Portugal Player Ratings vs Uruguay: Bru-Naldo Guide Selecao Into Last-16

Portugal eked out an all-important 2-0 victory over fellow 2022 World Cup Group H rank favorites Uruguay to secure a place in the knockouts with a game to spare. Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes were on the scoresheet as the Selecao threw the South Americans’ progression hopes into doubt.

Portugal commenced their Group H journey with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Ghana as Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score at five different World Cups in the wake of his controversial Manchester United exit. Focused on leading his nation to their first-ever World Cup success, the former Juventus man has no time to think about his future at a club level.

Uruguay claimed a 2-1 win over Portugal in the round of 16 at the most recent final tournament, courtesy of Edinson Cavani’s goals on either side of halftime. After the South Americans halted their World Cup campaign in Russia four years ago, Fernando Santos’ men were out to get revenge.

With Ghana beating South Korea earlier in the day, Portugal knew that beating Uruguay would seal their place in the knockout stages with a game to spare. But despite enjoying plenty of possession in the first half, they failed to create a single clear-cut chance and instead had to thank goalkeeper Diogo Costa for keeping them level at halftime.

Uruguay’s lapse of concentration early in the second half allowed Fernandes to set up Ronaldo on a silver platter as Portugal took the all-important lead through their long-serving captain. But they came close to regretting their choice to drop back and defend a slender lead, with La Celeste spurning three presentable opportunities to level the score in quick succession.

Fernandes punished the Uruguayans for the misses, slotting home from the spot to seal Portugal’s place in the round of 16 before a day-three clash against South Korea.

Portugal (4-3-3)

Diogo Costa – 6.5

While no one can argue his reflexes and stunning saves, Costa must come to his senses when having the ball at his feet.

Nuno Mendes – 5.5

Constantly repeated himself on the left side, offering depth to his team’s attacks before an injury forced him off on the stroke of halftime.

Pepe – 7

Back into the starting XI after staying on the bench against Ghana, the famous Portuguese ‘bad boy’ forged a formidable center-back partnership with Ruben Dias to keep Costa safe and sound.

Ruben Dias – 6.5

Might have been in and out of Manchester City’s starting line-up of late, yet Dias reminded the world of his quality with a rock-solid performance at the heart of Santos’ defense.

Joao Cancelo – 6

Too sloppy in possession one too many times, giving possession away cheaply but made up for that by covering the entire right flank with his bursting runs.

William Carvalho – 7

The Real Betis midfield metronome served as an anchor before the backline, offering calmness and precision to Portugal’s build-up play.

Ruben Neves – 6.5

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ silent keeper did a stellar job cutting Uruguay’s attempts to catch Portugal on the break while measuring every pass with laser-sharp precision.

Bernardo Silva – 5.5

Not one of his best performances by any stretch of the imagination as he was often caught off guard and look tired for most of the evening. One of rare Portugal players to let this game pass them by.

Bruno Fernandes – 7.5

While he’d be forgiven for not doing it on a cold rainy night in Stoke, Fernandes was on course to casting doubt on his first-team credentials before delivering a top-class assist to Ronaldo. Earned the ‘Man of The Match’ award by slotting home a penalty he drew himself in the first place.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 7

Got the crowd on their feet with some fancy footwork and clever flicks before putting icing the cake with a glancing header to had Portugal the lead.

Joao Felix – 5.5

Aside from some occasional sparks of his magical feet, the Atletico Madrid forward did nothing to justify his place in the starting line-up at the expense of Milan star Rafael Leao.


Raphael Guerreiro – 6.5

Made Portugal fans forget about losing Mendes to injury, going nuclear on the left flank.

Rafael Leao – 4.5

An indifferent cameo performance from last season’s Serie A MVP.

Joao Palhinha – N/A

Goncalo Ramos – N/A

Matheus Nunes – N/A