Ronaldo follows Messi out of World Cup as Uruguay beat Portugal

Oscar Tabarez rates Ronaldo as one of the best players in the world

Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez admits he's sweating on the fitness of Edinson Cavani after his match-winning display against Portugal.

KAZAN, Russia (AP) - With Lionel Messi out of the tournament, the World Cup has a new star.

The 1998 champions France won 4-3 and looked a different side from the one that struggled to find their cutting edge in the group stage, pouring forward with pace and objective to stretch the ageing Argentine defence in Kazan. "He is the best player in the world in my opinion and it's natural that the team depends on him, but you can ask the same question to Uruguay's coach too, if his team depends on Suarez or (Edinson) Cavani ..." To lead Portugal into the last eight of the World Cup.

Portugal started their Russian Federation campaign strongly with a 3-3 tie over Spain and a 1-0 win over Morocco, but their recent fixture against Iran - which ended 1-1 - was bathed in controversy during the dying seconds as the opposing team was awarded a penalty through VAR. Uruguay, meanwhile, had not conceded a goal in 2018 - an impressive run of six games, three of them at Russian Federation 2018.

'We leave with our heads held high.

"This is football. Whoever scores more goals wins", Ronaldo said.

"We don't have a lot of time for recovery". The two players who have dominated the Ballon d'Or for a decade are now forced to take a backseat for the remainder of the greatest show on Earth.

Suarez then cut inside and sent a pinpoint diagonal cross to the far post where Cavani slipped in unnoticed by seven Portugal players to score with a bullet header.

"The truth is, it was really exciting", Cavani said. "You have a coach who has been working with them for 12 years, very experienced, very high-quality", he said, adding that they have yet to concede a goal in 2018.

Uruguay will now lock horns with France, who earlier defeated Argentina 4-3 in their round of 16 match, at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod on July 6.

'And I also want to congratulate the organisation of this World Cup, it has been fantastic in every way; the organisation, the security, the atmosphere is ideal and it must be said.

Suarez could have put Uruguay 2-0 ahead in the 22nd minute as a diving Patricio parried clear a low free-kick which went under the Portuguese jumping wall towards the bottom right. His four-goal tally in three games - including a hat-trick against Spain - had Portugal dreaming of their first World Cup quarter-final appearance since 2006.

His first goal on Saturday involved an incredible, cross-field combination with Luis Suarez.

"We must congratulate Uruguay because they are the national team that are in the quarter-final".

"We have a very strong team in terms of mindset", Tabarez said.

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