Russia 2018: Cavani brace knocks Ronaldo, Portugal out

Author: Rosalind K. Amoh
Edinson Cavani scored in each half for Uruguay
Edinson Cavani scored in each half for Uruguay

Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani  scored a superb brace to give his side a 2-1 win over European champions, Portugal in their World Cup round-of-16 match.

Uruguay's victory earned them a quarter-final against France and sent world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo home after a subdued performance.

This World Cup has not been short of stunning goals and Cavani added another to the collection when he opened the scoring early on, playing a superb one-two with Luis Suarez before thumping home a header from his strike partner's cross.

Pepe handed Portugal a lifeline with his 55th minute strike

 Pepe equalised for Portugal on the 55th minute, the first goal Uruguay have conceded in this World Cup.

However,  Uruguay regained the lead seven minutes later when Rodrigo Bentancur found Cavani and he curled a brilliant first-time shot past Rui Patricio from the edge of the penalty area.

Cavani had to be helped off the field by Ronaldo

That great game may have come at a cost as the  Paris Saint Germain hitman was seen limping from the field with Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo helping him from the pitch.

It appears to be a leg injury with the Cavani strapping it up after being forced from the field.

With Uruguay going through, as things stand, it could be a blow for their World Cup campaign given his stunning display against Portugal.

Coach Oscar Tabarez indicated the medical team will assess Cavani’s injury and to know the extend of injury and whether he can recover between now and July 6, when they play France in the quarter-final.

If the injury turns out to be more serious than it looks, Uruguay would miss his effective partnership with Suarez, which so far has proved beneficial at this tournament. Of Cavani's 45 international goals, Suarez has now assisted 12 of them, the latest being the first against Portugal.

A serious injury for Cavani would undoubtedly be a blow but this Uruguay team is arguably greater than the sum of its parts. Against Portugal, they looked well balanced and while they did concede, it was the first goal against them at this campaign.