Doha: A goal celebrated by Cristiano Ronaldo before it was later awarded to Bruno Fernandes set Portugal on their way to a 2-0 win over Uruguay at the Lusail Stadium, the result taking them to the round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar.

Nine minutes into the second half of a game where clear-cut chances had been few and far between, Fernandes curled a teasing ball from the left that seemed to brush the tips of Ronaldo’s hair before ending in the back of the net.

Four years after they met in Russia, where Edinson Cavani’s double sent Portugal crashing out in the last-16, this game wasn’t a spectacle and only burst into life after the goal; which came after a pitch invasion — a fan running onto it with a rainbow-coloured flag in an apparent protest to LGBTQ rights in Qatar.

Portugal had more of the ball in the first half but Uruguay had the better chances — both of them falling to Rodrigo Bent­ancur.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2022

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