France Sees Out Uruguay and Heads to World Cup Semifinals
Raphael Varane, Antoine Griezmann Help France Beat Uruguay 2-0, Enter Semis.
France outclassed Uruguay 2-0 to enter the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2018 at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in on Friday.
Raphael Varane and Antoinne Griezmann scored the two goals as France reached their sixth semi-final at the World Cup.
France are into the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 2006 after seeing off Uruguay with the help of a terrible error by goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
France’s players and coaches had spent the buildup to the team’s World Cup quarterfinal against Uruguay talking up their opponent’s defensive capabilities.
And statistics bore out the wariness with which the French approached the game: Uruguay’s goal had been breached just once in 2018, and not by a France team for five consecutive games, a run stretching to 1985.
Yet by the end of a poor game played at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, those concerns appeared misplaced. Uruguay’s gnarled back line, which had built its reputation on years of repelling some of soccer’s most potent attacks, gifted Didier Deschamps’s team safe passage into a semifinal in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Tuesday, conceding two soft goals in a 2-0 defeat.
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.
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.
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.
It is France who march on, and they will face neighbours Belgium in the semi-finals in St Petersburg on Tuesday.