Uruguay qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup on Tuesday afternoon after defeating 2006 World Champions Italy 1-0 in , despite PSG striker Edison Cavani having a quiet night in a game that produced so many talking points.
Cavani struggled to make the same kind of impact he did against England with the Italians making it harder to break down and find space especially around the box. The Paris Saint-Germain forward did have a penalty claim waved away by the referee in the first few minutes of the second half.
Diego Godin scored the goal that put Uruguay through after a corner from Gaston Rodriguez. Godin, who has a habit of scoring important goals this season, found a yard of space in the box. His powerful downward header aimed towards the corner was just good for Gianluigi Buffon with only 10 minutes remaining.
Win with added bite
The game will unlikely be remembered for the goal, but for the antics of Cavani’s strike partner, Luis Suarez. Once again, the Uruguayan was guilty of biting an opponent after Giorgio Chiellini had tried to mark him in the box.
Obviously frustrated at a poor team performance up to that point, Suarez took his anger out on the defender’s shoulder and could get another lengthy ban for his frankly indefensible actions.
This is the third time during Suarez’s career that he has bitten an opponent, after doing it at Ajax and at Liverpool to Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
Italy also felt that the straight red card to Claudio Marchisio was harsh after he was sent for an early bath after colliding with Egidio Arevalo. The replays did show that the Italians foot was slightly high with his studs showing, meaning it could have been a challenge that could have potentially caused a serious injury. Marchisio’s reaction demonstrated that the challenge wasn’t a deliberate leg breaker and it did leave the European team struggling for the rest of the match.
The Uruguayans will be able to celebrate making the next round, where they will face Colombia who have yet to drop a point, whilst looking a strong side.
Losing Suarez could be a big blow to Uruguay, although it would mean that Cavani would have to put in a strong performance. Despite playing for 90 minutes of all three games so far, and scoring in the opening game against Costa Rica from the penalty spot, the PSG striker must feel as if he can contribute more towards the team after not fully reaching his potential yet.
With the rumoured interest from Premier League clubs, a strong performance from Cavani could persuade them to make a big money move for the 27-year-old to bring him to England. A good game against Colombia would definitely help his cause.
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