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.
|Alisson to link up with Liverpool at Evian training camp|
|Woods´ return no fluke, insists Spieth|
|Johnson shrugs off shoulder injury to win second 2018 title|
|The Open 2018 diary: Kane an able golfer, hats off to Hossler|
|Tiger and Serena will talk through Open disappointment|
|Molinari: It wasn´t about being ruthless to beat Woods|
|Tiger ´ticked off´ at missed Open opportunity|
|The Open 2018: Molinari triumphs - how a dramatic final round unfolded|
|McIlroy: Great to be back in the mix|
|Open victory will take a long time to sink in, says Molinari|
|Stoke sign McClean from West Brom for £5m|
|Masterful Molinari clinches sublime Open win after Spieth, Woods fall away|
|Germany´s Ozil retires from international football|
|Vikings OL coach Tony Sparano dies|
|BREAKING NEWS: Magical Molinari wins The Open|
|Dalic claims to be world´s second best coach|
|Twelve-try Wakefield batter Hull to send Rhinos into Qualifiers|
|Sevastova cruises to Bucharest title|
|Cort Nielsen sprints to first Tour stage win, Thomas maintains lead|
|Sarri needs support to deliver Chelsea success - Zola|
|Pjanic and Rugani in Juventus tour squad as Ronaldo and World Cup stars are rested|
|Eagle has McIlroy soaring into a five-way tie for the lead at Carnoustie|
|Vettel will not lose any sleep after Hockenheim mistake|
|I manifested my dream – Hamilton revels in Hockenheim win|
|Pakistan seal crushing series sweep of Zimbabwe|
|Furious Ozil accuses German media of turning country against him|
|Woods makes his move as Spieth and Schauffele wobble|
|Vettel crash sees Hamilton retake championship lead|
|RFEF confirms one-legged Supercopa de Espana in Tangier|
|Fognini downs Gasquet to clinch Swedish Open|
|Spieth and Tiger underway as Kisner falls back|
|Iniesta, Torres suffer defeats in their J.League debuts|
|Cornet ends title drought in Gstaad|
|Martial ´very focused´ at Manchester United - Herrera|
|Root, Williamson and Bairstow - hat-trick hero Clark flourishes in Roses battle|
|Sri Lanka spinning towards crushing series whitewash|
|Ozil explains controversial Erdogan meeting|
|It´ll be hard for Tuchel to get our players – Kovac expects Boateng stay|
|Fakhar Zaman fastest to 1,000 ODI runs|
|Neymar happy for World Cup winner Mbappe|
|I was born ready! - Bellew accepts Usyk challenge|
|Tuchel seeks Rabiot answers as Barca rumours persist|
|In-form Storm go top, Rampant Roosters thrash Manly|
|Bancroft discharged from hospital after taking blow to throat|
|MLS Review: Martinez breaks record as Atlanta march on|
|Brewers top Dodgers to snap seven-game losing streak|
|Munguia wins after 12-round marathon with Smith|
|Hart ready to leave City to revive career|
|Puel shuts down Schmeichel transfer speculation|
|Four-way tie at Barbasol Championship as Lincicombe misses cut|
|Lenglet happy not to face Messi|
|Tuchel keen to get PSG stars back after friendly defeat|
|Pulisic signing would interest Klopp|
|Whatever b******t you say, no one forgets – Klopp defends spending comments|
|Usyk outclasses Gassiev to make cruiserweight history|
|Pella books Cecchinato meeting in Umag, Ramanathan´s Newport run continues|
|Kisner expects nothing but exchange of ´horror stories´ with housemate Spieth|
|Inter new boy Lautaro Martinez denies Zenit in six-goal thriller|
|McIlroy eyeing early gains to apply scoreboard pressure|
|The Open 2018 diary: Spieth´s close shave|
|Salah is fully recovered and full of joy – Klopp|
|De Laurentiis accuses Sarri of trying to sign whole Napoli team|
|Lewis Hamilton explains German GP woes|
|O´Driscoll hails ´Test match animal´ Warburton|
|Spieth relishing prospect of Tiger tussle at Carnoustie|
|Sanches pushing for Bayern second chance - Kovac|
|Put on the Sunday red and enjoy Tiger´s ride regardless of Carnoustie outcome|
|Flawless Spieth takes share of Open lead after Tiger winds back the years|
|PSG´s Tuchel to be patient with World Cup stars Neymar, Mbappe & Cavani|
|Sanchez joins United tour in LA after visa issues|