France beat Uruguay to reach World Cup semis as Varane, Griezmann strike
Uruguay 0 - 2 France

France beat Uruguay to reach World Cup semis as Varane, Griezmann strike

06/07/2018

France reached the World Cup semifinals after a relatively straightforward win over Uruguay courtesy of goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.

Varane opened the scoring on 40 minutes before Griezmann made it 2-0 just after the hour mark following a dreadful error from Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal.

Edinson Cavani was only fit enough to start on the bench following the calf injury sustained in the round of 16 win over Portugal and replacement Cristhian Stuani toiled in his absence as Uruguay crashed out. France, winners in 1998, will face either Brazil or Belgium in the semifinals on Tuesday.

With Uruguay conceding just one goal in 2018 ahead of this match -- to Pepe in their 2-1 win over Portugal -- France faced the tough prospect of penetrating a resolute backline but in the end they prevailed, thanks in part to Muslera's howler.

It took a while for Didier Deschamps' men to find their stride and after a quarter of an hour, Les Bleus should have found the opener. Olivier Giroud's header found Kylian Mbappe, who had all the time in the world to bring it down and shoot. Instead, he headed first time and the chance harmlessly bounced over.

Uruguay were tenacious without the ball without unduly troubling the France defence but five minutes before half time, they fell behind. Griezmann's free kick found Varane, whose flicked header evaded Muslera.

Martin Caceres thought he had equalised with a header of his own from a free kick soon after but Hugo Lloris somehow denied him with an incredible reflex stop, and Diego Godin ballooned the rebound over the bar.

Uruguay pushed for the equaliser in the second half but things got worse on 62 minutes as Griezmann doubled France's lead. The Atletico Madrid forward gathered the ball near the edge of the box and let fly, with Muslera attempting to parry it. To his horror, though, the ball squirmed through his grasp and over the line.

That left Oscar Tabarez's men, two-time winners of the World Cup, facing a mountain to climb. And tempers soon boiled over when Mbappe fell to the ground after a brief touch from Cristian Rodriguez. Godin and Paul Pogba then got involved in the melee before the situation was diffused with yellow cards for both Rodriguez and Mbappe.

Uruguay, so tenacious in the opening stages, lost their energy as the game petered out as a glum-looking Cavani looked on from the bench. France, meanwhile, now turn their attentions to the last four and Tuesday's semi in St. Petersburg.

Related news

Controversy and class help France beat Croatia in remarkable World Cup final

Controversy and class help France beat Croatia in remarkable World Cup final

France won their second World Cup on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Croatia, with Didier Deschamps becoming the third person to win the trophy as a player and a manager.

Belgium claim third place in World Cup with victory over England

Belgium claim third place in World Cup with victory over England

Thomas Meunier scored in the opening minutes and Eden Hazard added a goal late as Belgium defeated England 2-0 in the World Cup's third-place game in St. Petersburg.

Croatia beat England in extra time to reach World Cup final after Mandzukic goal

Croatia beat England in extra time to reach World Cup final after Mandzukic goal

Croatia will take on France in the World Cup final -- their first ever appearance in one -- after beating England 2-1 in extra time in Moscow thanks to a Mario Mandzukic goal.

France reach World Cup final as Samuel Umtiti goal beats Belgium

France reach World Cup final as Samuel Umtiti goal beats Belgium

France will play in the World Cup final for the first time since 2006 after beating Belgium 1-0 thanks to a goal from Samuel Umtiti in St Petersburg on Tuesday evening.

Croatia oust Russia in another shootout to reach World Cup semifinals

Croatia oust Russia in another shootout to reach World Cup semifinals

Croatia won a second consecutive penalty shootout 4-3 to advance to the World Cup semifinals, ending the tournament for hosts Russia, who had equalised late in extra time.

England reach World Cup semifinal thanks to Harry Maguire and Dele Alli

England reach World Cup semifinal thanks to Harry Maguire and Dele Alli

England have reached their first World Cup semifinal since 1990 after goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli secured a 2-0 victory over Sweden in Samara.

De Bruyne fires Belgium past Brazil and into semi-finals

De Bruyne fires Belgium past Brazil and into semi-finals

Belgium blew away Brazil to claim a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup, with an own goal from Fernandinho and a strike from Kevin De Bruyne giving them a 2-1 win.

England eliminate Colombia on penalties, reach first quarterfinal since 2006

England eliminate Colombia on penalties, reach first quarterfinal since 2006

England advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Colombia on a dramatic evening in Moscow on Tuesday.

RELATED NEWS

Controversy and class help France beat Croatia in remarkable World Cup final
France 4 - 2 Croatia

Controversy and class help France beat Croatia in remarkable World Cup final

France won their second World Cup on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Croatia, with Didier Deschamps becoming the third person to win the trophy as a player and a manager.

Belgium claim third place in World Cup with victory over England
Belgium 2 - 0 England

Belgium claim third place in World Cup with victory over England

Thomas Meunier scored in the opening minutes and Eden Hazard added a goal late as Belgium defeated England 2-0 in the World Cup's third-place game in St. Petersburg.

Croatia beat England in extra time to reach World Cup final after Mandzukic goal
Croatia 2 - 1 (AET) England

Croatia beat England in extra time to reach World Cup final after Mandzukic goal

Croatia will take on France in the World Cup final -- their first ever appearance in one -- after beating England 2-1 in extra time in Moscow thanks to a Mario Mandzukic goal.

France reach World Cup final as Samuel Umtiti goal beats Belgium
France 1 - 0 Belgium

France reach World Cup final as Samuel Umtiti goal beats Belgium

France will play in the World Cup final for the first time since 2006 after beating Belgium 1-0 thanks to a goal from Samuel Umtiti in St Petersburg on Tuesday evening.

Croatia oust Russia in another shootout to reach World Cup semifinals
Russia 2 - 2 (3-4 a.p.) Croatia

Croatia oust Russia in another shootout to reach World Cup semifinals

Croatia won a second consecutive penalty shootout 4-3 to advance to the World Cup semifinals, ending the tournament for hosts Russia, who had equalised late in extra time.

England reach World Cup semifinal thanks to Harry Maguire and Dele Alli
Sweeden 0 - 2 England

England reach World Cup semifinal thanks to Harry Maguire and Dele Alli

England have reached their first World Cup semifinal since 1990 after goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli secured a 2-0 victory over Sweden in Samara.

De Bruyne fires Belgium past Brazil and into semi-finals
Brazil 1 - 2 Belgium

De Bruyne fires Belgium past Brazil and into semi-finals

Belgium blew away Brazil to claim a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup, with an own goal from Fernandinho and a strike from Kevin De Bruyne giving them a 2-1 win.

England eliminate Colombia on penalties, reach first quarterfinal since 2006
Colombia 1 - 1 (3-4 a.p.) England

England eliminate Colombia on penalties, reach first quarterfinal since 2006

England advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Colombia on a dramatic evening in Moscow on Tuesday.