Barcelona striker Luis Suarez's stunning volley in his 100th national game helped Uruguay secure its second win in a row at the ongoing 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup, after they ousted Saudi Arabia with 1-0 win in a group stage match at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don on Wednesday.
Ahead of the match, Suarez became the sixth from his country to play 100 worldwide matches and scoring for Uruguay, he joined an elite list of global goalscorers who have found back of the net in their hundredth appearance.
Iran had relied nearly entirely on their steely defence to keep them in the match for the first 54 minutes and it was only after the ball had deflected off Costa's knee and into the net that they took the game to the Spanish. They were thumped 5-0 by Russian Federation and then lost 1-0 to an unconvincing Uruguay. He fell back to defend and raced forward alongside Edinson Cavani on the counterattack.
I believe that in this World Cup we've seen so many surprises so far that we can't take things for granted. "It's a handsome moment and we want to enjoy it", Suarez said.
Saudi Arabia's last outing against the host was nothing less than a horror show, 5-0. They really need to pull up their socks against World Cup 2010 semi-finalists.
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In a game lacking in chances and intensity, the only goal came from a Uruguay corner - the Saudi goalkeeper Al Owais came for the cross but misjudged it completely and Suarez was waiting at the back post to finish into the empty net.
"I thought of mentioning those great footballers to underline that thought", Tabarez said when asked about that analysis at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
The tactic worked as Saudi Arabia could not produce any danger, and Uruguay won the ball easily.
Facing a very compact Iranian team that came out to defend, Spain pressed high and controlled much of the game but found it hard to threaten against Iran's 10-man defense. He also has nine goals in his last nine starts for Spain.
With the hour mark approaching against Egypt and his side struggling to create chances, coach Oscar Tabarez removed young wingers Nahitan Nandez and Giorgian De Arrascaeta, aged 22 and 24 respectively, replacing them with hardened veterans Cristian Rodriguez, 32, and Carlos Sanchez, 33.