World Cup 2018: The best and worst players from Russia v Uruguay
Uruguay topped Group A with a commanding 3-0 victory at the expense of home boys Russia. With five goals from set-pieces, no goals conceded and a fine goal difference, they gave Russia a reality check.
The hosts started the first-half in authoritative fashion, flying out of the blocks early on and adding confusion to the Uruguayan back line early on. The visitors struggled to find their shape in the opening exchanges but pounced on a free kick to take the lead against the run of play.
One can't keep the most lethal striker in the world out for too long. He only needs one chance, and boy he capitalized on a chance this time around.
However, the spirited Russian side, supported by their beloved fans, didn't let the goal get onto their minds. They created two clear-cut opportunities before Luis Suarez and co. added another to knock the stuffing out of the home side.
Diego Laxalt fired one in, which deflected off a white shirt to leave Akinfeev with no chance whatsoever. Matters only got worse when Smolnikov picked up two yellow cards in quick succession. The wait for the half-time whistle only got tougher.
Uruguay resumed positively after the break, making full use of an extra man in the outfield. They passed around with ease, found acres of space and enjoyed a plain sail in this half. Some poor finishing from Russia helped their cause too.
Russia bossed possession but couldn't get through a well-organised, resolute Uruguayan defence. Stanislav Cherchesov's side stacked together an array of passes and one-touch plays, but couldn't include creativity in their system of attack.
The absence of their best player at the moment, Denis Cheryshev and Fedor Smolov for the most part of the match affected their innovation.
Minutes before the match ended, Cavani found the back of the net to score a first World Cup goal for Uruguay in a victorious cause. The predator searched all half for his goal, which looked hard to come by. As a result, Oscar Tabarez's troops topped their pool with nine points.
Here are five players who encountered the most contrasting of expeditions:
#5 Best: Luis Suarez
Can you keep him out of the action?
First and foremost, the Barcelona forward started off something special for his side, against the run of play. When Russia were moving around in 6th gear, Suarez broke their momentum in the best possible way.
Right on the edge of the box, he stood tall and confident before making the right connection. He perfectly placed it to the bottom corner, bending it around the wall with the right measure of pace and fizz.
Since then, he never looked back. Suarez offered plenty going forward and while linking up play. He always looked to find his partner in crime, Edinson Cavani. Apart from this prolific partnership, Suarez's deft touches and flicks were the ones that brought in a sense of panic to the opposition defence.
He was always willing to receive a pass and initiate an attack. His work rate too was praiseworthy.