Luis Suarez's 23rd minute volley on his 100th appearance for his country proves to be enough for Uruguay as they join Russia at the top of Group A and qualify alongside the hosts for the round of 16, sending Saudi Arabia out of the World Cup once more. A much-improved display from Juan Antonio Pizzi's side was not enough to overcome the first-half score, with neither side offering much in the way of vintage football, in a rather sluggish, low-intensity encounter - but Oscar Tabarez will be pleased enough with the result. Full-time at Rostov Arena, it finishes Uruguay 1-0 Saudi Arabia.
FULL TIME: Uruguay win 1-0 and progress through to the next round whereas Saudi Arabia are out. A dull game where Uruguay looked happy to win 1-0. Suarez and Cavani never got out of first gear. A drab match but Uruguay did what was needed.
90 Mins: Corner to Saudi Arabia now which Al Shahrani turns long from the left. Kanno rises up to get a header to it; it goes straight to Muslera and Uruguay survive. Four added minutes on the way.
89 Mins: Suarez! He can't make it two for the game as he scuffs Laxalt's flat pass in from the left well wide from the edge of the box where he lurked unmarked. His goal aside, he hasn't offered too much in the way of serious threat
88 Mins: Saudi Arabia will be able to take heart from their showing today, even if the result is currently not the one they wanted. Manager Juan Antonio Pizzi demanded a response after the loss to Russia and his team have offered one. They have a handful of minutes left to snatch something still...
86 Mins: Cavani! Oh, he should have made it 2-0 and put this game to bed there. He fails to beat Al Owais one-on-one after giving two defenders the slip on the edge of the penalty area, putting the ball straight to the keeper as he tears off his line to stop him.
86 Mins: It's been far from an inspiring, guns-blazing performance by Uruguay but it is one that, like against Egypt, has got the job done. A potential round of 16 tie with Spain or Portugal will await though - and tougher tests beyond that too. They'll have to buckle down over the coming days.
Uruguay Sub: Now Uruguay make their final change too; Sanchez is off and Nahitan Nandez is on for the final 10 minutes or so.
80 Mins: Close for Uruguay! Torreira hooks a shot in from outside the box that looks to be heading wide to the right; it takes a deflection off Cavani though and drifts out perilously near to the left post.
Saudi Arabia Sub: Al Muwallad is the final man to depart for Saudi Arabia today; he is replaced by Mohammad Al Sahlawi as they look for a late equaliser.
77 Mins: Uruguay have another dangerous free-kick which Sanchez tips in from the right wing. Suarez, left unmarked by a loose Saudi Arabia defence, gets a boot to it, only to smash it into Godin in an offside position.
Saudi Arabia Sub: ...Mohammed Kanoo is the new face for Saudi Arabia, replacing Bahebri.
STAT: Uruguay have had four shots in both halves today, for a total of eight; Saudi Arabia, with five overall, are yet to notch one up since the break.
70 Mins: A wobbly back-pass from Al Faraj to Al Owais in goal conjures a sharp intake of breath as Suarez hounds after it, though the keeper does clear long after a moment of peril.
68 Mins: Sanchez supplies a better delivery into the box, but Caceres can only stick it to the side under pressure. Uruguay's attacking threat hasn't really materialised at Russia so far with around 160 minutes of football played, which is sure to frustrate Oscar Tabarez. They still lead 1-0.
67 Mins: Bahebri turns in the free-kick and Suarez meets it with a defensive header; Muslera collects it at the second attempt and puts it long to create a counter-attack for Uruguay. Suarez doubles down the pitch and is clipped to the ground on the right side of the penalty area to win another free-kick.
65 Mins: It's a poor set-piece from Sanchez who hits the first man with his effort, and then, to add further insult, he fails to track said defender back with Saudi Arabia winning a free-kick of their own 20 yards out on the left on the back of a sparky counter-move.
64 Mins: Albulayhi puts himself in the way of a Suarez volley on the right edge of the box, only for Uruguay to be handed a free-kick a moment later after Al Shahrani hacks down Sanchez with a foolish challenge. Still no yellow cards though.
62 Mins: Sanchez! That should have been 2-0 to Uruguay! From a quick free-kick inside their own half, Cavani is released unmarked down the left and he turns a wonderful cross in towards the far post; the diving header finish from his teammate leaves a lot to be desired though and it flies over the crossbar with Al Owais out of position.
Uruguay Sub: Cristian Rodríguez is replaced by Diego Laxalt and Matias Vecino makes way for Lucas Torreira
STAT: Saudi Arabia have never won a World Cup game in which they’ve conceded the first goal, in 11 attempts; is there a glimmer of a chance they can nix that statistic today? Just over half-an-hour left.
54 Mins: Al-Mogahwi chases a crossfield pass down the right flank again for Saudi Arabia but Caceres traps him offside and Uruguay are awarded a free-kick.
53 Mins: A long, booming crossfield ball is lofted deep by Saudi Arabia to Al-Burayk on the right edge of the Uruguay box. The right-back meets it and heads it back in towards Al Muwallad, only for Mulsera to beat him there and collect.
51 Mins: Al Owais saves - but only after a nervy moment where Suarez's set-piece took a wicked deflection that left the keeper momentarily flailing.
50 Mins: Al Faraj clips Sanchez around 30 yards out on the right edge; Uruguay win a free-kick in a dangerous position. Suarez to take...
48 Mins: It's a poor set-piece though and Bentancur has no trouble defusing it. A moment later, Saudi Arabia break from midfield though and Al Muwallad tears into the box in pursuit of a long ball; he is flagged for offside by the linesman though and Uruguay get the free-kick.
47 Mins: Saudi Arabia win a corner now as Varela makes a lazy touch in defending a throughball and puts it out of play.
46 Mins: Uruguay restart the game, they will want to see some improvement if they are to go deep into the competition.
Juan Antonio Pizzi's changes from his side's defeat to Russia appear to have had the desired effect - and with the chance of an equaliser still hanging in the air, the Saudi Arabia manager may be loathed to make any alterations straight after the break. Oscar Tabarez's side may have the lead but have had less of the ball overall in the opening 45 minutes and are rather off where he will want them to be; he may elect to firm up his defence and sit back for the rest of the game as Uruguay look to preserve their lead.
Just the one goal separates Uruguay and Saudi Arabia at the break - and it could only be Luis Suarez to have scored it. On his 100th outing for his country, the centurion volleyed home a Carlos Sanchez corner in the 23rd minute to give his side the lead - but they haven't had it easy the rest of the time, pressed by a much-improved Saudi side who have had their fair share of the ball and chances too. It hangs neatly in the balance, but as it stands, the South American side are going through; half-time in Rostov-on-Don, it is Uruguay 1-0 Saudi Arabia.
HALF TIME: Uruguay go in with a 1-0 lead but the South Americans haven't looked impressive. Saudi Arabia have had the most of the ball but they have done next to nothing with it.
Saudi Arabia Sub: Al Jassim can't play on and is replaced by Al Mogahwi
40 Mins: Al Jassam throws himself after a loose ball on the edge of the Uruguay box and he goes down in agony after missing. Play continues for a moment until the referee blows for a throw-in downfield, at which point Gimenez signals to the sidelines that his opposing counterpart appears to have tweaked his hamstring.
38 Mins: Al Dawsari goes for an ambitious strike from 30 yards out in the centre of the Uruguay half and puts it well over the crossbar, leaving Muslera untroubled.
35 Mins: Uruguay win a free-kick inside their own half now as Vecino is brought down by Al Dawsari with a lunging challenge. No card is shown by the referee Clement Turpin, in what has been a well-tempered affair so far.
33 Mins: Play has slipped into something of a lull for the moment, with both sides relatively settled in a series of midfield exchanges. Saudi Arabia have responded well to going behind; they're not out of this yet.
31 Mins: Just over half-an-hour gone in Rostov-on-Don and it's Saudi Arabia who have actually seen more of the ball; they have enjoyed 54 percent of possession in this game so far.
29 Mins: Bahebri again! A wonderful cross turned in by Al Shahrani from the left wing is missed by Godin who switches off for a moment and lands at the feet of the Saudi Arabia midfielder, only for him to volley it well over the crossbar in a hurry. Uruguay have been let off the hook there twice in quick succession.
27 Mins: Bahebri! Saudi Arabia nearly pulled one back there as he curls a left-footed effort from outside the box towards the top-right corner on the back of a counter-attack against the run of play; Muslera is forced to leap to tip it away.
25 Mins: t's almost two for Uruguay in as many minutes! A lovely ball tipped in on the right wing by Uruguay finds Cavani, who tries to cut around Hawsawi before going for goal; the Saudi Arabia captain gets enough of a touch on his effort to deflect it safely into the path of Al Owais.
23 Mins: GOAL FOR URUGUAY! 1-0! Luis Suarez, in his 100th game for his country, opens the scoring at Rostov Arena as he meets Sanchez's corner from the left at the back post and turns on a dime to volley it home into the bottom corner after Al Owais failed to stop it en route. Saudi Arabia's task just got a whole lot harder; they trail by one goal to nil.
21 Mins: Cavani wins a corner after Al Shahrani deflects an effort from distance; Sanchez takes it quickly but puts a poor delivery into the box that Al Owais has no trouble dealing with.
19 Mins: A tenacious tussle in midfield for possession eventually sees Saudi Arabia end up with the ball and they spread it wide to the right as they look to breakdown the Uruguay defence.
17 Mins: An accidental handball from Vecino gives Saudi Arabia a free-kick just left of their own penalty area. Juan Antonio Pizzi's men have been relatively watertight at the back so far, and are frustrating Uruguay's two-pronged attacking options.
15 Mins: Suarez thinks he should have a corner after a half-chance is skewed wide into the side netting at close range on the right. claiming that Hawsawi had the final touch. Replays show that the Uruguay centurion has a point but the goal-kick stands and Saudi Arabia have possession.
14 Mins: Cavani! The Uruguay striker clatters a half-volley well wide at the near-post as he meets a cross tipped back off the left wing by Caceres 10 yards out.
12 Mins: Al Dawsari makes a poor first touch on halfway and lunges at the ball as he tries to recollect; in the process, he clips Suarez and concedes a free-kick.
10 Mins: It's been a relatively slow start from Uruguay across the opening 10 minutes; Saudi Arabia don't quite have the instinctive touch to bully them around the park though either. A cagey opening exchange between the pair.
8 Mins: Al-Burayk looks to tip it over the wall but his effort takes a deflection and spills out for a corner on the left. Saudi Arabia take it quickly with a short tap, and Al Faraj spears it into the box; Muslera picks it out easily enough as it drifts straight to his hands.
6 Mins: Now Uruguay concede a free-kick 25 yards out from their goal as Vecino checks Al Muwallad as the pair chase a ball. A promising position for Saudi Arabia here...
5 Mins: Saudi Arabia continue to press the Uruguay defence around the back third of the field, forcing Godin and Gimenez to engage in a passage of passing to clear the ball downfield.
4 Mins: Albulayhi muscles up in defence to win the throw from Bentancur and Saudi Arabia take it down the other end of the field. Al-Burayk wins a free-kick out on the right wing after Rodriguez clips him at the back.
2 Mins: Suarez! A long ball headed back from the lip of the Saudi Arabia box by Rodriguez to the striker who sees his powerful shot deflected at close range by Osama Hawsawi and away for a throw-in
1 Min: We're underway in Rostov-on-Don as Saudi Arabia kick-off! Bahebri punts it long down the left wing from inside his own half with only the third touch of the game, only for it to skip deep and long beyond Al Muwallad and out for a goal-kick.
The national anthems have been completed and we're moments away from this Group A clash...
The teams have emerged at a sun-dappled Rostov Arena for the national anthems.
Saudi Arabia will be looking to avoid having to overcome any real goal deficit today; they have failed to score in eight of their last 10 World Cup games and failed to register a single shot on target against Russia.
5 Mins to KO: Uruguay's group stage record speaks for itself in recent years; a defeat to eventual quarter-finalists Costa Rica in their opening tie of Brazil 2014, they have not lost in the first round since Japan and South Korea 2002, when they failed to win any of their Group A ties, alongside reigning champions France.
While Uruguay have enjoyed both a fourth place finish in South Africa 2010 and progression to the knockout stage in Brazil 2014, Saudi Arabia haven't been to the World Cup since Germany 2006, though that tournament represented their fourth consecutive showing. They haven't won in 11 World Cup games either; their last victory was a 1-0 defeat of Belgium in Washington, D.C. at USA 1994.
Saudi Arabia will certainly be looking to deliver a monumental upset at Rostov Arena; in their two previous meetings, they are undefeated against their opponents, though both of those fixtures were home friendlies. Having gone down 5-0 against Russia in their opening game, Juan Antonio Pizzi faces the unenviable task of restoring confidence to his side against a World Cup dark horse - and he will take motivation from the knowledge that only a win can keep them from boarding an early plane home.
Oscar Tabarez's side left it until the last to start off with a win against Egypt in the second game of Group A; Jose Gimenez's strike in the 90th minute was the latest winner in a World Cup for Uruguay since Daniel Fonseca netted against South Korea at Italy 1990. Against the second-lowest ranked nation in the tournament, they will be hopeful of a more comfortable margin of victory - but one thing Russia 2018 has shown is to never write off the underdog.
As for Saudi Arabia, they make four swaps to the side hammered by Russia in the opening game of the tournament; Mohammed Al Owais is handed a start in goal ahead of Abdullah Almuaiouf, while in the outfield, Ali Albulayhi slots into the back four, Hatan Bahbri comes into the midfield and Fahad Almuwallad is tasked with leading the front-line as a lone striker.
Luis Suarez picks up his 100th cap for his country - the sixth man to do so - in a mostly unchanged starting XI from the side who edged Egypt on Friday. Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez both get starts in midfield; Nahitan Nandez and Giorgian De Arrascaeta drop to the bench
30 Mins to KO: Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia as Uruguay look to seal their progression through from Group A to the knockout stages against Saudi Arabia at Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don. The pair face off for the third time in their history and in their first competitive meeting to boot - and on the back of Russia's 3-1 victory over Egypt yesterday, can La Celeste secure round of 16 football for them and their hosts with a game to spare?
|Game||Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia|
|Date||Wednesday, June 20|
|Time||4pm BST / 11am ET|
|Stream (US only)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
Suarez was far from his best against Egypt but will still surely start for his side. Changes have been made in midfield but the spine of the team remains the same.
Confirmed Uruguay XI: Fernando Muslera; Martín Caceres, Diego Godín, Guillermo Varela, Jose Gimenez; Matias Vecino, Carlos Sanchez, Cristian Rodriguez, Rodrigo Bentancur; Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani
Uruguay Subs: Gaston Silva, Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Maxi Pereira, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Cristhian Stuani, Martin Silva, Lucas Torreira, Maxi Gomez, Sebastian Coates, Diego Laxalt, Martín Campana, Nahitan Nandez
Juan Antonio Pizzi has made a wide array of changes on the back of the 5-0 loss to Russia.
Confirmed Saudi Arabia XI: Mohammed Al Owais, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Osama Hawsawi, Ali Albulayhi, Yasir Al Shahrani; Salem Al Dawsari, Taiseer Al Jassam, Abdullah Otayf, Salman Al Faraj, Hattan Bahebri; Fahad Al Muwallad
Saudi Arabis Subs: Mohannad Aseri, Mohammed Kanno, Yasser Al-Mosailem, Omar Hawsawi, Abdullah Al Khaibari, Hussain Al-Mogahwi, Yahya Al Shehri, Mohammed Al Sahlawi, Mansour Al-Harbi, Motaz Hawsawi, Abdullah Al-Mayoof, Abdulmalek Al-Khaibri
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|UK TV channel||Online stream|