Luis Suarez booked Uruguay’s place in the World Cup knockout rounds, marking his 100th international appearance with the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia.
Uruguay’s result also means hosts Russia, who have won their opening two Group A matches, are through to the next phase with one fixture to spare, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia are both out of the tournament.
Saudi Arabia gave a far better performance than they produced in their 5-0 loss to the hosts but a poor mistake from replacement goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais handed the South Americans the winner in Rostov-on-Don on Wednesday.
A corner from the left taken by Carlos Sanchez was missed by the keeper, with Suarez on hand to knock home and become the first Uruguay player to score at three World Cups.
With Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men unable to create a clear chance, Saudi Arabia are without a win in 12 World Cup matches and in danger of finishing bottom of their group, as they have in all three previous appearances.
Russia and Uruguay, though, can look forward to a likely second-round meeting against either Portugal or Spain, depending on the outcome of Group B’s remaining contests.
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