Luis Suarez stuck to the script by scoring on his 100th international appearance for Uruguay, but you could be forgiven for thinking Russia were playing on Wednesday at Rostov Arena, where the loudest chants were neither for the Celeste nor their opponents Saudi Arabia.
Instead it was the fans of a resurgent host nation who made their presence felt, as they embarked on a noisy scouting mission ahead of what now looms as an unexpectedly decisive showdown to determine the winners of Group A at the World Cup.
Uruguay have played the part that was expected of them, edging past Egypt and overcoming the Saudis to reach the round of 16, where Portugal, Iran or Spain will lie in wait.
But the hosts have surprised everyone, including themselves, to make a flying start to the tournament.
Not since Euro 2008, when Guus Hiddink took a team inspired by Andrey Arshavin to the semi-finals, have Russia bestrode the international stage with such confidence.
Despite having failed to win any of their previous seven friendlies leading up to their big party, a 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia in the opening game was followed by a convincing 3-1 win over Mohamed Salah's Egypt, as Denis Cheryshev, rather than the stricken Liverpool star, fired himself into early golden boot contention with his third goal of the finals.
That result sparked scenes of wild celebration across this vast and eclectic country, and the knock-on effect was plain to see a day later on the banks of the Don River.
As well as a smattering of Saudi green and a healthy representation of Uruguay's sky blue, the colours of Russia were prominent among supporters making their way to the ground and in the stands.
Indeed, the first chant of the match was not for Uruguay or the Saudis.
Rather, a guttural cry of "Ro-ssi-ya, Ro-ssi-ya!" rose up in the first 10 minutes, and did so again sporadically throughout the contest.
After lying dormant amid a series of recent embarrassments, football fever has once again gripped the Russian Federation.
The buoyancy of Stanislav Cherchesov's team will be greatly welcomed by FIFA and all of those attending the event, with the exception, of course, of Uruguay.
Oscar Tabarez's side might have expected Egypt, before Salah injured his shoulder in the Champions League final, to pose the biggest threat to their ambitions of advancing as group winners.
Instead it will be Cheryshev, Artem Dzyuba and Aleksandr Golovin barring their path, not to mention what is sure to be a vociferous, partisan crowd at Samara Arena, and 144 million more people roaring them on from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok.
Uruguay will be no pushovers. But they laboured, admittedly in difficult conditions, against Saudi Arabia in a manner Russia did not, and should steal themselves for a searching examination against the 2018 World Cup's most welcome surprise package.
21 de septiembre 2018
|Colo Colo 0 Palmeiras 2: Scolari´s men poised for Libertadores SFs|
|Tour Championship would enhance successful year, says Tiger|
|Pogba: Man United getting better after winning run|
|What bothers me is that he has time to even do that – LeBron responds to Trump tweet|
|Cowboys most valuable NFL team for 12th successive year|
|Mkhitaryan aiming for glory with Europa specialist Emery|
|Sarri: Pedro´s injury is not too serious|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Drama in Minnesota, a Judge returns and tragedy in Iowa|
|Tottenham will overcome rough patch – Lamela|
|Torreira impresses for Arsenal but leaves with knock|
|Gattuso urges Higuain to be less predictable with his movement|
|Steelers´ Brown: ´Obviously I don´t want to be traded´|
|Woods, Fowler share Tour Championship lead|
|LeBron James backs Serena Williams after US Open controversy|
|Thiem into St Petersburg quarters, but retiring Youzhny bows out|
20 de septiembre 2018
|Wigan clinch home semi-final with win over Huddersfield|
|Can apologises following sexism accusations|
|De Bruyne expects to be back for Manchester derby|
|Celtic 1 Rosenborg 0: Griffiths late show lifts Hoops|
|Woods eagles 18 to make 65 at Tour Championship|
|Arsenal 4 Vorskla 2: Aubameyang at the double in entertaining triumph|
|Dudelange 0 AC Milan 1: Deflected Higuain goal spares Gattuso´s blushes|
|Birthday boy Rashid inspires Afghanistan to Asia Cup win|
|Sarri feeling sorry for ´unlucky´ Morata|
|Ryder Cup pick Garcia shoots 66 at Portugal Masters|
|Ronaldo, Zidane, Cantona and the most infamous red cards|
|Villarreal 2 Rangers 2: Arfield and Lafferty steal point for Gerrard´s men|
|PAOK 0 Chelsea 1: Willian strikes as Morata misfires|
|Rain delays Ostapenko in Seoul, Wang books Guangzhou semi|
|Pochettino backs Kane to end goal drought|
|We figured it out - 76ers´ Markelle Fultz rebuilds jump shot|
|Joshua: Povetkin my second-toughest fight|
|Relaxed Pochettino not pushing panic button|
|Why Manchester City fans must fix their relationship with the Champions League|
|Majestic Giorgi ends Wozniacki´s reign in Tokyo|
|Pochettino unwilling to risk Alli fitness|
|Bigger Champions League tests to come, warns Pogba|
|Eight for 10! - Nadeem spins his way to world-record figures|
|A 4-1 lead cut to 3-2 by VAR, but Quakes have no complaints after Atlanta defeat|
|UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Ronaldo|
|Joshua v Povetkin: Recapping AJ´s previous world title defences|
|Players told to ink twice over showing tattoos at Rugby World Cup in Japan|
|Mariano targeting Spain call-up after goalscoring Madrid return|
|Pandya, Axar and Thakur out of Asia Cup|
|England omit Cipriani, Tuilagi and Ashton called up|
|Can reacts to Ronaldo´s red card: We are not women|
|One Year to Go: Five Rugby World Cup debutants set to shine|
|Shy Osaka not comfortable with new-found fame|
|Belgium and World Cup winners France make FIFA rankings history|
|Ronaldo wanted to impress - Bernardeschi sympathises after Juve superstar´s red|
|Van Dijk warns Liverpool: Believe we can win trophies or stay home|
|Menezes complains of anti-Brazilian conspiracy after Dede´s VAR red|
|Diamondbacks rout Cubs to remain in postseason picture|
|Modric embraces Ballon d´Or chants as Di Francesco backs Madrid star for award|
|MLS Review: Martinez helps Atlanta stage comeback amid VAR controversy|
|Kerevi recommits to Wallabies, Reds|
|Lyon to ban fan for life after footage of Nazi salute emerges|
|Milan must respect opponents – Gattuso not underestimating Dudelange|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Zarate leads Boca, River draw|
|Mourinho: Dalot can play at Man United for more than 10 years|
|Johnson hoping to erase East Lake demons|
|´No question´ Fitzgerald faces Bears, says Cardinals´ Wilks|
|Rodgers says roughing the passer penalties are ´going the wrong direction´|
|Ravens fined $200,000 for violating communication policy|
|LeBron James set to star in ´Space Jam´ sequel|
|Ronaldo red card ´absurd´, says Pjanic|
|Kovac hails ´special´ Sanches after Bayern goal|
|Marcelino: Tearful Ronaldo said he did nothing wrong|
|Fernandinho takes blame for Man City´s Lyon loss|
|Lovren denies any wrongdoing after perjury charge|