Uruguay made it three, and the Celeste can now dream big. Three games, three wins, five goals scored and not a single one conceded for coach Oscar Washington Tabarez’s selection, which trampled Russia today in Samara, and won Group A with merit. Facing the host country of World Cup 2018, Uruguay produced an almost perfect performance.
That goes much to Tabarez’s credit, who was clever enough to change the lineup of his side versus the first two games – which had both ended with a meager 1-0. The Maestro abandoned his 4-4-2 module, and switched to a 3-5-2 lineup. Our impression is that the Celeste should continue to use this formation. Lucas Torreira was a precious addition to the midfield line, as Sampdoria’s playmaker gave dynamism to his side, and facilitated Rodrigo Bentancur and Matias Vecino’s offences.
Diego Laxalt distinguished himself on the left flank, producing the shot from which Uruguay’s second goal – an own goal by Daniel Cheryshev – originated. Genoa’s external midfielder could play in his natural position today, creating much trouble to the Russians on that side of the field. Sebastian Coates left no one longing for the missing Jose Gimenez in defense, whereas Diego Godin and Martin Caceres – as usual – made themselves dangerous even when attacking.
Speaking of attackers, today both Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani scored one goal, confirming that they can be a threat to any defense. With such a complete lineup, Uruguay are a serious candidate to be a top contender for the title in this World Cup, and the Celeste will be an arduous opponent in any knock-out match from now on.
Tabarez transferred his garra to all his men, and Suarez and his teammates gave the impression that they have just finished warming up. Traditionally, Uruguay tend to struggle during the Group Stage, but become lethal when things get tough. With a solid defense, a well-assorted midfield and a deadly attacking force, the rea World Cup for them may just have started – and other title pretenders should keep that in mind.
68 years after the infamous Maracanazo, Uruguay feel authorized to dream big. And, with their brave Maestro in charge, everything seems possible – even winning a third World Cup title. Those who don’t believe in it, are not true Uruguayans.
June 25, 2018 – World Cup Group Stage Pool A
SCORERS: 10′ Suarez, 22′ Cheryshev (o.g.); 90′ Cavani
|URUGUAY (4-3-1-2): Muslera; Caceres, Coates, Godin, Laxalt; Nandez (73′ Rodriguez), Torreira, Vecino; Bentancur (63′ De Arrascaeta); Suarez , Cavani (93′ Gomez) (Campana, Martin Silva, Varela, Sanchez, Stuani, Gaston Silva, Maxi Pereira, Urretaviscaya) Coach: Tabarez|
|RUSSIA (4-2-3-1): Akinfeev; Smolnikov, Kupetov, Ignashevich, Kudriashov; Zobnin, Gazinsky (46′ Kuziaev); Samedov, Alexey Miranchuk (60′ Smolov), Cheryshev (38′ Mario Fernandes); Dzyuba (Lunev, Gabulov, Semenov, Kuziaev, Granat, Anton Miranchuk, Golovin, Zhirkov, Erokhin) Coach: Cherchesov|
REFEREE: Diedhiou (Senegal)
NOTES: Attendance: 64468; Yellow Cards: Bentancur (U), Gazinsky (R); Red Card: Smolnikov (R)