Portugal 2 Uruguay 0
Is Bruno Fernandes eclipsing you-know-who as Portugal's main man?
This match had resembled a chess match in the first-half and, while Portugal did ultimately outmanoeuvre Uruguay with some ease, this was further evidence that the identity of their on-field king is changing.
Bruno Fernandes was not just the scorer here of two controversial goals to seal Portugal’s second win and place in the last-16 but, after also providing two assists in the 3-2 win over Ghana, he was again the heartbeat of the team.
Yes, Cristiano Ronaldo looked happier than anyone in Lusail to see Portugal progress with the luxury of a game to spare - and he left the pitch arm-in-arm with his former Manchester United team-mate - but must surely know that the days of talismanic solo achievements are fading.
That was discovered in some acrimony at Old Trafford and Portugal’s hopes of realising their World Cup ambitions may yet depend on how Ronaldo continues to accept that evolving status.
In contrast to Fernandes’s persistent influence, Ronaldo had offered only occasional sparks of quality and, whisper it quietly, there was rather more attacking pace and movement when he was replaced after 82 minutes.
A further fascinating subplot here was the way in which both Fernandes and Ronaldo reacted to Portugal’s first goal. Ronaldo was quick to claim a touch on his friend’s chipped cross but, despite replays later suggesting that there was no contact, Fernandes seemed like he would have been genuinely happy to hand over the goal. “I don’t really think it matters who scored - the feeling I had at the time was that Cristiano touched the ball - I was passing the ball to him,” he said.
It was later noticeable that Portugal manager Fernando Santos was just a little more effusive in praising the performance of his captain over the man who had scored both goals.
“It is a result of the team’s work - I don't think we should be focussed on one player,” he said, when asked for an assessment of Fernandes, the man of the match.
And what of Ronaldo? “He played a great game - they all played a great game,” said Fernandes.
Portugal had been eliminated at the last World Cup in Russia by the same opponent and, while there was considerable fortune here in the second goal - when referee Alireza Faghani seemingly failed to apply the handball law even with the benefit of VAR - they do have the air of contenders.
Uruguay, by contrast, have struggled to replace players whose best years are in the past and, having reached a World Cup quarter-final and semi-final in their last three World Cups, must now beat Ghana in the final group game to survive.
Danilo Pereira’s unexplained rib fracture had earlier meant the return of Pepe to Portugal’s defence to become not just his country’s oldest World Cup player but the second oldest outfield player of all-time after Roger Milla. Pepe, who will turn 40 early next year, duly nullified both Edinson Cavani and later Luis Suarez.
Tottenham midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur had provided easily the most eye-catching first-half moment but, after a slaloming Maradona-esque dribble through Portugal’s defence, was denied perhaps the goal of this World Cup so far by Costa’s midriff.
Play was then briefly halted early in the second-half when a protester breached the pitchside security and ran onto the pitch with a rainbow flag and a Superman T-shirt with ‘Save Ukraine’ on the front and ‘Respect for Iranian Women’ on the back. He was swiftly rugby-tackled to the floor and then led down the tunnel but the photographs of his protest - and various messages - were soon public.
It seemed to most impact Uruguay’s concentration and their early good defensive work was soon outdone. In misjudging a lofted ball into the penalty by Fernandes, Guillermo Varelo played Ronaldo onside and just his leap was sufficient to distract goalkeeper Sergio Rochet.
Fernandes then finally put the game beyond Uruguay in added time after darting into the penalty area and playing the ball between the legs of Jose Gimenez. The Uruguay defender had lunged forward for his attempted tackle, with his trailing hand then slowing the ball in its return to Fernandes. Portugal appealed and, after consulting the video replays, referee Faghani pointed to the spot even though the rules state that it is only an offence if an arm is used to enlarge rather than support the body. Fernandes was clinical from the penalty spot and later also only denied a World Cup hat-trick by the width of the post.
Portugal 2 Uruguay 0, as it happened: below
Thanks for following this with us
You can catch up with the action as it happened below, including the pitch invader and the opportunity to use our player ratings tool, and above will be Jeremy Wilson's match report. Thanks for reading. Goodnight.
Jeremy Wilson's player ratings
Portugal 4-3-3: Costa 6; Cancelo 7, Dias 7, Pepe 7, Mendes 6; Silva 7, Neves 6, Carvalho 6; Fernandes 8, Ronaldo 6, Félix 6
Subs Guerreiro/Neves 42, Leao/Neves 62, Ramos/Ronaldo 82, Palhinha/Carvalho 83
Uruguay 3-5-2: Rochet 6; Coates 6, Godín 6, Giménez 5; Varela 6, Valverde 6, Vecino 6, Bentancur 7, Olivera 6; Núñez 6, Cavani 5
Booked Bentancur, Olivera
Subs de Arrascaeta/Vecino 62, Pellistri/Godin 62, Gomez/Nunez 72, Suarez/Cavani 73, Vina/Olivera 86
What are your player ratings?
if this is the pitch invader from earlier?
— Mike L. Goodman (@TheM_L_G) November 28, 2022
More handball reacts
I have no hands and I guarantee VAR would penalise me for “handball”
— Joanne O’ Riordan (@JoanneOR_Ox) November 28, 2022
Worst handball decision of the World Cup right there. Shocking. He falls on the ball. 🇵🇹 v 🇺🇾
— Mike Minay (@MikeMinay) November 28, 2022
I’m running onto the pitch next game with a rainbow flag, and a t-shirt with “fix the handball penalty rule” on one side; and “ITV stop asking Peter Walton to justify terrible decisions” on the other. #WorldCup2022
— James Harkin (@JamesHarkin) November 28, 2022
Fernandes striking a pose
Rate the players
Who impressed you and who depressed you?
Reactions to the ridiculous handball
Joe Cole: "Ridiculous handball. If that was England you would be fuming. Horrendous decision."
Emergency appointments available for anyone who thinks that was a deliberate handball.
— Specsavers (@Specsavers) November 28, 2022
Graeme Souness: "Subjective? A fancy word for opinion, and my opinion is that he got it wrong."
The handball laws are completely absurd now. https://t.co/wThAVQxM4V
— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) November 28, 2022
Full time: Portugal 2 Uruguay 0
That's it. The right team won, albeit that both goals had moments of curiosity/unfairness.
Here's the penno
And Bruno has just come so close to a hat-trick: he shot from the edge of the box and hit the post.
More from Jeremy on the invader
Play was briefly halted when a protester breached the pitchside security and made their way onto the pitch with a rainbow flag and a Superman T-shirt with ‘Save Ukraine’ on the front and ‘Respect for Iranian Women’ on the back. He was fairly swiftly rugby-tackled to the floor and then led down the tunnel but the photographs of his protest - and various messages - were soon across social media.
GOAL! Portugal 2 Uruguay 0 (Fernandes 90+2 mins pen)
Desperately unfair on URG but nothing wrong with the pen from Bruno Fernandes. Sends the goalie the wrong way and rolls it in.
Here's why the pen was given.
88 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
Portugal have won a corner. Ruben Dias has been booked for talking back.
Clever nutmeg now from Fernandes and, as Gimenez is beaten/falls, the ball hits his hand. The referee has given a penalty.
McCoist: "completely and utterly accidental. He has no idea that the ball is going to hit his hand. He has no intention."
Peter Walton: "The referee in his subjective opinion sees that he has stopped the progress of the ball."
Well, either way.... it's a penalty.
86 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
It is the South Americans who have the ball. They play it out to the left. Cross blocked. Portugal have it. Bernarndo SIlva leads the break and shoots. No.
85 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
CR7 was one of three changed for Portugal.
Felix, Carvalho and he. Nunes, Palhinha, and Ramos the men on.
Still quite fancy that Uruguay can maybe get something here.
82 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
⚽️🏳️🌈 A man sporting a pride flag and a t-shirt declaring "respect for Iranian women" and "save Ukraine" ran onto the pitch during the second half of the Portugal vs Uruguay match.
Read more ⬇️
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) November 28, 2022
Uruguay are having a good go now. Good stat from the BBC: "Five players aged 35 and over have appeared in this game - Pepe (39), Cristiano Ronaldo (37), Diego Godin (36), Luis Suarez (35) and Edinson Cavani (35) - the most in a World Cup match in history."
81 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
Ronaldo is coming off.
79 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
Real good ball in for Suarez to attack but he's just back on his heels and Portugal can defend that.
78 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
Suarez! Should have scored. Ball comes in from the left, Suarez half-controls in the area and puts it wide from close range. He looks a shadow of his former self to me. A less-fit shadow.
Rainbow flag protestor
Read more about the person who got on the pitch with a rainbow flag.
Meanwhile, Maxi Gomez has come on and promptly hit the post!
73 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
Suarez is introduced.
70 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
Nunez one-on-one with Pepe but the veteran tackles him at the last moment.
67 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
In any event, it's Portugal who lead and URG do not look all that likely to score.
66 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
Matthew Upson of the BBC on the goal: "This is all about the timing of the run, the desire, the athleticism and getting across the face. I'm not even too sure if he touches that... He doesn't touch the ball."
65 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
The goal has been credited to Ronaldo's erstwhile United team-mate Bruno Fernandes.
Personally I think Ronaldo got a bit of hair mousse on it?
60 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
Darwin Nunez handles on the edge of the opponent's box. Lucky for Portugal that he did because he's chopped down a split-second later.
— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) November 28, 2022
59 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
Unclear incidentally if Ronaldo did get a touch on that for the goal. Assuming that the goal is chalked to him, that takes him onto 9 World Cup goals, level with Eusebio.
57 mins: Portugal 1 Uruguay 0
Cavani could have done better here with a half chance. Barely noticed him so far, I have to say.
GOAL! Portugal 1 Uruguay 0 (Fernandes 54)
With his head. Nice work down the left from Bruno F, stands it up for Ronaldo and there's the great man with a glancing header to make it 1-0.
UPDATE: It looked like Ronaldo had got a faint touch - and he certainly claimed it (!) - but after a few minutes this is chalked up to the Bruno Fernandes cross. So glancing a header in fact that it was no header at all.
53 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Is there a goal in this?
50 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Ah this is a great break from Portugal. Joao Felix surges down the left and shoots into the side netting. Bruno Fernandes, running free in the centre, is doing his CRUNCH.
Someone's ran on the pitch with a rainbow flag.
47 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Vecino with a wee nibble on the back of Neves that seems to have done the Portugal player a mischief. Not a Suarezian nibble on his back. I mean a foul on his leg. For clarity's sake.
46 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
The second half starts. No changes.
Here's Jeremy Wilson
"Very tactical match - Uruguay content to sit deep and let Portugal dominate possession but they have very little cutting edge. Ronaldo's movement up front has been limited and you would think Fernando Santos will look to make changes fairly soon if this pattern continues. Diego Godin, who is 37 next year, having a very comfortable evening at centre-back for Uruguay."
Ronaldo with a half chance
Half time player ratings
Would you like to rate the players at half time?
Half time: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
A first half that has had moments of quality without yet crackling into life. Portugal have had loads of the ball but it was actual Bentancur of Uruguay who self-generated, but then missed, its best chance.
45 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Good move from Portugal as they get down the left. Guerreiro delivers a ball but CR7 cannot get there. Would have been a good chance. Anyway, that's the end of the first half.
43 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Olivera with a totally pointless yellow card, blocking an opponent from taking a freekick 70 yards from the goal.
41 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Nuno Mendes is coming off. Guerreiro comes on.
38 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Ball played in but well repelled.
37 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Uruguay break and they get a freekick. Ruben Neves earns a yellow for hauling back Guillermo Varela.
35 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Exciting passage! Por attacking with real vim, it looks like Ronaldo has smuggled a cross through but it is just cut out.
Urg go up the other end.
Bentancur picks out Olivera, cross and Benters cannot quite get to the return.
32 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
But that was the moment! A great break from Bentancur as he surges forward from centre mid, he makes it himself with a lovely bit of dribbling, the keeper comes out for a one-on-one! Ooh no. He hits it straight at the diving keeper. He coulda gone round the keeper, or dinked it over. In the end he did neither.
30 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Five shots for Por and two for Urg but neither keeper has had a save to make. Zero shots on target.
24 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Cavani and the other guy up front, Nunez, are not in the game at all.
22 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Ronaldo comes out to the left and curls in a cross but it floats harmlessly over everyone.
20 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
It has been all Portugal. The game played in Uruguay's half. They won't mind that nearly as much as some other teams do.
19 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Bruno F wastes the aforementioned corner.
Plenty of this
17 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
He cannot get it over the wall, but they do get a corner.
16 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
And that leads to a foul that gives Ronaldo a chance to hit a freekick.
15 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
No immediate joy from the corner for Portugal but they keep it alive.
14 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Nice bit of football this as Por come forward. Lots of movement, verve. Nunez carries it and shoots. Deflected behind for another corner.
11 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Darwin Nunez looks well up for it. Wins a corner. Kicks the ad hoarding. Whoops up the crowd.
The corner is played short and then eventually in. Gimenez gets up well and heads over.
9 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Here's Jeremy Wilson from the stadium:
Not a total surprise with Luis Suarez's omission. There's a theory now in Uruguay that he does not work as a pair with Edinson Cavani, with whom there is a combined age of 70. Advancing years no barrier to Pepe - described as a "monster" by Portugal coach Fernando Santos and still winning plenty of trophies back in Portugal at the age of 39 after leaving Real Madrid five years ago.
7 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Portugal's record against South American oppo is awful.
5 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Expecting plenty of rolling around this evening. Bentancur has clipped Rúben Dias, who stays down for a wee while. Bentancur get the yellow.
That was the third freekick in about a minute.
3 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Ronaldo with a superb lay off, using his chest, and steers it to Carvalho. Cracks the ball hard on the volley. Over.
The families of Iran’s World Cup soccer team have been threatened with imprisonment and torture if the players fail to “behave” ahead of the match against the USA on Tuesday, a source involved in the security of the games tells @kileycnn
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) November 28, 2022
1 mins: Portugal 0 Uruguay 0
Cavani starts up front. He scored twice in Sochi in the last World Cup to knock out Portugal.
Godin with an early, beefy header to clear when Ronaldo was lurking.
Portugal: Diogo Costa, Joao Cancelo, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Nuno Mendes, Ruben Neves, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, William Carvalho, Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Uruguay: Sergio Rochet, Sebastian Coates, Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez, Guillermo Varela, Mathias Olivera, Rodrigo Bentancur, Matias Vecino, Federico Valverde, Edinson Cavani, Darwin Nunez.
Three at the back for Uruguay.
Luis Suarez on bench
this guy begins on the bench and will be hungry as hell once he gets on.
Two magnfiicent anthems
Portugal go first. It's an excellent effort. But Uruguay, you have to take your hat off. It's like an entire symphony before they even start the wordy bit. Godin and the lads into it. Crowd bang up for it.
I'm calling the all-important Anthem-off to the men from South America.
comm Jon Champion says he expects to see both excellence (or words to that effect?) and "villainy" from both of these sides. Strong agree! Both of these have brilliant players and more than a couple of sods. Lovely stuff.
Portugal: Costa, Joao Cancelo, Dias, Pepe, Nuno Mendes, Bernardo Silva, Neves, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes, Ronaldo, Joao Felix. Subs: Rui Patricio, Dalot, Guerreiro, Joao Palhinha, Andre Silva, Jose Sa, Leao, Vitinha, Joao Mario, Ricardo Horta, Matheus Luiz, Silva, Goncalo Ramos.
Uruguay: Rochet, Coates, Godin, Gimenez, Varela, Valverde, Vecino, Bentancur, Olivera, Nunez, Cavani. Subs: Muslera, De la Cruz, Pellistri, Suarez, De Arrascaeta, Sosa, Torreira, Vina, Gomez, Torres, Caceres, Canobbio, Ugarte, Luis Rodriguez.
And here is the real thing
ITV showing the
Michael Sheen speech to the Wales team. I'm not even Welsh and I am absolutely pumped for them. Brilliant bit of telly.
The ITV chaps
are deep in discussion about Declan Rice and what he brings to England.
I've enjoyed ITV so far this tournament. With Souness and Keane, ITV exerts an early authority over BBC
What a match up in store
I fancied Urg as my dark horse fiver for the tournament but this match was obviously a potential fly in the ointment. I have to say, I really expected Uruguay to put South Korea away so coming into this with just one point is sub-optimal. I strongly suspect my dark horse fiver may be going down the jacks with many previous dark horse fivers now but who knows.
Rate the players
Don't let those players get out of this unrated.
And if you want to predict even more than just this match
You can do so here:
Predict the score
How Uruguay start the game... no Suarez
Starting XI: Rochet, Coates, Godin, Giminez, Varela, Valverde, Vecino, Bentancur, Olivera, Nunez, Cavani
Substitutes: Muslera, De la Cruz, Pellistri, Suarez, de Arrasceta, Sosa, Torreira, Vina, Gomez, Torres, Caceres, Canobbio, Ugarte, Rodriguez
How Portugal line up
Starting XI: Diogo Costa, Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Pepe, Nuno Mendes, Bernardo Silva, Neves, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix
Substitutes: Rui Patricio, Dalot, Guerreiro, Joao Palhinha, Andre Silva, Sa, Rafael Leao, Vitinha, Joao Mario, Ricardo Horta, Nunes, Antonio Silva, Goncalo Ramos
And welcome to our live coverage for tonight's 7pm kick-off, the Group H game between Portugal and Uruguay. It is probably the match of the day and Portugal go into it in better shape than their rivals, after their 3-2 opening win against Ghana. Uruguay, on the other hand, laboured to a 0-0 draw against South Korea.
Portugal can qualify if they beat Uruguay tonight, which would take a lot of pressure out of that final group game against South Korea, who will struggle to qualify after losing 3-2 to Ghana earlier today. Uruguay probably need a result of some kind, but a draw would not be the end of the world. The myriad permutations are what tournament football is all about at this stage.
One familiar name – and face – who comes back into the fold for Portugal is 39-year-old Pepe, in what will be his 130th cap after Danilo Pereira sustained three rib fractures in (somehow) training this week.
Portugal manager Fernando Santos described Pereira's injury as "unexplained". “After, we saw it was more serious than expected,” he said. “We are following it up. I’m not a magical doctor. As far as I know he is evolving positively and we expect to have him very soon in the field of play. We cannot cry over spilt milk.”
Speaking about Pepe, Santos said: “He’s a monster. A monster. That’s the answer to that question.”
Regarding Uruguay, midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur was clear with what needs to be different.
“We need to change our play with the ball. We were a bit slow when building up and weren’t able to break enough with the midfielders or with strikers.”
“We need to improve speed, build-up and make the most of our strong points either on the flanks or in the middle,” added manager Diego Alonso.
“We want to have more dynamism with the ball. Sometimes, if you are slow, you won’t have enough chances.”
The game kicks off at 7pm GMT and we will be here for the build-up, live updates and reaction from what could be a tasty clash.