Uruguay ease past Russian Federation, tops Group A

A fan of Team Russia waves the Russian flag ahead of a 2018 FIFA World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Uruguay at Samara Arena

A fan of Team Russia waves the Russian flag ahead of a 2018 FIFA World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Uruguay at Samara Arena

Uruguay handed Russian Federation a World Cup reality check and sealed top spot in Group A with a 3-0 win over the 10-man hosts at the Samara Arena this afternoon.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. Midfielder Diego Laxalt's shot from long range deflected off Denis Cheryshev's foot and past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

After the break, Russia's 10 men composed themselves and at least managed to wrest back some control of the match, with Uruguay always looking risky but perhaps happy to concede possession and protect their lead.

Edinson Cavani, who has had a quiet tournament, almost bagged his first goal with a strike from distance that sailed just wide of Roman Akinfeev's goal in the 69th minute.

"Perhaps, this is the only plus", says Cherchesov, TASS quotes.

Right from the outset, and even at the end when there was very little hope of a comeback emerging, there was much of the same remarkable vocal support from the stands. "We know as we improve our game we will offer opportunities to all of our players to improve their game".

Senegal defeats Poland to save Africa from World Cup embarrassment
Africans at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation have been wearing forlorn faces after four of their five teams lost. Both Senegal and Poland are playing with attacking mindset and not shying away from pressing deeper.

Sadly for the home fans, who had created a deafening din in the opening minutes, Akinfeev inexplicably vacated his bottom left corner, moving back to the side of the goal his wall was guarding and leaving space for Suarez to stroke the ball home.

The host team achieved its minimum objective and already qualified from Group A along with their opponent. Perhaps it was the oppressive heat. Alexander Golovin had been the team's creative spark in midfield, but he was rested since another yellow card for him would have meant a one-game ban.

Russian Federation is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14. It will be another sell-out partisan crowd. They will take on the Group B victor on July 1. Both Spain and Portugal had a goal difference of plus-1, but Spain scored six goals in its three group matches while Portugal had five.

Seasoned campaigners Uruguay appear to be warming up as the tournament goes on and they still have not a conceded a goal - a first for them after three matches at the World Cup.

Russian Federation showed greater solidity after the interval, with Artem Dzyuba wasting a chance for a consolation, but the damage was already done by the time Cavani got his first goal of the tournament in the 90th minute.

But perhaps the biggest plus was the late goal from Cavani, who had been frustrated during the group stage.