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World Cup

France Beat Uruguay To Reach Semi-final

France
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA - JULY 06: France celebrate their side's second goal, scored by Antoine Griezmann during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Uruguay and France at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on July 6, 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Goals from Raphaël Varane and Antoine Griezmann saw France to a 2-0 victory over Uruguay and into the Semi-final of the 2018 World Cup.

In terms of excitement, this quarter-final tie did not come close to Les Bleus’ win over Argentina in the last 16 but will still be remembered for the contrasting fates of the two goalkeepers, with Hugo Lloris producing a contender for save of the tournament while his opposite number made a mistake that was even more memorable.

Varane headed France into a first-half lead from a free-kick that came straight off the training field, with Griezmann checking his run before delivering the perfect cross for the Real Madrid defender to glance home.

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Uruguay, with injured striker Edinson Cavani failing to even make the bench, almost struck back immediately from a free-kick of their own, but Lloris produced a brilliant diving stop to deny Martin Caceres, before Diego Godin blasted the rebound over.

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The second half started with France continuing to control possession, but they were gifted the goal that made certain of their victory.

There seemed little danger when Griezmann let fly from the edge of the area but Muslera misjudged the flight of the ball, flapped at the shot, and saw it loop slowly over the line.

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France manager Didier Deschamps has been criticised back home for his conservative tactics, but this time he got his approach exactly right.

This was an efficient, rather than a spectacular, display but it was exactly what was needed against stubborn South American opposition.

There were no more fireworks from Kylian Mbappe, for example, although he did waste a glorious chance to open the scoring when he badly mistimed a header.

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Uruguay, roared on by their huge travelling support, threw bodies forward in the closing stages but could not seriously trouble Lloris again.

Their run of four successive victories is over, as well as their hopes of reaching the final in Moscow on 15 July.

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