Uruguay take top spot

A Uruguay fan makes himself at home

A Uruguay fan makes himself at home

Luis Suarez netted his second goal in as many World Cup games as Uruguay secured top spot in Group A with a comfortable 3-0 victory over hosts Russian Federation, who had Igor Smolnikov sent off.

In a fast start, Uruguay were ahead inside 10 minutes as Suarez, who scored the victor against Saudi Arabia on matchday two, found the net with a pinpoint free-kick.

Russian Federation showed greater solidity after the interval, with Artem Dzyuba wasting a chance for a consolation, but the damage was already done by the time Cavani got his first goal of the tournament in the 90th minute.

Uruguay, which also benefited from an own-goal in the first half, had its third straight shutout of the tournament after consecutive 1-0 victories over Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

"In our training sessions we played against these set pieces, and today our opponents scored from set pieces".

Cavani, Suarez's strike partner, sealed the victory to open his World Cup account with a goal from close range after a corner in the 90th minute.

Saudi Arabia finished Group A in third place with three points, while Egypt was last after losing all three games.

The coach rejected the notion that Smolov's presence alongside him guaranteed the striker would be starting, and suggested his yellow card when he did come on against Egypt could influence selection decisions, to avoid any potential suspensions for the second round. Gimenez scored in the team's opening match of the tournament, a 1-0 victory over Egypt.

Smolnikov tried to make his mark on Uruguay with crunching tackles, but that just brought two yellow cards and a sending-off in the 36th minute.

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But Argentina is still a slight favorite to advance as the runner-up in Group D after Nigeria beat Iceland on Friday. Even if Iceland claim a first ever World Cup victory, Argentina could still progress on goal difference.

By finishing second in Group A, Russian Federation will next play at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow against Group B victor Spain.

He will also break his nation's record for World Cup appearances, with 14.

Monday's clash with Uruguay will decide who progresses as group winners and, although Dzagoev will miss out again, Cherchesov hinted the CSKA Moscow man has not been ruled out of the finals altogether.

After the break, Russia's 10 men composed themselves and at least managed to wrest back some control of the match, with Uruguay always looking risky but perhaps happy to concede possession and protect their lead.

Earlier, a mix-up by Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos gifted Morocco its first goal of the World Cup. "We wanted to play the same we had before, only better".

Suarez fired the South Americans in front with a sweetly-struck free-kick just 10 minutes in at the Samara Arena before Denis Cheryshev deflected Diego Laxalt's effort past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev 13 minutes later to double the advantage.

In the other match of this group of Saudi Arabia for the first time since 1994 won the world Cup.

The Three Lions have cruised to the knockout stages and captain Harry Kane is leading the scoring at the tournament so far with five goals, including a hat trick.

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