Edinson Cavani Leads Uruguay to a 2-1 Victory over Portugal at the World Cup

Edinson Cavani is a double hero…

The 31-year-old Uruguayan professional footballer, a striker for Paris Saint-Germain helped propel Uruguay to a victory over Portugal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 2-1 win in the Round of 16 match on Saturday, with 44,287 spectators cheering the teams in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Edinson Cavani

Uruguay knocked Portugal out of the tournament with a brace from Cavani (in the 7th and 62nd minutes), securing Uruguay’s place in the World Cup quarterfinals. Pepe scored for Portugal in the 55th minute.

The match was the third for the two national teams. Earlier, Portugal beat Uruguay in a friendly match and drew in the second one.

Rodriguez Scores Two Goals to Lead Colombia Into Its First World Cup Quarterfinal

World Cup 2014

It looks like James Rodriguez is emerging at this year’s FIFA World Cup superstar…

The 22-year-old Colombian footballer scored a pair of goals to give Colombia a 2-0 victory on Saturday over Uruguay, earning his team its first-ever World Cup quarterfinal berth.

James Rodriguez

The Uruguayans came into the match at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana Stadium with a chip on their shoulder after Luis Suarez was given a nine-match international ban for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in Group D action Tuesday, but the loss of their star striker proved too much against Jose Pekerman’s talented squad.

Both teams started off the match at an unhurried pace, patiently looking to mount their attacks in the Round of 16 knockout match.

But when it seemed that the crowd of 73,804 might have to wait a while for the action to heat up, Rodriguez produced one of the most stunning goals of the 2014 World Cup in the 28th minute.

The play started with midfielder Abel Aguilar lofting a ball in the direction of forward Jackson Martinez, who was standing just outside Uruguay’s penalty area.

Uruguayan defender Maxi Pereira tried to clear the ball but it went back to Aguilar, who headed to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez proceeded to bounce the ball off his chest to give himself some space and then, without letting it hit the ground, fired a left-footed rocket from 25 yards out that hit the crossbar over the outstretched arm of net minder Fernando Muslera and ricocheted into the goal.

It was Rodriguez’s fourth goal of the World Cup and tied him for the tournament lead along with Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Brazil’s Neymar and Germany’s Thomas Müller.

But Rodriguez, who plays for AS Monaco in Ligue 1, wasn’t done yet.

Just five minutes into the second half, midfielder Juan Guillermo Cuadrado received a cross from defender Pablo Armero and headed it back across the box to Rodriguez, who knocked a right-footed shot into a practically empty net for his tournament-leading fifth goal.

Nearly an entire half of soccer still remained to be played but Uruguay, lacking Suarez’s firepower, was unable to cut into the lead against a well-organized defense backed by stellar goalkeeper David Ospina.

Next up for this history-making Colombian squad will be host nation Brazil, which topped Chile on penalties earlier Saturday.

That quarterfinal clash will be played Friday at Castelao Stadium in the northeastern city of Fortaleza.

César Stops Two Penalty Shootout Kicks to Help Brazil Defeat Chile

World Cup 2014

Júlio César is being heralded as Brazil’s saving grace…

The 34-year-old Brazilian footballer, the national team’s goalkeeper, emerged as Brazil’s hero on Saturday after Brazil squeaked past Chile 3-2 in a penalty shootout to advance to the FIFA World Cup quarterfinals.

Julio Cesarorld

After the teams played to a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time at Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, César – a goalkeeper for Major League Soccer (MLS) club Toronto FC – stopped penalty kicks by Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez. The match then ended when Gonzalo Jara’s blast clanked off the post.

Brazil’s shootout goals came from David Luiz, Marcelo and finally Neymar, who calmly fired a strike into the left part of the goal after first trying to gauge where Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo would be moving.

The match was played on even terms until the 18th minute, when David Luiz scored from just a few feet away from the goal line after Thiago Silva headed the ball his way following a corner kick.

It initially appeared that the ball had gone in the net off Jara’s foot.

Chile got the equalizer in the 32nd minute when Eduardo Vargas took advantage of a Brazilian defensive blunder and centered the ball to Alexis Sanchez, who fired a perfectly placed strike past a diving César.

Brazil then had a couple of chances before halftime, but a header by Neymar was deflected away by Jara and then a blast off the foot of Fred sailed over the crossbar.

In the 54th minute, Hulk appeared to score the go-ahead goal when he received a cross and fired a shot past Bravo. But English referee Howard Webb waived it off and gave the forward a yellow card, ruling that he had lowered the ball with his arm.

Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari then sent on Jo and Ramires to replace Fred and Fernandinho, respectively, but they were unable to provide the creative spark needed to break down Chile’s resistance.

Bravo’s heroics also were key to keeping the match tied, as he stopped a header from Neymar and a powerful strike from Hulk before the end of the second half.

In extra time, Brazil dominated ball possession but had no answer for Chile’s all-out defensive tactics.

La Roja also proved dangerous with the few chances it had, with Pinilla blasting a shot off the crossbar shortly before the end of extra time.

With the win, the Brazilians, who are seeking their sixth World Cup title, advance to a quarterfinal match on July 4 against Colombia, which defeated Uruguay 2-0.

Ruiz Leads Costa Rica Past Italy and Into the World Cup Round of 16

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Bryan Ruiz has scored one of the most important goals of his career to help Costa Rica pull off one of the biggest upsets of the 2014 World Cup.

The 28-year-old Costa Rican footballer and national team captain’s header, the first goal World Cup of his career, in the 44th-minute cemented the team’s victory over Italy 1-0 in the Recife, Brazil.

Bryan Ruiz

Costa Rica showed their 3-1 win over Uruguay was no fluke as they took the game to Italy in impressive style. Los Ticos now lead Group C on six points

Ruiz’s header, the biggest goal for his team in the last 24 years, has resulted in Costa Rica’s return to the Round of 16 for the second time in its history — the first was in 1990.

“Maybe there are a lot of people who didn’t have faith in us because we were in the ‘Group of Death’,” said Ruiz in a post-game interview. “But the dead are the other ones and we’re going to the next round.”

The result also guarantees England‘s first-round exit from the tournament. It’s the first time since 1958 that England has been eliminated in the group stage of the FIFA World Cup.

Italy and Uruguay, who meet on Tuesday, each have three points but Italy’s superior goal difference means they need only a draw to go through.