Lusail (Qatar), Nov 29 (AP): Cristiano Ronaldo wheeled away in celebration, acting as though he had scored yet another goal at the World Cup. Not this time.
Instead, it was Bruno Fernandes eventually credited with the goal that set up Portugal’s 2-0 win over Uruguay on Monday, advancing the team into the last 16.
Fernandes curled in a cross from the left that barely went over the head of the leaping Ronaldo and bounced into the far corner of the net in the 54th minute to give Portugal a 1-0 lead.
A grinning Ronaldo threw his arms in the air, suggesting he got the final touch, and was embracing Fernandes as multiple close-up replays were being shown on the big screens in Lusail Stadium.
The goal wound up being awarded to Fernandes, who added a second from the penalty spot in stoppage time after a handball by Jose Maria Gimenez.
Fernandes was denied a hat trick with virtually the last kick of the game, his shot from outside the area hitting the post and bouncing wide.
Portugal, which opened with a 3-2 win over Ghana, became the third team to reach the last 16 after France and Brazil.
Uruguay has one point from two matches and needs to beat Ghana on Friday to stand a chance of advancing.
The match was briefly interrupted just before the goal by a protestor carrying a rainbow flag and wearing a blue Superman T-shirt that said “SAVE UKRAINE” on the front and “RESPECT FOR IRANIAN WOMAN” on the back. Security officials chased the protestor down and the flag was dropped on the field.
Portugal defender Pepe became the second oldest outfield player to feature at a World Cup, at the age of 39. The oldest is Roger Milla, who was 42 when he played for Cameroon at the 1994 tournament.
Portugal left back Nuno Mendes dropped to the ground in the 40th minute and was soon in tears after sustaining a match-ending injury. He was able to walk off the field unassisted. Portugal’s other left back is Raphael Guerreiro.