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

Jose Giminez

Luis Suarez led the way as Uruguay made sure of top spot in Group A by ending 10-man Russia's flawless start to their own World Cup in humbling fashion.

Akinfeev did then come out to block a Rodrigo Bentancur chance, with Roman Zobnin just scrambling the rebound clear of Edinson Cavani, before Igor Smolnikov picked up a second yellow card and was sent off 35 minutes into his World Cup debut.

Luis Suarez opened the scoring against Russian Federation with a smart free-kick in the ninth minute before an own goal from Denis Cheryshev made it 2-0.

For Uruguay's demanding coach Oscar Tabarez, whose side had not hit top gear in their previous two matches, it was a case of job done - even if there was certainly no cause for celebration. We have an important game coming up.

But perhaps the biggest plus was the late goal from Cavani, who had been frustrated during the group stage.

Both teams were already assured of spots in the knockout round, but Uruguay's victory put it at the top of Group A and looking toward a match in Sochi on Saturday against the second-place finisher from Group B.

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Goalkeeper Fernando Muslera denied Cheryshev three minutes after the goal and Artem Dzyuba bounced a header over the bar before Uruguay scored a fortunate second mid-way through the first half.

Seeing as the Russians' next match will be against Group B winners Spain in the round of 16 on Sunday, it's hard to disagree with their manager's assessment. Cavani pounced on a loose ball after the goalkeeper parried it from a header by Diego Godin. Egyptian keeper Essam El-Hadary became the oldest player ever to appear at a World Cup at 45-years-old.

Denis Cheryshev, the Russian hero this World Cup, led the charge for the equaliser as he ran tirelessly down the left flank - covering 4.13 km during his short stay.

Salem Aldawsari scored with nearly the last kick, shooting from a tight angle inside the Egypt penalty area and poking the ball past El Hadary.

Russian Federation nearly equalised two minutes later when Artem Dzyuba's knockdown picked out Cheryshev, whose first-time volley from 18 yards out was saved by Fernando Muslera. The decision was confirmed after a video review. Drop Caballero, pass to Messi quicker- Which group stage World Cup matches still matter?

Uruguay have finished as first round group winners for just the fifth time, having done so previously in 1930, 1950, 1954 and most recently in 2010.

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