France vs Uruguay Review and Result: World Cup 2018 Round of 8 clash: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium – July 5, 2018
France vs Uruguay Result: France 2, Uruguay 0
France roared into the semi-finals of the WC 2018 Russia for the first time since 2006, getting the better of Uruguay 2-0 at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.The French were aided by a goal-keeping error by the very experienced Fernando Muslera and also by the absence of one of Uruguay's key strikers, Edison Cavani, out with a calf injury.
In a match that lacked flair and fought mostly in the mid-field, France were rewarded with a free-kick just before half-time. Antoine Griezmann took it, delivering the perfect cross into the box for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane to glance in a header to make it 1-0 for Les Bleus in the 40th minute of play.
The South Americans almost immediately struck back from a free-kick of their own that went to central defender Martin Caceres who headed downwards with the ball destined for the bottom corner of the net.
Hugo Lloris diving full stretch to his right then produced one of the saves of the tournament that ensured that the French went into half-time with the one-goal lead.
The second half saw the Euro 2016 runners-up keep possession of the ball but nothing out of the ordinary happening at both ends. Griezmann's goal came out of the blue in the 61st minute when he scorched one straight from outside the penalty area directly at keeper Muslera. The Uruguayan keeper misjudged the flight of the ball and in trying to palm it over saw the ball loop over him into the goal.
Compared to the game against Argentina there were hardly any fireworks from the 19-year old whiz kid Kylian Mbappe although he missed a glorious chance to put France ahead early in the game from an open header. There were moments in the second half when his trickery did trouble Uruguayan defenders, so much so that one occasion it peeved winger Cristian Rodríguez to an extent that he ended up scuffling with the teenager. Others joined in, but a potentially nasty situation was averted.
Uruguayan top international scorer Luis Suarez without his partner Cavani upfront looked uninfluential while the back with the experienced Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin and Jose Jimenez looked much more effective than the Argentines in coping up with the French pressing.
Despite the 61 per cent possession of the French, the Uruguayans didn't do too badly on the field. They made 11 attempts, a figure that equalled their opponents'and 4 shots on targets against just 2 (both goals) by France.
This was Uruguay's fourth entry into the quarter-finals but they fell short of emulating one of their best performances in the tournament when they ended up fourth in the South Africa 2010 version.
France now have gone through 10 World Cup games without losing to a South American side since the time they lost 1-2 to Argentina way back in 1978.
Didier Deschamps men now face a confident Belgium in the semi-finals after the Red Devils ousted Brazil in a thrilling 2-1 Round of 8 win.
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