Uruguay top World Cup Group A, Russian Federation second after 3-0 defeat

Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov

Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov

The Day 12 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia opened the decisive round of group stage games as teams of Russia, Spain, Uruguay and Portugal reached the Round of 16 qualifying for the knockout stage.

Having won 5-0 and 3-1 in their two games, Russian Federation are available at 21/10 (3.10) with bet365 to maintain their 100 per cent record with victory, or 21/10 (3.10) to secure a draw that would see them progress as group winners.

Both teams made ideal starts to the World Cup, winning their opening games against Egypt and Saudi Arabia respectively.

Both teams then face the likely prospect of going up against either Spain or Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in the last 16 - although underdogs Iran are still in the running in a tight Group B.

Twice World Cup winners Uruguay offered them the chance to show they truly belonged among the elite, but it was an opportunity wasted, merely serving to give ammunition to the doubters.

"We said we wanted to improve and after qualifying this was a great opportunity against an opponent which has been doing their homework very well".

Yet while Smolnikov's sending off may have ended Russia's hopes of a third win, in truth the encounter had already swung decisively against them.

Egypt, who fielded Essam El Hadary, the oldest ever player at a World Cup aged 45, are without a win in their last six appearances at the World Cup.

Uruguay have since scored a second goal courtesy of a Diego Laxalt shot that took a massive deflection off of midfielder Denis Cheryshev.

Russian Federation battled valiantly and had a penalty appeal turned down after a VAR consultation late in the game, but there was little else to cheer the home fans.

"Russia did not push us around, we prevented them from doing that but we also put them in their corner, at least in the first half".

"It's important that goal scorers score goals", Tabarez said.

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