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Uruguay sealed their place in the next round after FC Barcelona striker Luis Suarez scored the lone goal of the match.
In the 23rd minute, Suarez tapped in a goal that sneaked through the outstretched arms of Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais. The game against Saudi Arabia is also Suarez’s 100th appearance for his country in an international match. In his 100 appearances for Uruguay, Suarez has scored 52 goals.
Uruguay’s 1-0 against Saudi Arabia allowed the host nation, Russia, to advance into the next round. Aside from Saudi Arabia, the triumphant win also eliminated Egypt. The Egyptians are coming off a disappointing 3-1 loss to Russia.
The Saudis will attempt to make their first victory against Egypt on June 25 in Volgograd. Saudi Arabia has been unable to score a goal for 366 minutes. It is also the longest goal-drought in the world finals.
The Saudis also held the previous record of 343 minutes after failing to score in between the 1998 World Cup in France and the 2006 edition in Germany. It was later broken by Al Jaber who scored a goal for Saudi Arabia against Tunisia.
Interestingly, Saudi Arabia had a golden opportunity to end the drought late in the game against Uruguay when one of their substitutes fired a shot into the goal. However, the shot was easily saved by Uruguay’s goalkeeper.
Tough Games Ahead
In spite of the victory, Suarez knows that his country will have a lot of work to do to finally grab that World Cup gold that has eluded them for nearly 70 years. Uruguay will now be making their third straight second-round appearance. The country last won the prestigious crown in 1950.
“None of the games at the World Cup are easy to win. You can never be relaxed,” said Suarez
Suarez also became the first player to score in three different World Cups. He found the back of the net thrice in South Africa last 2010 and twice in Brazil, four years ago.
Uruguay and Russia have six points courtesy of their last two games. Both teams will battle each other for the first place in Group A on Monday in Samara.
Although Uruguay is the odds-on favorites against Russia, it is expected that the former will have a tough time against the host nation which has been turning some heads as of late. Russia has scored eight goals in this year’s tournament.
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