Uruguay won and booked their place in the next round, which is something very valuable in itself at this stage of the tournament. Having qualified with a game to spare gives them some peace of mind for what's coming next.
However, that didn't hide the drawbacks that "Maestro Tabarez's" team came across once again in their build-up play. There's still a disconnection in midfield and they had a hard time creating plays, resulting in a predictable and stagnant attack led by Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez.
Up to this point in the tournament, the team's best attribute has been its defense. The centre-backs are stronger than ever: Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez know each other by heart and they rule the box. They read perfectly whether the play needs anticipation or patience. They complement each other perfectly and their aerial play has timing and judgment both in defense and attack.
The team's weakest point still lies in midfield, where Oscar Tabarez hasn't been able to get an improved performance. That was evident in the six substitutions he made during the first two matches: all of them in the midfield.
Lucas Torreira came from the bench against Saudi Arabia and he had a very good performance. Later came Diego Laxalt to the left, and Nahitan Nandez to the right. All of these substitutions indicate that Tabarez is trying to find how to feed a fluent attack through possession.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Tabarez played with the starting XI everybody was expecting but that lineup wasn´t able to deliver and the "Maestro" reacted in time, especially by setting up Torreira down the middle. It is evident Tabarez isn't happy with his team and the way they are playing: at one point, he even stormed off the bench to give instructions in an attempt to improve the performance of his men.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Fernando Muslera, 6 -- Solid and confident. He was seen alert from afar every time the ball moved towards his goal and he came out with strong determination in order to cut his opponents´ lines in the box.
DF GuIllermo Varela, 5 -- He had trouble projecting himself, and some of his clearings towards the center were pretty dangerous.
DF Jose Gimenez, 7 -- He's comfortable at the back, retreats quickly and knows Godin by heart. They are the team's best tandem.
DF Diego Godin, 8 -- He's Uruguay's leader and he's at the peak of his career. It doesn't matter if he has the ball or if he's lying in wait. The captain either anticipates or remains expectant, but he always gets the ball back.
DF Martin Caceres, 6 -- He's playing on his weaker side to the left, but he's been able to work around this setback. He becomes an interesting option when he moves upfield.
MF Carlos Sanchez, 6 -- He was very good on the wing. His effort enabled his team to come out with precision in transition.
MF Rodrigo Bentancur, 7 -- He suffered during the first half but was stepped up his play in the second period. His performance raised the level of whole squad.
MF Matias Vecino, 4 -- He´s still inconsistent down the middle when he needs to deliver a ball.
MF Cristian Rodriguez, 4 -- He couldn't open up the game from the left and he wasn't able to link with the forwards.
FW Luis Suarez, 6 -- He's not very focused, but he scored the winner and fought with his rivals throughout the game.
FW Edinson Cavani, 6 -- His effort is bulletproof. Even though he failed after several short passes, he ran until the last second of the match.
MF Lucas Torreira, 6 -- He handled midfield very well, unlocked Bentancur and guarded all his opponents. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him start the game against Russia.
MF Diego Laxalt, 5 -- He began well, as he was able to cut through the zone but he lost his rhythm as time went on.
MF Nahitan Nandez, N/R -- Came on for eight minutes as Uruguay saw the game out.