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Uruguay 2-0 Brazil Player Ratings – a tense game in the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo, neither side registered a single shot until Darwin Núñez’s headed goal on 42 minutes. In contrast there were 19 fouls in the first half alone.
Roared on by a packed house, Uruguay were tough tackling and frustrated the visitors who could never get into a groove. Without Neymar in the second half it never seemed like Diniz’s team would get back into the game.
Instead it was Bielsa’s boys who secured the win, River Plate midfielder Nicolas De la Cruz arrived late in the box to smash home a cross from the star man Núñez.
The match ended with seven yellow cards and just eight shots, as the Celeste won against the Seleção for the first time since 2001.
Uruguay 2-0 Brazil Player Ratings
10′ – Ronald Araujo gets an early yellow card for bringing down Gabriel Jesus
20′ – Now Darwin Núñez is booked for chopping down
42′ – (Goal) The Centenario celebrates, Núñez’s stooping header from Maxi Araujo’s cross
45+4′ – Neymar is stretchered off, and moments later Rodrygo booked for a strong challenge on Nández
48′ – Nico de la Cruz is close from a freekick, just wide
57′ – Nández goes into the book for a arm across Vinicius Junior
69′ – Rodrygo hits the bar! His freekick had Rochet beaten
71′ – Casemiro can’t keep up with De la Cruz, booked for pulling him down
77′ – (Goal) De la Cruz doubles the lead, following great work by Núñez
83′ – Gabriel Jesus hacks down De la Cruz in frustration to earn Brazil’s fourth yellow card
Star Man – Darwin Núñez- 8/10
The Liverpool forward played his role to perfection, bullying defenders and making a nuisance of himself in the penalty area all night. Marquinhos and Gabriel Magalhães will likely be licking their wounds, after losing the battle in the box.
The 24 year old was working off scraps in the first half, but stayed alive and stooped to head in his fifth goal for the national team. It was his first strike in front of his home fans and he didn’t stop there.
In the second half Núñez kept working tirelessly to hold up the ball, and chase down lost causes. He was rewarded for his toil when he squeezed out both Gabriel Magalhães and Casemiro, to set up the second goal of the game.
Darwin Núñez pone el 1-0 ante Brasil a los 41’ de partido.
📌 Eliminatorias Copa Mundial de la FIFA 26™
— Selección Uruguaya (@Uruguay) October 18, 2023
Uruguay Player Ratings
Sergio Rochet 6/10 – accurate in distribution, little to do
Nahitan Nández 7.5/10 – won the most tackles, ferocious in duels
Ronald Araujo 7/10 – imperious in defence
Sebastián Cáceres 6.5/10 – supported Araujo well
Mathías Olivera 7/10 – associated well with Maxi Araujo on left
Federico Valverde 7/10 – playing deeper than usual, but effective
Manuel Ugarte 7/10 – robust in the middle, recovering ball and progressing it
Nicolas De la Cruz 7.5/10 – orchestrated attacks with passes in final third, got his goal
Facundo Pellistri 7/10 – good outlet on right
Maxi Araujo 7/10 – Made 3 tackles, won 6 duels and provided assist in all-action display
Darwin Núñez 8/10 – alert for the goal, strong to set up second
Bruno Méndez N/A
Matías Viña N/A
Matías Vecino N/A
Joaquin Piquerez N/A
Brazil Player Ratings
Ederson 5.5/10 – didn’t make a save
Yan Couto 6/10 – troubled all evening by Araujo and Olivera
Gabriel Magalhães 6/10 – muscled off ball by Núñez for second
Marquinhos 6.5/10 – urged team forward but to no avail
Carlos Augusto 6/10 – pinned back by Pellistri
Casemiro 6.5/10 – composed on ball but hurried off it
Bruno Guimarães 6/10 – dribbled past twice, average
Vinicius Junior – 6/10 – big battle with Nández, couldn’t get better of him
Rodrygo 6.5/10 – came closest to scoring for visitors
Neymar 6/10 – injured at end of first half, couldn’t silence the doubters
Gabriel Jesus 6.5/10 – worked hard linking up with teammates
Richarlison 6/10 – didn’t have any influence on game, just 17 touches
David Neres N/A
Guilherme Arana N/A
Raphael Veiga N/A
Matheus Cunha N/A
Uruguay 2-0 Brazil Player Ratings: The final word
Marcelo Bielsa is making his mark on this Uruguayan side, who were terrific in transition, but didn’t lose their brave style. Núñez thrived in his striking role, supported by some wonderful displays from Real Madrid’s Valverde and De la Cruz in midfield.
Brazil are in an unusual position, failing to win their last two matches, and will want to step up the search for a permanent coach.
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