Belfast Telegraph

Cedric Soares: Portugal are just as dangerous as Uruguay

Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo are all set to feature in the last-16 clash.

Cedric Soares has warned World Cup opponents Uruguay about Portugal’s “weapons” as he focuses on stopping the twin threat of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

The two nations meet in the last 16 in Sochi on Saturday night with some classing it as a straight shoot-out between Uruguay’s celebrated strikers and Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.

Suarez and Cavani helped Uruguay to top spot in their group by both scoring in the 3-0 win over Russia on Monday, while Ronaldo has already scored four goals in the competition.

“Undoubtedly Uruguay has excellent players,” Cedric said when asked about Suarez and Cavani at a press conference published on Portugal’s official website.

“It is a country that has twice been a world champion.

“They have an excellent team, but we also have our weapons.

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Cristiano Ronaldo has scored four goals at the 2018 World Cup (Adam Davy/Empics)

“We have our qualities and we believe in ourselves.

“We are preparing for this game and we will have time, during this week, to do it in the best way.”

Portugal squeezed through to the knockout stage after surviving a late scare in their final group game against Iran, drawing 1-1 in Saransk.

Paraguayan official Enrique Caceres punished Southampton defender Cedric for handball in the closing stages after a Video Assistant Referee review.

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Referee Enrique Caceres, third from left, talks with Pepe after awarding Iran a penalty (Darko Bandic/AP)

It appeared an incredibly harsh decision, even more so when, after another VAR review, Argentina defender Marcos Rojo escaped punishment from a similar incident during Tuesday’s game against Nigeria.

“It’s a decision of FIFA, I’m going to have to kick this one into the corner,” Cedric said, unwilling to get into the controversy surrounding the VAR system.

“We can only worry about what we can do and not what we can not control.”

But asked specifically about the two incidents, he replied: “I think they are different moves.

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No penalty is given as the ball touches the arm of Argentina defender Marcos Rojo (Michael Sohn/AP)

“I can explain mine. I saw the ball from the cross and I tried to jump with the opponent, but he did not let me jump.

“When attempting to do so, I raised my arm involuntarily and there is contact with the ball in the hand. But it did not change the trajectory of the ball.

“In (the Argentina game) it interferes with the forward and there is only one defender in the area.

“I also agree that it has not been (deliberate), but for my part it was much more exaggerated.”

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