Luis Suarez earned three points for Uruguay with a goal that gave his side a 1-0 win over Egypt in Group A.

Uruguay now have six points to go level on points with Russia before their last match of the group between the two, which will decide who finishes top, though both teams are assured of playing in the knockout stages.

Saudi Arabia offered an improved performance in the first half after a dreadful showing in their 5-0 defeat to Russia in the opening game of the World Cup. They forced their opponents back into their own half with some drives forward, but they struggled to create any meaningful chances.

It appears their most memorable contribution to the tournament will be their escape from disaster when their plane managed to land with a wing on fire.

Suarez’s goal, marking his 100th international appearance for his country, came when Mohammed Al-Owais flapped at a corner and missed it completely.

Luis Suarez warming up ahead of Saudi Arabia clash
Luis Suarez warming up ahead of Saudi Arabia clash
It allowed Suarez to tap into an empty night, going some way as a riposte to critics who had pointed out his poor showing against Egypt.

Saudi Arabia’s hopes were further dented when Taiseer Al-Jassam pulled his hamstring just outside Uruguay’s box, but was prevented from leaving the pitch by coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, who forced him back on only to see Al-Jassam immediately sit on the turf before finally being substituted.

In the second half’s opening minutes, Suarez struck a free kick that forced Al-Owais into his most convincing save of the half, but he then blotted his copy yet again with a dreadful clearance into touch under no pressure. Saudi Arabia may use their third goalkeeper in three matches after his unconvincing showing.

Edinson Cavani showed a rare moment initiative and quality when he displayed patience and technique to pick out Carlos Sanchez’s run at the back post midway through the half, but the winger wasted his chance with a poor header. His profligacy neatly summed up Uruguay’s stodgy, error-laden display. Cavani then wasted a one-on-one after making his own chance, as blunt as his teammates.

Monday’s match-up will decide who finishes top of the group, but with either Spain or Portugal likely to be their next opponents, there is no easy reward on offer. Uruguay will perhaps see the game as a vital opportunity to find some kind of rhythm after two victories where they showed little else but their own limitations.

Source: Alex Netherton