Uruguay beat Saudi Arabia and went to the playoffs

Saudi Arabia will face Luis Suarez and Uruguay in its next match. More

Luis Suarez scored the only goal of the game as Uruguay beat Saudi Arabia 1-0 on Wednesday to secure passage into the 2018 FIFA World Cup Round of 16.

Luis Suárez opened the scoring from close range after 23 minutes.

Uruguay, semi-finalists eight years ago in South Africa, have now reached the knockout stage for the third straight time, while Saudi Arabia will try again in their search for a first World Cup win since 1994 in their final game against Mohamed Salah's Egypt. The defeat means both they and Egypt are eliminated from the tournament after successive defeats.

The Saudis, however, will look to stay alive, but they'll need to come up with a vastly better showing than they had in the opener against Russian Federation, a 5-0 loss.

Bizarrely, two-time World Cup champions Uruguay have never beaten the "Green Falcons"; Saudi Arabia won a friendly in 2002 while a 2014 friendly ended in a draw.

Al-Owais - winning only his second cap after replacing Abdullah al-Muaiouf in goal - completely missed a floated Carlos Sanchez corner and Suarez tapped in his 52nd worldwide goal unmarked at the back post.

More news: Mexico's World Cup Goal Sparks Seismic Activity

Suarez threatened with a free-kick which was theatrically repelled by Al Owais early in the second period, before Carlos Sanchez wasted a free header following a fine cross from Edinson Cavani. "We lack the depth and skill required to win these games", he added.

In the 85th minute, Cavani squandered a chance to get his first 2018 World Cup goal when he shot straight at goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais after being sent through one-on-one.

Sanchez and Suarez wasted half-chances to extend the lead for Uruguay, who also won their opener against Egypt 1-0 thanks to a set-piece goal, defender Jose Gimenez heading home a late victor. Many Uruguayan fans do not care what style of football is played or what level the performance is at, so long as the final result is preferable.

Another drily noted: "Arab countries always differ in everything but agree to leave the World Cup together".

Paris St Germain striker Cavani nearly doubled the lead with 11 minutes remaining when his attempt to divert home Cristian Rodriguez's speculative effort flashed narrowly wide with Al Owais wrong-footed.

Pizzi has certainly improved Saudi Arabia's passing game but it all leads to nothing if there is little structure or off-the-ball movement for penetration.

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