Saudi Arabian World Cup team's plane catches fire in midair

Ruben Holloway
June 21, 2018

Time will tell whether that 5-0 by Russian Federation is evidence of Ruskie excellence or Saudi hopelessness but either way, I would be absolutely astonished if they get through the group.

Russia's 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday means both they and Uruguay have collected maximum points from their two Group A games.

Despite only 3.4 million people to choose from, Uruguay have long punched above their weight in global soccer, lifting the first ever World Cup in 1930 and producing the infamous "Maracanazo" by beating hosts Brazil to win it again in 1950.

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

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Cavani almost made it 2-0 for Uruguay with a solo run through the opposing defence but his attempt was blocked by Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais.

Five minutes later, Cavani had another chance for Uruguay following a fast break but shot-stopper Mohammed Al Owais made a crucial save one-on-one.

A left-wing Sanchez corner was completely missed by Al Owais, giving Suarez a simple close-range finish into an unguarded net.

Uruguay snuck by the Egyptians via a late set-piece goal in their opening match of the tournament and went back to the well for their first against the Asian side after 23 minutes.

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The team are now qualified for the knockout stage and have a chance to win the group when they face host nation, Russia, on Monday in Samara.

The Saudis continued to move the ball around but barely threatened the typically gritty Uruguay defense.

In contrast to the Saudi Arabian performance, Uruguay were disappointing.

They did come close to doubling the tally in the closing stages, however, when Lucas Torreira's wild shot took a deflection off of Cavani and nearly beat Al-Owais.

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