World Cup: Uruguay 3 Russia 0 - 5 things you need to know

Uruguay's Edinson Cavani scores their third goal in the Samara Arena, Samara, Russia, on June 25, 2018.
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani scores their third goal in the Samara Arena, Samara, Russia, on June 25, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

Russia had their World Cup bubble burst by Uruguay in their Group A match on Monday (June 25) as the South Americans ran out 3-0 winners.

The tournament hosts had shown just how much they enjoyed playing at home with eight goals in their first two matches but it will be a much more sober mood in the Russian camp after this defeat to their first opponent of top-tier quality.

A clever free kick from Luis Suarez in the 10th minute opened proceedings before Denis Cheryshev deflected Diego Laxalt's long shot into his own net in the 23rd minute.

Russia then shot themselves in the foot when World Cup debutant Igor Smolnikov was sent off in the 36th minute for his second yellow after a rash challenge on Edinson Cavani. Cavani then got on the score-sheet himself in the 90th minute as Uruguay romped to a comprehensive win.

Here's the lowdown for the game:

1. THE GOALS

Uruguay 3 (Suarez 10th, Cheryshev (og) 23rd, Cavani 90th) Russia 0

2. THE WOW MOMENT

Luis Suarez's free kick delivery had his inimitable style and personality stamped all over it. Confronted with nearly the entire Russian team making up the wall, the 31-year-old elected to cheekily ignore the wall altogether and drill the ball into the bottom right corner.

 
 
 

3. THE TALKING POINT

World Cup debutant Igor Smolnikov's red card in the 36th minute was the knockout blow for Russia. The right-back deserved his second booking for a clumsy tackle from behind on Cavani but his first yellow - also for a foul on Cavani - seemed a little harsh. Uruguay were all over Russia in this one but the hosts going down to 10 men killed any hope of a comeback altogether.

4. THE STAR

Luis Suarez. Uruguay haven't looked terribly impressive at this World Cup but have managed to remain perfect in the group stages thanks to a miserly defence and the efforts of their talisman. The South Americans have never lost a game in which the Barcelona man has scored and his importance for them was underscored again with Suarez being his usual pesky self and producing a top-drawer free kick from under his sleeve.

5. WHAT THE RESULT MEANS

As winners of Group A, Uruguay go on to face the Group B runners-up in the round-of-16, which at this time of writing could be any of three teams: Spain, Portugal and Iran. The same goes for Russia, who will face the Group B winners.

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. Russia meanwhile have much to think about and improve on if they want to have any hope of getting a result against the better teams and go deep into the knockout rounds.