By AP and published by ABC News
Lusail, Qatar – Cristiano Ronaldo wheeled away in celebration, acting as though he had scored once again at the World Cup.
Not this time.
Instead, it was Bruno Fernandes eventually credited with the goal that set up Portugal’s 2-0 win over Uruguay on Monday, advancing the team into the last 16.
Fernandes curled in a cross from the left that barely went over the head of the leaping Ronaldo and bounced into the far corner of the net in the 54th minute to give Portugal a 1-0 lead.
A grinning Ronaldo threw his arms in the air, suggesting he got the final touch, and was embracing Fernandes as multiple close-up replays were being shown on the big screens in Lusail Stadium.
Alas for Ronaldo, the goal wound up being awarded to Fernandes, who added a second from the penalty spot in stoppage time after a handball by Jose Maria Gimenez as he slid in to challenge the Manchester United playmaker.
Fernandes was denied a hat trick with virtually the last kick of the game, his shot from outside the area hitting the post and bouncing wide.
Portugal, which opened with a 3-2 win over Ghana, became the third team to reach the last 16 after France and Brazil.
Uruguay has one point from two matches and needs to beat Ghana on Friday to stand a chance of advancing. The 2010 semifinalists have yet to score a goal at this tournament, with coach Diego Alonso even putting 35-year-old striker Luis Suarez on the bench in search of the right combination up front.
Portugal has no such worries. The team has scored five goals in two games and Fernandes has had a hand in four of them as he dictates play in his role as the team’s No. 10.
Ronaldo was unable to add to the penalty he scored against Ghana, which took his World Cup tally to eight goals from five tournaments and his men’s record of international goals to 118.
He still was the centre of attention, though, illuminating a lacklustre first half with tricks and flicks that brought gasps from the crowd inside the World Cup’s largest venue, where Ronaldo will hope to return for the final on Dec. 18.
There was a booming layoff with his right shoulder for teammate William Carvalho to volley over in the opening minutes. There was a double stepover and no-look pass that was nothing more than showboating. Then came an impressive chest control as he leapt to receive a cross toward the far post.
Ronaldo is now assured of at least two more matches in what is likely his final World Cup, and will play in the knockout stage for the fourth time in his career.
A draw against South Korea in its final Group H match will secure first place for Portugal, and likely avoid a last-16 meeting with Brazil.
As for Uruguay, a must-win game awaits against Ghana — a repeat of the 2010 quarterfinal match won by the South American team in a penalty shootout after Suarez was sent off for a handball on the line in stoppage time of extra time.
Suarez might be recalled for that game after making an impact off the bench against Portugal, shooting just wide from close range after fellow substitute Maxi Gomez curled a shot against the post.
“We’ll need to gamble more. We need to be a bold team,” Alonso said.
Portugal avenged its loss to Uruguay in the last 16 at the 2018 tournament.
The match was briefly interrupted just before the goal by a protester carrying a rainbow flag and wearing a blue Superman T-shirt that said “SAVE UKRAINE” on the front and “RESPECT FOR IRANIAN WOMAN” on the back. Security officials chased the protester down and the flag was dropped on the field.
Portugal defender Pepe became the second oldest outfield player to feature at a World Cup, at the age of 39. The oldest is Roger Milla, who was 42 when he played for Cameroon at the 1994 tournament.
Portugal left back Nuno Mendes dropped to the ground in the 40th minute and was soon in tears after sustaining a match-ending injury. He was able to walk off the field unassisted and was replaced by Raphael Guerreiro, the other left back in Portugal’s squad.
Brazil advances at World Cup with 1-0 win over Switzerland
The five-time champions overcame the absence of their injured star to beat Switzerland 1-0 with a late goal Monday and make it to the round of 16 with a match to spare in Group G.
“Of course we miss a player like Neymar,” Brazil coach Tite said. “The team loses a lot without him. But we also have other players who can get the job done, as we saw it today.”
Casemiro got the only goal in the 83rd minute of a game in which Brazil had difficulties creating scoring chances without its main playmaker. The defensive midfielder scored with a one-timer into the far corner, using the outside of his right foot for a shot that deflected slightly off defender Manuel Akanji.
“We knew that it wasn’t going to be easy. We had to be patient,” Casemiro said. “Out first objective was to advance and we achieved that.”
Neymar stayed at the team’s hotel to treat a right ankle injury sustained in the opener in Qatar. He posted an Instagram story showing him watching the match on television while undergoing treatment on his foot.
“Casemiro has been the best defensive midfielder in the world for a long time,” Neymar wrote on Twitter.
Team doctors have not yet given a timetable for Neymar’s return — or said if he will return at all. Vinícius Júnior said Neymar also had a fever on Monday, though the team had not officially said anything about it.
The win gave Brazil six points from two matches, leaving Switzerland with three. Serbia and Cameroon, which drew 3-3 earlier Monday, have one point each.
Switzerland, which had no attempts on target, needs a win in the last match against Serbia to guarantee its spot in the next stage. A draw may be enough depending on the match between Brazil and Cameroon.
The result extended Brazil’s unbeaten run in the group stage to 17 matches, with 14 wins and three draws. It has lost only one of its last 29 group games, with the last defeat coming against Norway in 1998 in France.
Switzerland had lost only two of its last 13 group matches at the World Cup.
“I can’t really blame the team, it did a good job for quite some time,” Switzerland coach Murat Yakin said through a translator. “I don’t think it’s a disappointment. We have a lot of good takeaways here. The next game is something we have control over.”
It was an even match early on, with both teams trying to control the game but not creating many significant chances. Without Neymar, Brazil struggled to get near Switzerland’s area until Casemiro’s goal. The assists came from Vinícius Junios and Rodrygo, the Real Madrid players who until recent had Casemiro as their teammate. Casemiro now plays for Manchester United.
Tite replaced Neymar with Fred, Casemiro’s teammate at Man United, freeing up Lucas Paquetá to play closer to the attack. Éder Militão, who plays as a central defender at Real Madrid, came in for Danilo in the right back position, instead of veteran Dani Alves.
With Paquetá not being able to create much for Brazil, Tite began the second half with Rodrygo in the team. Richarlison, who scored both of Brazil’s goals in the opener, was not as effective and was substituted in the second half.
Vinícius Júnior thought he had given Brazil the lead with a shot from inside the area after a pass by Casemiro in the 64th, but video review determined there was offside in the buildup. Few had noticed it until the VAR call was announced at Stadium 974.
The lights dimmed for a few seconds before halftime at Stadium 974, prompting a brief stoppage in play. Brazil was about to take a corner when it suddenly started turning dark at the temporary stadium.
Top: Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates the opening goal of his team against Uruguay during the World Cup group H soccer match between Portugal and Uruguay, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. Photo: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe and published by ABC News
Insert: Brazil’s Casemiro, covered by his teammates, celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the World Cup group G soccer match between Brazil and Switzerland, at the Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar, on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. Photo: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis and published by ABC News
Front Page: Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, left, celebrates , in front of his teammate Joao Felix, the opening goal of his team against Uruguay during the World Cup group H soccer match between Portugal and Uruguay, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. Photo: AP /Martin Meissner and published by Yahoo!sports