Uruguay leave the World Cup the same way they played: no mercy | World Cup 2022

FInside came tears. Over the last few minutes, he manages to hold them back, as the news arrives and his teammates continue to give chase. But the final whistle came like a life sentence and suddenly he couldn’t hold back anymore. He buried his wrinkled face in his shirt. Ghanaian fans caught a glimpse on the big screen and let out their biggest cheer of the night. For a few seconds the world was watching Luis Suarez cry. Nor was the world, shall we say, unduly uncomfortable with this state of affairs.

Revenge of sorts, then, even if no one was in much mood to celebrate. And for Uruguayperhaps the last cruel shift for a strategy that seemed to work perfectly, until the moment it didn’t.

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What if they convert some of those chances in the second half? What if they start playing a little earlier against Portugal? What if they start playing at all against South Korea? For now, those questions can wait. After all, there were scores to be settled, the honor to be satisfied.

As referee Daniel Seibert and his team walked off the field, angry Uruguay players stood in their way, pushing and jostling, demanding answers that would never come. Jose Jimenez grabbed an assistant by the arm and immediately raised his hands in feigned innocence, old habits die hard. Somehow Uruguay was leaving world Cup They played the same way: mercilessly, reluctantly, with chips on their shoulders.

The biggest shame was that they were able to do so much more and at times in the process Chaotic victory 2-0 They showed it. For most of the match, they dragged Ghana around the park, dominating the midfield, and attacking with vision and purpose. The rest of the time they simply defended heroically. It took three games for Uruguay to show us what they were made of, and by the time they did, it was too late.

Giorgian de Arascaita deserved the best. For years, he was one of Uruguay’s greatest missing talents: an attacking midfielder who was hailed as the next big thing when he made his debut but is now 28 and may be wondering if it will ever happen to him. He’s pretty much won it all to win with Cruzeiro and Flamengo, however, for some reason, Uruguay hasn’t seen his best. Oscar Tabarez never felt brave enough to give him the free role he played in Brazil. Now, under a new coach, on the biggest stage ever, he’s had two goals and the star he deserves.

Luis Suarez

The five defenders deserved better. Guillermo Varela, perhaps lucky to have kept his place up front against Martín Caceres, made a ferocious switch at right wing-back. Giménez, a defender who could have dealt with his grandmother, made countless last-minute tackles and powerful blocks in the final minutes. Fede Valverde, a dynamic and creative player with Real Madrid, deserved better: super smart in a deeper role.

Did Suarez deserve better? In a way he might have done. After all, it was the key to the entire exercise. Not so much in terms of anything he did on the ball; At 35, Suarez hardly looks like he has the energy to swing a leg. But his role against Ghana was quietly energetic and it was one brilliantly prepared for him over the course of several days.

Luis Suarez objects to Ghanaian Mohamed Salisu.
Luis Suarez objects to Ghanaian Mohamed Salisu. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Everyone knows the date: Ghana, handballPunishment, grudge. And in preparation it was a grudge that Uruguay was only too happy to indulge in. Suarez was given pre-match interview duties and obviously He refused to apologize against handball, even as a Ghanaian journalist dubbed him “the Devil”. Suarez was a leader: he was there, smiling for the cameras at kickoff. At every turn, the Ghana players and coaches have tried to maintain a resolute focus. But at every turn Uruguay had Suarez in line of sight.

How does this work in practice? Perhaps, if you are a defender, you are a little closer to Suarez than he is wise. You care about him. You pay so much attention to it that you take your eyes off the cross and miss it completely.

You sit too tight and allow De Arrascaeta too much room to shoot. Despite everything they tried not to do, Ghana ended up fighting the last war, playing the man, not the game. Never watch the magician’s hands, or you may miss the trick.

Thus, Ghana also leaves with a sour sense of unfinished business. They were good enough to win this one, and they were good enough to qualify. They were running away from earning a tie with Portugal. They missed an early penalty here. They drowned their enemy, and yet he somehow managed to take them with him.

Afterwards, their devastated fans took some solace in Suarez’s plight, but they weren’t quite as satisfied as they had hoped. Perhaps they were learning that revenge and victory are two completely different things.

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