficit with 10 men,” says Christopher Clough. “Probably a decent decision, even though I reckon whoever plays Spain rather than Portugal is at a massive disadvantage.”

45 min: There will be two added minutes.

Half-time: Uruguay 2-0 Russia

Peep! Peep! Uruguay are cruising thanks to Luis Suarez’s free-kick, Denis Cheryshev’s own goal and Igor Smolnikov’s red card. They’re on course to win Group A at Russia’s expense.

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