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World Cup 2022: Why to expect Uruguay to avoid defeat against Portugal

World Cup 2022: Why to expect Uruguay to avoid defeat against Portugal

After playing out a goalless draw with South Korea in the opening match of their World Cup 2022 campaign, Uruguay will turn their attention to a tricky fixture against Portugal on Monday.

The Selecao began the tournament with a 3-2 win over Ghana thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix and Rafael Leao.

As a result of scoring from the penalty spot in the second half, Ronaldo became the first player to score at five successive men’s World Cups, and he will be looking to find the net once again when he leads the line against Uruguay.

While Portugal have only lost one of their last 13 World Cup group games, Uruguay have reason to believe they can at the very least hold their opponents to a draw on Monday.

The two nations met in Russia four years in the one and only previous meeting between the two sides at a World Cup, and it was the South American who won the last 16 encounter thanks to an Edinson Cavani brace, which sealed a 2-1 victory.

La Celeste went on to lose to France in the quarter-finals, which ended a run of four consecutive wins against European nations at the World Cup, highlighting Uruguay’s recent success against such opposition.

Uruguay's Diego Godin heads at goal in the World Cup clash with South Korea on November 24, 2022© Reuters

In contrast to Uruguay’s promising record against European countries, Portugal have struggled to find their best form against South American sides.

A 1-0 win over Argentina in a friendly in November 2014 represents the only time where the Selecao have won in their last nine meetings against opposition from South America.

While claiming all three points against Portugal could prove to be a tall order, Uruguay can take inspiration from the fact that they have won their second group game in each of the last three World Cup finals.

Although Uruguay’s opponents have a number of talented players, Diego Alonso will be confident his side can negate the attacking threat of Portugal after keeping nine clean sheets in their last 11 internationals.

They have also recorded five consecutive clean sheets in the World Cup group stage, and they could be the first side to go six group games without conceding in the tournament’s history.

Alonso and his squad will be hopeful a strong defence can help Uruguay avoid defeat and even secure a victory against Portugal on Monday.

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