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.

  

6:12PM

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!

6:10PM

This is more like it

Midfield meandering.

6:10PM

This gives a false impression

I think. Uruguay didn't really attack much.

6:09PM

Golden Boot race?

6:04PM

Where does that leave the group

5:52PM

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!

5:50PM

90+ mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi 0

These folks have enjoyed their afternoon Credit: Tass via Getty

Just four minutes added.

5:47PM

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.

5:47PM

Exceptional stuff

5:45PM

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.

5:42PM

80 mins

5:38PM

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

5:33PM

74 mins

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

5:32PM

73 mins

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

5:31PM

I for one am shocked

5:28PM

Suarez: quality player

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

5:27PM

Important day

5:26PM

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?

5:24PM

64 mins

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

Saudis break, Gimenez hauls down Al-Harbi.

5:23PM

Unclear whether this is a photoshoot

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

5:20PM

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.

5:16PM

57 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

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

5:14PM

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.

5:09PM

50 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Suarez cracks the ball at goal but it is blocked.

5:08PM

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.

5:04PM

46 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Decent start to the half again from the Saudis.

5:03PM

Players are out for the second half

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

Credit: BBC

4:52PM

Ton up

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

4:50PM

Here's Al-Flappy Bird

in the Saudi goal, bit of a howler.

Saudi goalie Credit: BBC

4:48PM

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.

4:47PM

44 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

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

4:41PM

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.

4:37PM

URG like to get out wide and 

aim to cross for their front two.

4:34PM

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

4:26PM

25 mins: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0

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

4:24PM

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.

4:22PM

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.

4:21PM

20mins: Uruguay 0 Saudi Arabia 0 

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

4:19PM

18 mins: Uruguay 0 Saudi Arabia 0

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

4:15PM

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.

4:13PM

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.

4:08PM

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.

4:07PM

6 mins

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

4:03PM

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.

4:01PM

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.

4:00PM

Ready to play football

Credit: BBC

3:57PM

Saudi one

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

3:57PM

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.

3:55PM

Rostov Arena

World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena

3:54PM

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

3:46PM

Great bunch of lads

3:44PM

Ronaldo on course for that boot

3:43PM

There's the Biter

Credit: BBC

3:40PM

Dat ink

3:39PM

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.

3:36PM

Horrible to see

Just hope he's okay.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.

3:30PM

Shocking assault on defenceless Pepe

3:29PM

UPSETTING CONTENT WARNING

Please look away now if you are easily distressed.

3:23PM

Ranks as highly as any in Rome

3:21PM

Expecting Saudis

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

3:05PM

And their opponents

2:53PM

Here is the Uruguay team

2:49PM

This was super cute by the way

2:43PM

We will have the teams ASAP

And then kick off is at 4pm UK time. 

2:40PM

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...

2:37PM

Here is the Group A table

2:16PM

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.

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