Portugal sealed qualification to the next round with a win over Uruguay while also putting Ghana in pole position for second place
The Group H encounter at the Lusail Stadium was billed as a tough encounter with qualification on the line and the Portuguese stepped up to the occasion thanks to two goals from Bruno Fernandes in the second half.
The result gives A Selecao six points from two consecutive wins, guaranteeing them safe passage to the next round while Uruguay now have it all to do in their last game.
Bruno Fernandes inspires Portugal
Portugal started the game quite slowly and struggled to find a rhythm against a resolute Uruguay side, making for a poor first half.
The second half started in a similarly cagy fashion up until the 54th minute when Portugal took the lead in rather inconspicuous circumstances.
Bruno Fernandes picked out Cristiano Ronaldo in the box with an inch-perfect cross but the striker somehow failed to get the all-important touch and the ball went all the way in.
If the first goal was not clearly for Bruno, the second was indisputable as Portugal was awarded a controversial penalty upon VAR review in the 90th minute, just eight minutes after Ronaldo had been substituted off.
Fernandes would step up in Ronaldo’s absence to convert in trademark fashion to make it 2-0. Securing all three points and ending all Uruguayan comeback hopes.
Ghana the beneficiaries
Portugal’s win guaranteed them a spot in the next round but they also left the door open for Ghana, putting them in pole position to be the second team out of Group H.
The Black Stars are currently second in the group with three points having lost 3-2 to Portugal but beating South Korea with the same scoreline.
To their advantage, both the Koreans and the Uruguayans are tied on one point each, meaning the Black Stars could qualify if they avoid defeat in the third and final group game.
Ghana’s last match is against Uruguay against whom they know a win would secure their passage to the next round regardless of other results but a draw would also achieve the same result as long as South Korea doesn’t beat Portugal in the last group match.