Samara - Uruguay burnished their World Cup credentials with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Russian Federation on Monday, finishing top of Group A with a ideal record while damping the hopes of the tournament hosts, who had to settle for second.
Oscar Tabarez switched to a back-three for this one, with Sampdoria's Lucas Torriera joining Rodrigo Bentancur of Juventus and Inter's Matias Vecino in midfield.
Smolnikov tried to make his mark on Uruguay with crunching tackles, but that just brought two yellow cards and a sending-off in the 36th minute.
With their job done, Uruguay took their foot off the pedal in the second half and only added to their lead in the 90th minute when Cavani finished from close range after Diego Godin's header was well saved.
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Although the match was not crucial, we wanted to take the first place [in the group].
"In our training sessions we played against these set pieces, and today our opponents scored from set pieces".
Russian Federation finished second in Group A after suffering their first World Cup defeat at the hands of Uruguay in Samara on Monday and will next face Group B winners and 2010 champions Spain in Moscow on Sunday. Written off as no-hopers before the World Cup, Russia head to the Volga River city of Samara for a game which will see the victor secure top spot in Group A following the elimination of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Their defensive discipline paired with the attacking threat that Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani provide make Uruguay the trickiest opponent that Russian Federation has faced at the tournament so far.
A song by comedian Semyon Slepakov went viral just before the tournament, poking fun at Russia's poor form and suggesting players needed Chechnya's authoritarian leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, as coach for extra motivation.
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Republican leaders, however, say they are still aiming for a vote next week, with negotiations planned for this weekend. GOP lawmakers emerged from a lengthy closed-door meeting in the US Capitol late Thursday saying more work was needed.
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.
It was 11 percent when coach Stanislav Cherchesov's charges were plodding their wave through a seven-match winless streak that saw their ranking slip to a tournament-worst 70th. The South American team started the match powerfully and quickly opened the scoring.
Mohamed Salah put Egypt ahead in the 22nd minute with when he deftly controlled a long ball from Abdalla Said that split the Saudi defense and then lobbed goalkeeper Yasser Almosailem.
Uruguay made a decision to change from a 442 formation to a 41212 formation, bringing Lucas Torreira into the side as a holding midfielder.
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