FIFA WC 2018: 3 Things that went right for Uruguay against Saudi Arabia
Uruguay beat Saudi Arabia 1-0 in Rostov-on-Don in their second Group A encounter to secure qualification to the Round of 16 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
A goal from Luis Suarez in the first half was enough to guarantee the three points for Oscar Tabarez's men to move into the knockout stages of the tournament. Uruguay tied group leaders Russia on six points but goal difference sets the two teams apart.
The 2010 World Cup semi-finalists will meet Russia in their final group game on June 25 whereas Saudi Arabia will look to open their points account against Egypt and finish the tournament on a high.
On that note, here are the 3 things that Uruguay did right:
#3 Rock Solid Midfield
The central midfield partnership of Rodrigo Bentancur and Matias Vecino had an excellent game defensively. The pair seemed to have a great sense of understanding and communication between each other as they played a crucial role in Uruguay's win.
Bentancur was not afraid of putting his body on the line and completed four successful tackles along with two interceptions. His partner, Vecino also committed forward for challenges as he blocked a long-range effort and made a couple of good neat tackles.
However, the duo were not very influential when it came to the attacking end. Despite having a pass accuracy in the high 80s, both Bentancur and Vecino did not provide any significant service into the box that caught out the Saudi Arabian defense and it is an area on which they will have to improve keeping the future games in mind.
Veterans Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez were more than a handful playing out wide, as they helped defensively too and their experience was immaculate on the pitch for the likes of Bentancur and Vecino especially before they were substituted at respective intervals in the second half.
Sanchez provided the assist to Luis Suarez's goal as his corner kick forced an error from goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais, who attempted to punch the high whirling cross and left his goal wide open before the ball ended up at Suarez's feet for an easy tap-in