Uruguay Player Ratings vs Portugal: Celeste on Cusp of Elimination

Uruguay failed to score for the second game running in Qatar as Portugal thumped them 2-0 in a mouth-watering 2022 World Cup Group H tie at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. Despite coming into the tournament in high spirits, they’re now on the brink of packing things up for a trip home.

Uruguay’s World Cup campaign in Qatar got off to a sluggish start as Diego Alonso’s side failed to attempt a single shot on target during an uneventful 0-0 draw with South Korea on day one. Seemingly frustrated with his team’s underwhelming showing against the Asian underachievers, the 47-year-old manager made three changes to his starting line-up.

Instead of Luis Suarez, a peripheral figure against the Koreans, Edinson Cavani, the man responsible for Portugal’s World Cup exit in 2018, found himself in the starting XI. After notching up a brace to single-handedly crash the Selecao out of the tournament in Russia, the veteran striker was trusted with getting Uruguay off the mark in Qatar.

However, nothing went according to plan, with Alonso’s side surrendering possession to Portugal in the first half. Yet they spurned the best chance before halftime as Diogo Costa thwarted Rodrigo Bentancur one-on-one to secure a scoreless result at the interval.

A moment of brilliance from Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo early in the second half caught Uruguay napping as the former Juventus superstar opened the scoring with a point-blank header. La Celeste needed to fall behind to fashion something in the front third as second-half substitute Maxi Gomez came close to drawing the South Americans level but only to see the woodwork deny his first-time effort.

Things went from bad to worse on the stroke of 90th-minute stoppage time when Jose Maria Gimenez was penalized for a handball, allowing the Manchester United playmaker to double Portugal’s lead from the spot and put the game to bed.

Uruguay (4-3-3)

Sergio Rochet – 5

Despite not being put to a stern test in the first half, Rochet could’ve done nothing to deny Ronaldo’s opener. The same goes for Fernandes’ late penalty.

Mathias Oliveira – 5.5

Defensively spot on but too shy in moving forward, the Napoli left-back held up his end of the bargain when battling Joao Felix.

Diego Godin – 6.5

There’s not much more you’d expect from the most experienced Uruguayan player, who kept his team’s defense ticking over under constant pressure, having swept Ronaldo aside in virtually every aerial duel.

Sebastian Coates – 6.5

Slotted in for Martin Caceres, who started against South Korea, Coates partnered up with Godin to forge a brick wall before Rochet’s goal.

Jose Maria Gimenez – 6

Any defender plying their trade under Diego Simeone can only go from strength to strength, as witnessed by Gimenez’s near-perfect display at the right-back. Unfortunately, his trailing arm sent Portugal to the spot, condemning Uruguay to the bottom place in Group H.

Rodrigo Bentancur – 7.5

Came close to scoring what would’ve been one of the ‘goals of the tournament’ in the first half and was undoubtedly the liveliest Uruguayan player this evening.

Matias Vecino – 5.5

Tasked with the man-marking of Fernandes, the combative Lazio midfielder devoted himself to preventing Portugal from scoring rather than helping the creation of Uruguay’s attacks.

Federico Valverde – 6

Atypically apathetic display from the rising Real Madrid star, who, apart from continually giving a helping hand to Uruguay’s backline, barely produced anything meaningful in the front third.

Darwin Nunez – 5.5 

Another sub-par showing from one of the most expensive signings in Liverpool history as Nunez failed to cope with the physicality of his markers, never really having sight of goal. Replaced in the 73rd minute by Maxi Gomez.

Edinson Cavani – 5

Unlike four years ago in Russia, when he soaked up the limelight as a match-winning performer, the veteran marksman was a marginal figure tonight.

Guillermo Varela – 5.5

Despite being played in a more advanced role than he usually occupies at Flamengo, Varela made several decent runs down the right flank, drawing some promising free-kicks for Uruguay. But he was guilty of helping Ronaldo avoid offside for the opening goal.


Giorgian de Arrascaeta – 6
He’ll be going to sleep tonight reminiscing a clear-cut chance he squandered after finding himself one-on-one with Costa.
Facundo Pellistri – 6
A breath of fresh air in the front third, Pellistri was a menace to Raphael Guerreiro on the right side but failed to calibrate his crosses.
Luis Suarez – 5
Wasted a glorious chance to draw Uruguay level after directing his close-range effort a whisker wide of the post.
Maxi Gomez – 5.5
Left red-faced after the near post deflected his outrageous first-time shot out of play just moments since replacing Nunez.
Mateus Vina – N/A