June 18 (Reuters) - Uruguay play Saudi Arabia in a Group A match in Rostov-on-Don on Wednesday.
Where: Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
When: Wednesday, June 20, 1800 local (1500 GMT/1100 ET)
Referee: To be announced
- Uruguay have played in 12 previous World Cups and have won the tournament twice, as hosts in the inaugural edition in 1930 and again in 1950 in Brazil. After failing to qualify for the 2006 event in Germany, they sprang a surprise by reaching the semi-finals in South Africa four years later. Uruguay reached the round of 16 in Brazil in 2014.
- Uruguay have never failed to get out of the group stages under coach Oscar Tabarez and they will be favorites to advance from Group A. However, Uruguay could face a tough test in the round of 16 with Spain or Portugal their likely opponents.
- Saudi Arabia are appearing at their first World Cup finals since 2006. In four previous appearances, they have only once reached the last 16, in 1994.
- Saudi Arabia were clobbered 5-0 by Russia in their opening game. Uruguay narrowly beat Egypt 1-0 thanks to an 89th-minute Jose Gimenez header.
Previous meetings: Uruguay have been unable to beat Saudi Arabia in their two friendly games. The ‘Green Falcons’ beat the South Americans in 2002 and the teams drew in 2014. (Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer, editing by Pritha Sarkar)