World Cup: Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0 - 5 things you need to know

Lucas Torreira (left) of Uruguay in action against Hussain Al Mogahwi of Saudi Arabia during the Fifa World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, on June 20, 2018.
Lucas Torreira (left) of Uruguay in action against Hussain Al Mogahwi of Saudi Arabia during the Fifa World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, on June 20, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia, the second World Cup match of the day (June 20), followed a similar pattern to the first between Portugal and Morocco: a 1-0 result, an undeserved winner and the loser getting eliminated from the tournament. Luis Suarez's simple finish into an open goal in the 23rd minute following a hapless flap by Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais was the difference in a match where Uruguay were the more lackadaisical of the two teams. Saudi Arabia surprisingly produced a much better performance than most would have thought possible after their 5-0 drubbing by Russia last week but they could not find a way to score. They'll be headed home alongside their next opponents Egypt after the two meet in a meaningless final tie on Monday.

Here's the lowdown for the game:

1. THE GOALS

Uruguay 1 (Suarez 23rd) Saudi Arabia 0

2. THE WOW MOMENT

The scoreline. Only the most ardent of Saudi fans would have dared believe that this game would be anything other than an Uruguayan rout at kick-off. As things turned out the Saudis, while hardly brilliant, were the better team on the day and like Morocco in the earlier match showed that they simply wanted the win more. Saudi Arabia actually had more of the ball, 53 per cent to Uruguay's 47, but unfortunately the lack of quality in the Saudi side showed as attack after attack fizzled out.

3. THE TALKING POINT

Uruguay, on the other hand, were lacklustre and seemed to be coasting for large portions of the match, expecting their main men Suarez and Edinson Cavani to bail them out. Suarez did exactly that today with his 52nd international goal but while the South Americans may have qualified for the round-of-16 few will be fancying them to progress any further on the back of this performance.

4. THE STAR

Saudi manager Juan Antonio Pizzi. Everyone is still wondering what magic potion the Argentinean must have fed his players for the same group to come out against Uruguay looking like twice the players they were against Russia. Much has been made of Pizzi's relative short time with the team (seven months) but Saudi Arabia were a much more cohesive lot today that kept possession sensibly and muzzled Uruguayan danger men Suarez and Cavani for the most part. Even keeper Al-Owais redeemed himself partially for his first-half clanger by making a vital save from Cavani in the 85th minute when the big Uruguayan was clean through on goal.

5. WHAT THE RESULT MEANS

Uruguay's win decided the fate of all four teams in Group A. The South Americans progress into the knockout rounds with hosts Russia on six points, while Saudi Arabia and Egypt - with zero points - only have pride to play for in their next game against each other.