This is the 19th Match at the FIFA World Cup holding in Moscow, Russia.
Date & Time of Match:
Wednesday, June 20
Uruguay will take on Saudi Arabia in the Group A round at 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET
____Score: Uruguay 1 – 0 Saudi Arabia___
Luis Suarez booked Uruguay’s place in the World Cup knockout rounds, marking his 100th international appearance with the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia.
Uruguay’s result also means hosts Russia, who have won their opening two Group A matches, are through to the next phase with one fixture to spare, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia are both out of the tournament.
Saudi Arabia gave a far better performance than they produced in their 5-0 loss to the hosts but a poor mistake from replacement goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais handed the South Americans the winner in Rostov-on-Don on Wednesday.
A corner from the left taken by Carlos Sanchez was missed by the keeper, with Suarez on hand to knock home and become the first Uruguay player to score at three World Cups.
With Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men unable to create a clear chance, Saudi Arabia are without a win in 12 World Cup matches and in danger of finishing bottom of their group, as they have in all three previous appearances.
Russia and Uruguay, though, can look forward to a likely second-round meeting against either Portugal or Spain, depending on the outcome of Group B’s remaining contests.
The national anthems have been completed and we’re moments away from this Group A clash…
The teams have emerged at a sun-dappled Rostov Arena for the national anthems.
Saudi Arabia will be looking to avoid having to overcome any real goal deficit today; they have failed to score in eight of their last 10 World Cup games and failed to register a single shot on target against Russia.
Uruguay’s group stage record speaks for itself in recent years; a defeat to eventual quarter-finalists Costa Rica in their opening tie of Brazil 2014, they have not lost in the first round since Japan and South Korea 2002, when they failed to win any of their Group A ties, alongside reigning champions France.
While Uruguay have enjoyed both a fourth place finish in South Africa 2010 and progression to the knockout stage in Brazil 2014, Saudi Arabia haven’t been to the World Cup since Germany 2006, though that tournament represented their fourth consecutive showing. They haven’t won in 11 World Cup games either; their last victory was a 1-0 defeat of Belgium in Washington, D.C. at USA 1994.
Saudi Arabia will certainly be looking to deliver a monumental upset at Rostov Arena; in their two previous meetings, they are undefeated against their opponents, though both of those fixtures were home friendlies. Having gone down 5-0 against Russia in their opening game, Juan Antonio Pizzi faces the unenviable task of restoring confidence to his side against a World Cup dark horse – and he will take motivation from the knowledge that only a win can keep them from boarding an early plane home.
Oscar Tabarez’s side left it until the last to start off with a win against Egypt in the second game of Group A; Jose Gimenez’s strike in the 90th minute was the latest winner in a World Cup for Uruguay since Daniel Fonseca netted against South Korea at Italy 1990. Against the second-lowest ranked nation in the tournament, they will be hopeful of a more comfortable margin of victory – but one thing Russia 2018 has shown is to never write off the underdog.
Subs: Mohannad Aseri, Mohammed Kanno, Yasser Al-Mosailem, Omar Hawsawi, Abdullah Al Khaibari, Hussain Al-Mogahwi, Yahya Al Shehri, Mohammed Al Sahlawi, Mansour Al-Harbi, Motaz Hawsawi, Abdullah Al-Mayoof, Abdulmalek Al-Khaibri
SAUDI ARABIA (4-5-1): Mohammed Al Owais, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Osama Hawsawi, Ali Albulayhi, Yasir Al Shahrani; Salem Al Dawsari, Taiseer Al Jassam, Abdullah Otayf, Salman Al Faraj, Hattan Bahebri; Fahad Al Muwallad
Subs: Gaston Silva, Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Maxi Pereira, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Cristhian Stuani, Martin Silva, Lucas Torreira, Maxi Gomez, Sebastian Coates, Diego Laxalt, Martín Campana, Nahitan Nandez
URUGUAY (4-4-2): Fernando Muslera; Martín Caceres, Diego Godín, Guillermo Varela, Jose Gimenez; Matias Vecino, Carlos Sanchez, Cristian Rodriguez, Rodrigo Bentancur; Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani
As for Saudi Arabia, they make four swaps to the side hammered by Russia in the opening game of the tournament; Mohammed Al Owais is handed a start in goal ahead of Abdullah Almuaiouf, while in the outfield, Ali Albulayhi slots into the back four, Hatan Bahbri comes into the midfield and Fahad Almuwallad is tasked with leading the front-line as a lone striker.
Team news now as we await kick-off in Rostov-on-Don and Luis Suarez picks up his 100th cap for his country – the sixth man to do so – in a mostly unchanged starting XI from the side who edged Egypt on Friday. Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez both get starts in midfield; Nahitan Nandez and Giorgian De Arrascaeta drop to the bench.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia as Uruguay look to seal their progression through from Group A to the knockout stages against Saudi Arabia at Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don. The pair face off for the third time in their history and in their first competitive meeting to boot – and on the back of Russia’s 3-1 victory over Egypt yesterday, can La Celeste secure round of 16 football for them and their hosts with a game to spare?