Emmanuel Mbongo scored in the 28th minute for Cameroon, who finished with four points from three matches and second place in Group B. Cameroon will play Mexico in the round-of-16.
Portugal won Group B following a 1-0 victory over New Zealand on Friday. Portugal finished with seven points and New Zealand was on two—the same as Uruguay but with a better goal difference.
Emmanuel Mbongo’s goal came after taking a pass from Christ Mbondi and shooting past Uruguay keeper Salvador Ichazo. The goal came just two minutes after Cameroon’s Franck Ohandza missed just wide of the far post.
Uruguay’s Cesar Texeira had a clear chance to equalize in second-half stoppage time, but his close-range shot sailed over the crossbar.
“Overall, we were better organized today and played with more determination,” said Cameroon coach Martin Ndtoungou.
Uruguay was the runner-up to Brazil in South American qualifying for the tournament, but was disappointing. The team’s performance came in marked contrast to their senior team, which won the Copa America tournament last month and was a World Cup semifinalists last year.
“The elimination is very painful,” Uruguay coach Juan Verzeri said. “The plan was to reach the last 16. … The early goal by Cameroon had an impact on us, and later—unfortunately—we could not find a goal.”
Uruguay failed early to mount many attacks and—at the end—Cameroon was able to withstand the pressure. The first 25 minutes were terrible, with neither team able to keep possession—or even keep the ball in the field of play.
Ohandza always looked threatening for Cameroon, which had less possession than Uruguay but always looked dangerous.
Tempers flared as the first half ended when Uruguay’s Leandro Cabrera picking up a yellow card after crashing into Cameroon keeper Jean Efala. The incident set off pushing and shoving in front of the Cameroon goal.
Uruguay’s Diego Polenta picked up a yellow card as the match ended and charged referee Mark Geiger of the United States. He was restrained by teammates and ushered off the pitch.