Russia 2018: Cavani brace knocks Ronaldo's Portugal out

Portugal

"He is an exceptional player", said Uruguay's veteran coach Oscar Tabarez.

Yet despite his brilliance - and some talented teammates - Argentina have remained without such a trophy - losing to Germany in the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals and suffering the same fate in the 2014 final in Rio. Even if you score three goals, you need the support of a full team.

"But rest assured that this national team will continue to be one of the best in the world".

Now 33, some have wondered if Saturday's defeat to Uruguay was the last time Ronaldo will be seen at a World Cup. Uruguay, however, soon demonstrated their hunger to win, with Cavani's one-touch curler.

When Uruguay players arrive for news conferences, they begin each one with "good morning everyone". Cavani, out deep on the right side, launched a crossfield pass for Luis Suarez on the left before receving back the high cross at the right post with a powerful header which beat goalminder Rui Patricio.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos threw up his hands in disgust, realising that coming from behind a second time against this Uruguay defence was going to be a tall order.

"We had our chances, but this is football", Ronaldo said. "He has a great potential obviously and in planning the match, especially focusing on the opponent and considering the level that every player has ... what Ronaldo has on top of the qualities is that he's the leader of that team".

Cavani headed in a Luis Suarez cross to open the scoring in the seventh minute and then curled in a brilliant 62nd-minute victor after Pepe had equalised for Portugal.

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However, Portugal boss Fernando Santos expects to call on Ronaldo for the next worldwide break in September.

"Cavani has to thank Suarez today, but his movement has always been brilliant, finishing not always great but, for the first, he improvises brilliantly", said Keown.

"In football, there are no moral victories and I would have preferred to play worse and win the match", Portugal coach Fernando Santos said.

In his next match the solid team of Uruguay will face a French team, which after eliminating Argentina 4-3, has reconciled with its public.

The pair combined for the opener, with Cavani's cross-field pass from the right flank finding Suarez.

It was a hammer blow for Portugal given that Uruguay had not conceded in their previous six games, and the South Americans' ability to get bodies behind the ball began to frustrate the European champions.

"It was a mistake from us that cost us the equaliser but luckily we found some space and the team stayed strong mentally", said Tabarez.

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