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Portugal Advances to Last 16, Beats Uruguay 2-0 at World Cup


Portugal's Bruno Fernandes celebrates his side's second goal on a penalty during the World Cup group H soccer match between Portugal and Uruguay, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Nov. 28, 2022.

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.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal's Bruno Fernandes celebrate their win during the World Cup group H soccer match between Portugal and Uruguay, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Nov. 29, 2022.
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal's Bruno Fernandes celebrate their win during the World Cup group H soccer match between Portugal and Uruguay, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Nov. 29, 2022.

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.

Brazil 1, Switzerland 0

Struggling and unconvincing without Neymar on the field, Brazil still played well enough to secure a spot in the next round of the World Cup.

The five-time champions overcame the absence of their injured star to beat Switzerland 1-0 in Doha, Qatar, with a late goal Monday and make it to the round of 16 with a match to spare in Group G.

"Of course we miss a player like Neymar," Brazil coach Tite said. "The team loses a lot without him. But we also have other players who can get the job done, as we saw it today."

Brazil's Casemiro, center, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the World Cup group G soccer match between Brazil and Switzerland, at the Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 28, 2022.
Brazil's Casemiro, center, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the World Cup group G soccer match between Brazil and Switzerland, at the Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 28, 2022.

Casemiro got the only goal in the 83rd minute of a game in which Brazil had difficulties creating scoring chances without its main playmaker. The defensive midfielder scored with a one-timer into the far corner, using the outside of his right foot for a shot that deflected slightly off defender Manuel Akanji.

Neymar stayed at the team's hotel to treat a right ankle injury sustained in the opener in Qatar. He posted an Instagram story showing him watching the match on television while undergoing treatment on his foot.

Team doctors have not yet given a timetable for Neymar's return — or said if he will return at all. Vinícius Júnior said Neymar also had a fever on Monday, though the team had not officially said anything about it.

The win gave Brazil six points from two matches, leaving Switzerland with three. Serbia and Cameroon, which drew 3-3 earlier Monday, have one point each.

Switzerland, which had no attempts on target, needs a win in the last match against Serbia to guarantee its spot in the next stage. A draw may be enough depending on the match between Brazil and Cameroon.

The result extended Brazil's unbeaten run in the group stage to 17 matches, with 14 wins and three draws. It has lost only one of its last 29 group games, with the last defeat coming against Norway in 1998 in France.

Switzerland had lost only two of its last 13 group matches at the World Cup.

Ghana 3, South Korea 2

Mohammed Kudus said there wasn't much difference between the way Ghana played in its opening World Cup match against Portugal or its second game against South Korea in Al Rayyan, Qatar.

Except the result, of course.

Kudus scored twice, including the go-ahead goal after the South Koreans evened the match in the second half, and Ghana staved off elimination with a 3-2 victory on Monday.

Ghana's Mohammed Kudus celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup group H soccer match between South Korea and Ghana, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Nov. 28, 2022.
Ghana's Mohammed Kudus celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup group H soccer match between South Korea and Ghana, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Nov. 28, 2022.

Mohammed Salisu also scored for the Black Stars, who were disappointed after a close 3-2 opening loss to Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal and were in need of points against South Korea for a chance to reach the knockout round in Qatar.

Down 2-0, Cho Gue-sung scored both of South Korea's goals about three minutes apart early in the second half to even the game at 2-2.

But Kudus' low left-footed goal in the 68th minute sailed out of the reach of goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu to give the Black Stars back the lead. Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi preserved the victory with a leaping save off Cho's attempt in stoppage time.

South Korea forward Son Heung-min remained without a goal in Qatar. The Tottenham forward wore a mask to protect a broken left eye socket he sustained in a Champions League game against Marseille earlier this month.

South Korea coach Paulo Bento was handed a red card in the moments following the match after a heated exchange with English referee Anthony Taylor. The Portuguese coach was furious when South Korea won a corner at the end of 10 minutes of stoppage time, but the whistle was blown before it could be taken.

The red card means that Bento will not be on the sideline for South Korea's final match against Portugal on Friday.

Assistant coach Sergio Costa said "the result at the end was totally unfair" and added that he did not hear Bento say anything "inappropriate."

South Korea played to a 0-0 draw in its opener with Uruguay. The team was making its sixth straight World Cup appearance.

But now the South Koreans are in danger of elimination.

Ghana became the third African nation to make it to the World Cup quarterfinals at the 2010 tournament. Black Stars captain Andre Ayew was also on that squad. No African team has reached the World Cup semifinals.

Now Ghana turns to its Group H finale on Friday against Uruguay.

Cameroon 3, Serbia 3

Cameroon staged an impressive comeback in a 3-3 draw against Serbia at the World Cup despite replacing its goalkeeper at the last minute.

Andre Onana, who plays for Italian club Inter Milan, wasn't in Cameroon's lineup or even at the stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, to watch the Group G match.

Coach Rigobert Song said he dropped his starting goalkeeper for "disciplinary reasons," but didn't give any specifics.

Song replaced Onana with Devis Epassy, who made only his sixth international appearance.

Song said Onana hasn't been kicked out of the squad and didn't rule him out of Cameroon's last group stage match against Brazil on Friday.

Onana, who has 34 international caps made no comment on the decision except posting the starting lineup, with his notable absence, on Instagram.

Epassy said he found out Sunday night he would replace Onana, who offered him encouragement.

"We don't have any problem together," Epassy said. "It's my role to be ready."

Cameroon's Vincent Aboubakar, left, scores his team's second goal past Serbia's goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic during the World Cup match between Cameroon and Serbia at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Nov. 28, 2022.
Cameroon's Vincent Aboubakar, left, scores his team's second goal past Serbia's goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic during the World Cup match between Cameroon and Serbia at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Nov. 28, 2022.

Cameroon was down 3-1, but second-half substitute Vincent Aboubakar turned the game with a goal and an assist.

He lobbed Serbia goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in the 64th minute to score his 34th goal for the Indomitable Lions and set up striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting 2 minutes later for the equalizer.

The thrilling draw was the first game at the World Cup in Qatar in which both teams gave up a lead.

But the result suited neither side.

They each have one point after two Group G matches, two points behind Switzerland after the Swiss lost 1-0 to Brazil later Monday. The win sent the record five-time World Cup champions into the last 16 with a match to spare.

Cameroon took the lead in the first half through central defender Jean-Charles Castelletto's 29th minute tap-in but then conceded twice in quick succession in stoppage time. Strahinja Pavlovic's headed in a free kick to level the score before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic struck from 20 meters just two minutes later.

Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic made it 3-1 at the start of the second half after Serbia opened Cameroon's defense with a series of quick passes.

Aboubakar came on shortly after and led Cameroon's comeback.

"We were not smart enough to finish the match to our own advantage," Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic said. "We have to be fully concentrated and we need to be on a higher level, especially in our backline because such mistakes should not be made and not repeated anymore."

Both sides lost their opening games, with Serbia beaten 2-0 by Brazil and Cameroon losing 1-0 to Switzerland.

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