Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani scored a goal each and Uruguay went on to defeat Russian Federation 3-0 on Monday, finishing undefeated in group play and handing the host nation its first loss of the World Cup.
Russian Federation had scored eight goals in sweeping victories over Saudi Arabia and Egypt and were already guaranteed to progress, but they went behind in their final group match after only 10 minutes when Luis Suarez drilled in a clever low free-kick.
Russia, who had already qualified along with Uruguay for the last 16 after winning their first two games, played much of the match with 10 men after Igor Smolnikov was sent off for two yellow cards after 36 minutes. Edinson Cavani put several earlier misses behind him to get his first goal of the tournament by stabbing in from close range to complete the 3-0 win.
Saudi Arabia defeated Egypt 2-1 to finish Group A in third place with three points, while Egypt were last after losing all three games. "We did not marshal thoughts at the beginning of the match, but players rode roughshod over", Cherchesov stresses.
Godin was denied a goal to cap a fine individual performance when Akinfeev somehow kept out his 90th-minute bullet header, but Cavani was on hand to stab home the rebound and seal the win.
A 1-0 defeat of Egypt was mirrored against Saudi Arabia but Tabarez's side undoubtedly have more to prove in their last group game.
"Arsenal is a good team, one of the most important in the world, but at this moment I am focused on playing for my country", he told reporters following the match against Saudi Arabia.
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.
Sergei Ignashevich looked every day of his near 38 years in chasing after the Barca man, while Igor Smolnikov's second caution in quick succession, for scything down Laxalt, was a physical encapsulation of a first half that had got away from the hosts.
Uruguay have finished as first round group winners for the fifth time, having done so previously in 1930, 1950, 1954 and 2010.
Luis Suarez grabbed his second goal of the tournament to open Uruguay's account with a free kick after 10 minutes and they doubled the lead with an own goal from Russia's Denis Cheryshev soon after.
Luis Suarez. Uruguay haven't looked terribly impressive at this World Cup but have managed to remain ideal in the group stages thanks to a miserly defence and the efforts of their talisman.
Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, who is 45, took the field for his team's final group match to set the record. Both Spain and Portugal had a goal difference of plus-1, but Spain scored six goals in its three group matches while Portugal had five.