SAMARA, June 25: Uruguay burnished their World Cup credentials with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Russia on Monday, finishing top of Group A with a perfect record while dampening the hopes of the tournament hosts, who had to settle for second.
Luis Suarez grabbed his second goal of the tournament to open Uruguay’s account with a free kick after 10 minutes and they doubled the lead with an own goal from Russia’s Denis Cheryshev soon after.
That silenced a vociferous home crowd who had been in party mode after Russia’s opening two victories and were not expecting their final group contest to be effectively ended in the 36th minute when Igor Smolnikov was sent off for a second booking.
Edinson Cavani bundled home a third goal for Uruguay at the death to wrap up their third straight victory, ensuring they finished above the Russians, who will now have to face the winners of Group B in the last 16.
Uruguay, who kept their sixth straight clean sheet, will face the runners-up from that group, which will be decided when Spain, Portugal and Iran battle it out for two last-16 spots later on Monday. (Agencies)