Luis Suarez nudges unconvincing Uruguay into second round as Saudi Arabia slump out

Alan Tyers
Scorer Suarez responds to fat jibes - REUTERS

Luis Suarez scored the only goal of the game as Uruguay progressed to the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup at Saudi Arabia's expense.

The Barcelona forward prodded home midway through the first half after he had been left unmarked at the back post at a corner. The win takes his side's tally to six points from two games, but this was a second unconvincing display in succession against clearly inferior opposition.

Near-30 degree heat in Rostov-on-Don meant the game's early pace could not be maintained, and the players visibly tired as the match wore on. 

However, against a Saudi Arabia side that had been beaten 5-0 by Russia in the tournament's opening match, Uruguay were expected to win comfortably, but they were extremely underwhelming in victory.



Still, at least the match had a hero

It was that nice Luis Suarez.

I think  w'll just move on from this game, you know? Cheers for following. Head over to Iran vs Spain: team news and live build-up if you like. Cheers!


This is more like it

Midfield meandering.


This gives a false impression

I think. Uruguay didn't really attack much.


Golden Boot race?


Where does that leave the group


Full time: Uruguay 1 Saudi 0

Uruguay are through to the next round, the Saudis are out. Can't say I am especially sorry to see the back of the Saudi Arabian side, very limited. Uruguay surely can do better than that, a grinding performance, set piece goal and to be honest I think we should all just move on as quickly as possible!


90+ mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi 0

These folks have enjoyed their afternoon Credit: Tass via Getty

Just four minutes added.


89 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi 0

Corner for KSA. Decent ball, it's the big sub Kanno.... gets up well... but cannot get anything on the header from that range, maybe 15 yards from goal.


Exceptional stuff


85 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi 0

Cavani nearly slams down the lid. Bursts down the centre, getting the better of the defenders, and is about to apply the finish as the keeper comes out, but just get in a tangle.

Nahitan Nandez, known as Baby Rooney, is on for Carlos Sanchez.


80 mins


79 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Lucas Torreira shoots from distance, Cavani sticks out a leg, could have gone anywhere, this one. And in fact nearly goes in the KSA net! Keeper wrongfooted


74 mins

KSA are wheeling on the big man, it is is Kanno. Bahebri is the man to make way.


73 mins

So about 20 minutes left of a disappointing game, but there's no reason why Saudi Arabia cannot pinch a point here.


I for one am shocked


Suarez: quality player

Martin Caceres heads a corner over, beating Al-Dawsari in the air.


Important day


66 mins:

Good ball in from the Saudis but no effort on target.

Al Dawsari fouls Sanchez. Ball in from URG now, and headed over.

First poor game of the World Cup?


64 mins

The player marking Suarez keeps kicking him, and frankly why wouldn't you?

Saudis break, Gimenez hauls down Al-Harbi.


Unclear whether this is a photoshoot

or just the player on his day off, but...


61 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Lovely ball from Cavani, moment of proper quality. He waits, picks his moment, and puts it on the head of Sanchez... who should have done better with the free header.


57 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Laxalt and Torreira are coming on for Uruguay. Vecino and Rodriguez off.


53 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0 

Mohammad Al-Breik, known to all the lads in the changing room as Ready Breik, heads back across goal but there's not a lot in the way of pressure on the ball/keeper.


50 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Suarez cracks the ball at goal but it is blocked.


49 mins

Freekick for Uruguay. Central, about 30 yards out. Saudis think they have been hard done by. And I agree: Carlos Sanchez went down cheaply after the challenge from Salma Alfaraj.


46 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Decent start to the half again from the Saudis.


Players are out for the second half

Let's hope we see a bit more quality from this pair.

Credit: BBC


Ton up

Suarez won his 100th cap, and opened the scoring Credit: AP


Here's Al-Flappy Bird

in the Saudi goal, bit of a howler.

Saudi goalie Credit: BBC


Half time: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Yes, not a classic, but Uruguay just about deserve it, and have one foot in the next round. Saudis given a decent account of themselves.


44 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

This has not been a great game. URG are sitting deep, KSA are... sitting deep.


40 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Taiseer Aljassam is coming off. Shame. He went on a good run, stretched as he tried to keep control of the ball, and looks to have done a hamstring. Al-Moghawi on.


URG like to get out wide and 

aim to cross for their front two.


30 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

URG needed to buck their ideas up, because they are sloppy and this Saudi side, ordinary though it may be, should be level. Simple ball comes across, Caceres loses his man, and Hatan Bahbri has spurned a simple chance from close range


25 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Decent run and hit from KSA striker Hatan Bahbri, tipped over, Saudis have a corner.


GOAL! Suarez! Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Shocker from the keeper, shocker from the defence as well come to that. Corner comes over, keeper comes out flapping, and Suarez taps it in. But who was marking Suarez? Just not acceptable. Looks like Taisir Al Jassam was the man who let him loose.


22 mins: Uruguay 0 Saudi Arabia 0  

That's good play from Uruguay, they are very strong down the flanks, and with their two dangerous strikers they are going to cause some problems.


20mins: Uruguay 0 Saudi Arabia 0 

Al-Muwallad finds himself in space in the area, and with time... no. shoots well over.


18 mins: Uruguay 0 Saudi Arabia 0

Lofted forward for Rodriguez, he tries il spectaculari. No.


14 mins: Uruguay 0 Saudi Arabia 0 

Ooh, danger. URG get down the flank, the tireless Suarez pops up and, gathering the ball right on the goalline, tries to lash it across. Hits the defender and goes behind.


11 mins: Uruguay 0 Saudi Arabia 0

Good atmosphere so far but not what you would call a classic.

Martin Caceres cuts it back for Edinson Cavani, whose first-time effort is over.


7 mins

They are taking their time. Eventually it is whacked at the wall by Mohammed Alburay. Behind for a corner. Poor delivery from that as they take it short and then donk it in pointlessly.


6 mins

Not a bad start from KSA. They're getting a few forward. They've got a freekick, central, about 30 yards out.


3 mins: Uruguay 0 Saudi Arabia 0

That's a handy ball forward from SA, but the formidable Godin has read it well.

Suarez has unleashed one: Cristian Rodriguez knocked it down for him, and Saudi Arabia defender Ali Albulayhi did well to get in the way.


1 mins: Uruguay 0 Saudi Arabia 0

The South Americans in their pale blue, the Saudis are in white. Uruguay enjoying a few early touches at the back, allowed to stroke it about. No press from the Saudis.


Ready to play football

Credit: BBC


Saudi one

No messing. Sounds like people hailing a taxi. All over very quickly.


Uruguay anthem is a good un

There's a long and hymn like intro bit, sounds somewhat like God Save The Queen, and then a shouted call and response section.


Rostov Arena

World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena


The players are out on the pitch

It's mad hot there. 36 degrees I think they just said on the telly.

Edinson Cavani celebrates with Rodrigo Bentancur after Uruguay broke the deadlock late on against Egypt Credit: GETTY IMAGES


Great bunch of lads


Ronaldo on course for that boot


There's the Biter

Credit: BBC


Dat ink


Lot of Als

Uruguay: Muslera, Varela, Gimenez, Godin, Caceres, Sanchez,  Vecino, Bentancur, Rodriguez, Suarez, Cavani. Subs: Campana,  Nandez, De Arrascaeta, Stuani, Gaston Silva, Torreira,  Maxi Pereira, Laxalt, Gomez, Coates, Urreta, Martin Silva.

Saudi Arabia: Al-Owais, Al-Breik, Osama Hawsawi, Al Bulaihi,  Al-Shahrani, Bahbir, Al-Faraj, Otayf, Al-Jassam, Al Dawsari,  Al-Muwallad. Subs: Al-Muaiouf, Al-Harbi, Omar Hawsawi,  Al-Shehri, Al-Sahlawi, Al-Khaibri, Kanno, Al-Khaibari,  Al-Moqahwi, Asiri, Motaz Hawsawi, Al-Mosailem.

Referee: Clement Turpin (France) 

Ah it is referee Dick Turpin! Always good to see him getting a game.


Horrible to see

Just hope he's okay.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.


Shocking assault on defenceless Pepe



Please look away now if you are easily distressed.


Ranks as highly as any in Rome


Expecting Saudis

to go with one up front, that will be Fahad.


And their opponents


Here is the Uruguay team


This was super cute by the way


We will have the teams ASAP

And then kick off is at 4pm UK time. 


Of a betting persuasion?

If so, here is our handy guide to what you might fancy a punt on

Betting guide: predictions and tips for Uruguay v Saudi Arabia >

Our betting boffins reckon that Suarez and his mates might well stick plenty past the Saudis and have suggested a wager accordingly...


Here is the Group A table


Is Luis Suarez still a bit fat?

He looked chunky in the first game, I thought, although that might have been the all-white kit. Very unforgiving, is all-white, as I found to my own personal cost after an ill-advised foray into the world of the Man From Delmonte linen suit a few summers back. Anyway, he was off his game in the first match and Uruguay as a whole were so-so against Egypt, needing a late winner from Jose Gimenez to win by the single goal.

Talking of the first game, though, Saudi Arabia were pure mince. They are the only team I have seen so far who had nothing going for them: lumpen centre backs, no pace, no invention, no clue really. Time will tell whether that 5-0 by Russia is evidence of Ruskie excellence or Saudi hopelessness  but either way, I would be absolutely astonished if they get through the group. Uruguay can do themselves a massive favour by winning today and rendering their clash with Russia a formality / decider as to who tops  group A.

Uruguay have  an experienced, quality defence with the likes of Diego Godin, they have Edinson Cavani and Suarez up front, that is a Champions League semis-level strike force. Suarez can win his 100th cap in this match (team news will be with us shortly). He'll be the sixth Uruguayan to do so. Carlos Sanchez (not to be confused with the Colombian Carlos Sanchez who was sent off yesteryday) may play right wing, Cristian Rodriguez left.

To that point, Group A is paired with Group B for the last 16: so, assuming that goes to form, would you rather play Spain or Portugal? Portugal are currently leading Morocco 1-0 but that game looks far from settled. Why not check in with Ben Bloom's live blog while we wait?

For those whose thoughts are only for England, here is all the reaction to their group opener.

Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men