France beat Uruguay to reach World Cup 2018 semi-finals

A 2-0 win over the South American side means France will face Belgium in the last-four.

    France beat Uruguay to reach World Cup 2018 semi-finals
    France last won the World Cup at home in 1998 [Grigory Dukor/Reuters]

    Raphael Varane's glancing header and a goal-keeping blunder that gifted Antoine Griezmann a soft goal gave France a 2-0 victory over Uruguay in the first World Cup quarter-final and set up a last-four tie with Belgium, who beat Brazil later on Friday. 

    Uruguay went into the game without key striker Edinson Cavani, who was ruled out with a calf injury. Cristhian Stuani was drafted into the starting line-up, but the impact on their attack was noticeable.

    France forward Kylian Mbappe, who had ripped apart Argentina in the previous round with his directness and pace, wasted a good opportunity to open the scoring in the 15th minute when Olivier Giroud headed across the box to him but the 19-year-old's looping header was off-target.

    A relatively quiet game sprang to life in the 40th minute when Varane sprinted clear of his marker to meet a well-placed Griezmann free kick with a perfectly angled header.

    Moments later, France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris ensured his side went in at the break with the advantage, producing a brilliant one-handed save to keep out a Martin Caceres header and Diego Godin was disappointed his follow-up shot was wildly off target.

    If that was an example of goal-keeping at its very best, Uruguay's Fernando Muslera showed how easily it can go wrong for the custodian with a horrendous error to gift France their second goal in the 61st minute.

    Griezmann tried his luck with an effort from outside the box which was straight at Muslera but the keeper's ill-chosen attempt to palm the ball away ended with him merely deflecting the ball into the net.

    Saturday's quarter-finals see England take on Sweden and hosts Russia face Croatia.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.