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Brilliant Cavani brace earns Uruguay win over Portugal

Mbappe double sees France past Argentina in thriller match

By Reuters - Jun 30,2018 - Last updated at Jun 30,2018

Uruguay’s forward Edinson Cavani (right) scores his team’s second goal during the 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Portugal at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on Saturday (AFP photo by Nelson Almeida)

Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani scored twice to earn the South Americans a 2-1 win over European champions Portugal in their World Cup round of 16 clash on Saturday and set up a quarter-final against France.

Cavani put Uruguay ahead in the seventh minute when he evaded the Portugal defence to meet Luis Suarez’s pinpoint cross with a bullet header at the far post.

Pepe headed Portugal level in the 55th minute, the first goal Uruguay has conceded in the tournament, but Uruguay regained the lead seven minutes later when Rodrigo Bentancur found Cavani and he curled a brilliant first-time shot past Rui Patricio from the edge of the penalty area.

Portugal dominated possession but its attack did not have enough bite to break through the Uruguay defence twice, leaving the captain Cristiano Ronaldo a frustrated figure throughout the match.

The Real Madrid forward could not add to his four goals in the first two matches, failing to improve his record of failing to score in all six World Cup knockout matches he has played.

Ronaldo had an opportunity around the half-hour mark to score from a free kick 30 metres out but could only hit the wall.

 

Argentina crashes out, again

 

Teenager Kylian Mbappe scored two goals in four minutes to send France charging into the World Cup quarter-finals and Lionel Messi home with a thrilling 4-3 win over Argentina on Saturday.

The 19-year-old forward’s electric pace caused Argentina problems all afternoon and his twin strikes helped France overturn a 2-1 deficit and set up a quarter-final date with Uruguay.

While Mbappe was the most influential player on the pitch, Argentina’s Angel Di Maria and France full back Benjamin Pavard fought out a private contest for the best goal of the contest with two magnificent long-range strikes.

Mbappe, the first teenager since Brazilian great Pele in the 1958 final to score two goals in one World Cup match, then took over to send Argentina slumping out of the finals before the quarter-final round for the first time since 2002.

Mbappe set off on another driving run from well inside his own half and Marcos Rojo, well beaten for pace, bundled him to the floor inside the area.

Griezmann’s strike from the spot was not as clean as his free kick but goalkeeper Franco Armani went the wrong way.

Four minutes before the break, though, they were level, Di Maria received a pass from the left, took one touch to tee up the ball and hit the sweetest shot into the top-left corner of the net from 40 metres.

Three minutes into the second half and they were ahead, Messi curling a shot hopefully towards Hugo Lloris in the France goal and right back Mercado reacting instinctively to deflect the ball into the net.

The Argentina fans were now in full voice but their joy did not last long before France restored parity after 57 minutes, Pavard pouncing on an over-cooked cross some 20 metres out and lashing it on the half-volley into the net.

Mbappe’s first goal came seven minutes later when he snared a loose ball, taking one touch to race past his marker and lashing it home with his left foot through Armani’s dive.

His second came after 68 minutes as Olivier Giroud provided the subtlest of touches to lay the ball into Mbappe’s path and the teenager finishing right-footed with some elan.

Argentina continued to fight over the last 20 minutes but Aguero’s header from Messi’s cross in stoppage time was too little, too late.

 

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