Brilliant Cavani brace fires Uruguay into last eight

Portugal

"He is an exceptional player", said Uruguay's veteran coach Oscar Tabarez. Check out the brand new daily JOE World Cup Minipod hosted by Dion Fanning, Paddy McKenna and Carl Kinsella featuring JOE.co.uk Senior Football Correspondent and font of wisdom Melissa Reddy. But there was no late video review to benefit Portugal as Ronaldo's fourth World Cup came to an uneventful end.

Argentina's hopes of going one step better than a narrow defeat to Germany in the 2014 final were ended by a 4-3 loss to Les Bleus, with Ronaldo quickly following Messi out of the tournament. "I think we played a good game and maybe we deserved more, but in football, the ones that score the most goals win and they scored two, so congratulations", Marca.com quoted Ronaldo, as saying.

The reigning European champions were undone by two Edinson Cavani goals for Uruguay in their last-16 tie in Sochi, despite Pepe bringing them level at one point early in the second half.

Portugal's goal drought finally came to an end when defender Pepe delivered a ideal header into the net to equalise.

Ronaldo nearly had a chance at goal on 20 minutes but a timely clearance by Gimenez six yards was enough to keep Ronaldo at bay.

"Our next game is in five days which is not a lot of time, but after today we will rest".

"France have so many young players who are full of talent, some experienced ones too, but once you get to the quarter-finals there are no favourites", warned Suarez.

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.

"The truth is, it was really exciting", Cavani said.

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Cavani hobbled off with 16 minutes left with a suspected hamstring injury but is hopeful he will be fit in time to face France on Friday in Nizhny Novgorod.

Cavani's brace in Uruguay's 2-1 win in Sochi took his tournament tally to three goals and condemned Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to a World Cup exit, just hours after his great rival Lionel Messi took the same path.

'And I also want to congratulate the organisation of this World Cup, it has been fantastic in every way; the organisation, the security, the atmosphere is flawless and it must be said.

Unfortunately for Portugal, none of the supporting cast stepped up in a match in which the team's captain, marquee player, and talisman registered just a single shot on target.

Pepe's equaliser was the first time the South Americans' defence had been breached in seven matches this year.

Portugal's 63-year-old coach Santos said his team's talisman should continue.

Cavani sent the ball across the field to Suarez, who aggressively dribbled to the top corner of the penalty area.

"Now we have a very strong opponent in France", Tabarez said.

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