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Wolves trio book place in World Cup knockout stages as Portugal beat Uruguay

Portugal are into the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup after beating Uruguay 2-0 at the Lusail Stadium.

Fernando Santos’ side secured safe passage thanks to two goals from Bruno Fernandes.

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Fernandes’ first goal was a cross that went all the way in, after it had initially appeared to be headed in by Cristiano Ronaldo.

His second was a penalty, which he himself won.

It was controversial in that Jose Gimenez was falling to the ground and put his hand on the floor to break his fall, with the ball hitting it.

By winning their first two games, Portugal are into the knockout stages, meaning more opportunities for Wolves’ three Portuguese players to impress.

Tonight, Ruben Neves started again after also starting in the opening game against Ghana.

The 25-year-old enjoyed another good game in the middle of the park, showing control and good defensive work.

Matheus Nunes came on late in the second-half for his first minutes of the tournament.

Photo by Sarah Stier – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

He put in a tidy display and in the 95th minute, he really showed his class.

He received the ball in midfield, turned back towards his own goal and then quickly spun in the other direction, leaving one Uruguay player trailing and falling in his wake.

Nunes then used his pace to take the ball out wide on the left to get the team a bit higher up the pitch, before passing backwards.

It was the kind of moment that Wolves fans have been yearning to see back at Molineux. There have been a few instances of it and there’ll surely be more of that kind of thing to come under Julen Lopetegui.

Goalkeeper Jose Sa was an unused substitute.

No early return to Julen Lopetegui for Wolves trio as Portugal book place in knockout stages

So, Portugal are into the knockout stages which is good for the Wolves trio.

To be into the knockout stages of a World Cup will be a fantastic experience for them, and hopefully Neves and Nunes in particular will get more minutes. It will be difficult for Sa, who is third-choice goalkeeper.

Photo by Markus Gilliar – GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

Julen Lopetegui is probably itching to get the trio back so he can start implementing his ideas.

But the Spanish manager is going to have to be patient.

Portugal certainly have the potential to go far in the tournament.