Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov bemoans set piece frailties vs. Uruguay

A Uruguay fan makes himself at home

Uruguay finished the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup atop Group A after defeating hosts Russian Federation 3-0 at the Samara Arena on Monday.

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.

The fortunes for Russian Federation just got worse as the first half wore on, and the hosts were reduced to 10 men just beyond the hour mark when Igor Smolnikov was sent off after picking up his second yellow card.

With an eye on the next game, Cheryshev - easily Russia's best player on the pitch - was replaced by defender Mario Fernandes, who did offer some stability to the defence.

Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani were both on target for Uruguay on Monday and Sebastian Coates is placing his trust in the duo to come good again in the last 16 of the World Cup. Ranked No. 14, La Celeste defeated Egypt 1-0 in its tournament opener and then had the same result against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

However, without detracting from Uruguay's performance, Cherchesov had some harsh words for his own side's undisciplined display - particularly Igor Smolnikov's dismissal for a second bookable offence in the first half. Alexander Golovin had been the team's creative spark in midfield, but he was rested since another yellow card for him would have meant a one-game ban.

Suarez looked determined to impress after his poor opening match against Egypt, and it was his clever low free-kick that set the tone for what was a very comfortable victory. "We wanted to play the same we had before, only better".

The Uruguayan squad could have scored another goal with Suarez getting an opportunity to go one on one with Igor Akenfeyev, but the Russian goalkeeper blocked the shot.

The 6-1 win over Panama - England's largest-ever margin of victory at the World Cup - was watched by 14.1 million, which was nearly 83 percent of the TV audience in Britain. Here are 3 decisive moments that tilted the tie in Uruguay's favor and sealed their place at the top of the group.

- Edinson Cavani became just the second player to score a goal in three separate World Cup tournaments for Uruguay (2010, 2014 and 2018) after his strike partner Suarez.

Because Russia had the advantage in goal differential from its first two group matches, it would have won the group with a draw.

Uruguay chose to change from a 442 formation to a 41212 formation, bringing Lucas Torreira into the side as a holding midfielder.

Uruguay are the first side to win all three of their group games without conceding a single goal since Argentina in 1998 (seven goals scored, none conceded).

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