FIFA World Cup 2018: France beats Uruguay to reach semi-finals

Jul 07, 2018, 08:25 IST | Matt Slater

Varane and Griezmann strikes help France beat Uruguay 2-0 to become first team to enter semi-finals

FIFA World Cup 2018: France beats Uruguay to reach semi-finals
Raphael Varane (centre), Antoine Griezmann (left) and Kylian Mbappe celebrate France's opening goal v Uruguay yesterday. Pics/Getty Images

France became the first side to book their place in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 2-0 win over Uruguay here yesterday. The 1998 champions advanced thanks to goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann, his third of the tournament. France received a major boost with the news that PSG star Edinson Cavani, Uruguay's two-goal hero in the last round against Portugal, failed to recover from the calf injury.

France were the better team but Uruguay were resolute and relatively unruffled, which is why the goal they conceded in the 40th minute will annoy them so much. Griezmann's freekick from 40 yards out was well delivered and the classy Varane, who glanced it expertly past Fernando Muslera.

Uruguay started the second half well. But then disaster struck. Paul Pogba found Griezmann about 25 yards out and he pulled the trigger. It was certainly travelling but it was straight at Muslera and should have been a routine save.

A disappointed Luis Suarez
A disappointed Luis Suarez

The 'keeper got it wrong and the ball squirted through his gloves to double France's lead with under half an hour to play. Cristian Rodriguez nearly got one back with a shot just wide following a corner but the game then entered a bad-tempered spell, with Uruguay accusing Mbappe of play-acting and the teenager annoyed at their attempts to drag him to his feet. He was carded for his reaction. Uruguay threw everything at France late on, including defender Jose Gimenez as an auxiliary attacker, but Didier Deschamps' men soaked it all up without any alarm.

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