Soares aims to keep it tight when Portugal meet Uruguay in last 16

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Moscow, June 27 (IANS) Portugal defender Cedric Soares says his side will continue with their pragmatic approach when they face Uruguay in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup on Saturday.

Iran’s late penalty which secured a 1-1 draw in Portugal’s last Group B match saw the latter knocked off the top spot by Spain and they now face a tough tie in Sochi against Group A winners, Uruguay, reports Xinhua news agency.

The South Americans’ 3-0 win against Russia means they have progressed to the next round by scoring five goals and conceding none.

Portugal have not impressed thus far, but just like Uruguay the reigning European champions have made a virtue of their solid defence and Soares isn’t about to start changing their style of play now.

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“The most important thing is to win and that is our aim in every game,” he said in a press event on Wednesday.

Despite all the talk of Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s triumph in France two years ago was based on a defence which conceded just four goals in six matches, three of which came in a group game against Hungary, with just one in the knockout stages.

“Every team has its own strategy and we have ours. No matter if the game is spectacular or not, our number one goal for now is to beat Uruguay,” said Soares, who was not worried about the late penalty decision where he was harshly adjudged to have committed deliberate handball.

“The World Cup is tough and our goal was to get to the knockouts, which we have done,” he explained. “The next game is going to be difficult but we are European champions and have proved our quality in the past,” the defender said.

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Soares is also not intimidated by the fact that Uruguay are unbeaten in 2018. “We know they haven’t lost and we know their players very well; they are a strong team,” he concluded.

–IANS

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