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Thursday January 26, 2023

Fernandes double sends Portugal into World Cup knock-outs

By AFP
November 29, 2022

DOHA: Bruno Fernandes scored twice to give Portugal a 2-0 victory over Uruguay on Monday and send them into the knock-out stages of the World Cup alongside France and Brazil.The Manchester United midfielder scored a cross-cum-shot nine minutes into the second half and then added an injury-time penalty following a handball by Jose Maria Gimenez.

The match at Doha´s spectacular 89,000-capacity Lusail Stadium also featured the first pitch invader of the Qatar tournament -- the man carried messages of support for Ukraine and Iranian women and had a rainbow flag.

With Portugal already through, Uruguay must now beat Ghana in their final Group H match to stand any chance of also progressing. Both sides made three changes from their opening matches, with Portugal bringing in veteran Pepe for the injured Danilo Pereira, who suffered cracked ribs in training.Pepe became the third-oldest outfield player in World Cup history.Portugal dominated the first half, hogging the ball and creating several chances, but without ever testing Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet.Uruguay´s forwards, Edinson Cavani and Darwin Nunez were starved of the ball but the South Americans still had the best opportunity of the first period.Rodrigo Bentancur picked the ball up in his own half and surged forwards, slipping between two defenders to find himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Diogo Costa, who spread himself well to save the midfielder´s shot. Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo was largely anonymous in the first 45 minutes but did delight fans with a shoulder pass to pick out William Carvalho, who volleyed over. Fernandes created space for himself on the left and curled an inswinging cross into the mixer, with Ronaldo breaking the offside trap to attempt a glancing header.

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