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Uruguay 0-2 France: Les Bleus into World Cup semi-final

Uruguay 0-2 France: Raphael Varane header and Antoine Griezmann strike that Fernando Muslera fumbled into his net takes Les Bleus into semi-final

  • France have made it through to the semi-finals of the World Cup following a 2-0 victory over Uruguay
  • Defender Raphael Varane headed home Antoine Griezmann's cross to open the scoring after 41 minutes
  • France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made an outstanding one-handed  save to deny Martin Caceres before break
  • Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera fumbled swerving long-range Griezmann shot into the net  

By Matt Barlow for MailOnline

Published: 11:52 EDT, 6 July 2018 | Updated: 12:16 EDT, 6 July 2018

Antoine Griezmann may like to sip yerba mate and hang out grilling meat with his Uruguayan chums but his loyalties were not in question as a goal and an assist fired France into the last four of the World Cup.

Griezmann's quandary had been one of the pre-match narratives since he once confessed to a deep affection for Uruguay reinforced by his close friendship with Atletico Madrid teammates Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez.

Godin is godfather to his daughter but there was no room for sentiment in Nizhny Novgorod.

Griezmann created the opener for Rafael Varane just before half-time and killed the Uruguayan fight when he scored the second from distance with the considerable help of a goalkeeping howler from Fernando Muslera.

France who move onto a semi-final in Saint Petersburg. 

Raphael Varane scored to give France the lead late in the first-half in their World Cup quarter-final clash with Uruguay
Raphael Varane scored to give France the lead late in the first-half in their World Cup quarter-final clash with Uruguay

Raphael Varane scored to give France the lead late in the first-half in their World Cup quarter-final clash with Uruguay

Raphael Varane jumps for joy after scoring the 40th-minute goal that handed France the lead in Nizhny Novgorod
Raphael Varane jumps for joy after scoring the 40th-minute goal that handed France the lead in Nizhny Novgorod

Raphael Varane jumps for joy after scoring the 40th-minute goal that handed France the lead in Nizhny Novgorod

Varane stole a march on the Uruguay defenders to dispatch Antoine Griezmann's right-sided cross into the back of the net
Varane stole a march on the Uruguay defenders to dispatch Antoine Griezmann's right-sided cross into the back of the net

Varane stole a march on the Uruguay defenders to dispatch Antoine Griezmann's right-sided cross into the back of the net

The perfectly-placed header was the third goal Varane has scored for the France national team and came at a perfect time
The perfectly-placed header was the third goal Varane has scored for the France national team and came at a perfect time

The perfectly-placed header was the third goal Varane has scored for the France national team and came at a perfect time

Varane celebrates with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe after opening the scoring for France in the quarter-final
Varane celebrates with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe after opening the scoring for France in the quarter-final

Varane celebrates with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe after opening the scoring for France in the quarter-final

Olivier Giroud celebrates with Raphael Varane while Antoine Griezmann grabs a drink after France take the lead
Olivier Giroud celebrates with Raphael Varane while Antoine Griezmann grabs a drink after France take the lead

Olivier Giroud celebrates with Raphael Varane while Antoine Griezmann grabs a drink after France take the lead

The Uruguay defenders react with dismay after France take the lead five minutes before the end of the first-half 
The Uruguay defenders react with dismay after France take the lead five minutes before the end of the first-half 

The Uruguay defenders react with dismay after France take the lead five minutes before the end of the first-half 


Uruguay without the galloping force of Edinson Cavani up front were simply not able to damage France as they had Portugal in the previous round.

Cavani picked up a calf injury after scoring twice against the European champions and, after days of cloak and dagger shenanigans around his fitness, he was named on the bench and was not even fit enough to come on when they were chasing the game.

Without him, and for all their fabled fighting spirit, Uruguay did not seem to have the same belief.

Luis Suarez bustled around, barging into people and trying upset the rhythms of the game but this time the task was too great against a very strong France team and they knew all hope had gone.

Gimenez was in tears on the field even before fourth official had put the board up to show five minutes of stoppage time. 

France playmaker Antoine Griezmann lines up the swerving shot from distance that Fernando Muslera spilled into his net
France playmaker Antoine Griezmann lines up the swerving shot from distance that Fernando Muslera spilled into his net

France playmaker Antoine Griezmann lines up the swerving shot from distance that Fernando Muslera spilled into his net

Fernando Muslera looks on in horror after he fumbles Antoine Griezmann's viciously swerving shot into the net
Fernando Muslera looks on in horror after he fumbles Antoine Griezmann's viciously swerving shot into the net

Fernando Muslera looks on in horror after he fumbles Antoine Griezmann's viciously swerving shot into the net

The long range strike by Griezmann proved too hot for Muslera to handle as he pushed the ball into the back of his own goal
The long range strike by Griezmann proved too hot for Muslera to handle as he pushed the ball into the back of his own goal

The long range strike by Griezmann proved too hot for Muslera to handle as he pushed the ball into the back of his own goal

By the time Muslera had turned around to attempt to recover the calamity, it was too late with the ball over the goalline
By the time Muslera had turned around to attempt to recover the calamity, it was too late with the ball over the goalline

By the time Muslera had turned around to attempt to recover the calamity, it was too late with the ball over the goalline

France celebrates Griezmann's second goal on 61 minutes, which put them firmly in control of the quarter-final 
France celebrates Griezmann's second goal on 61 minutes, which put them firmly in control of the quarter-final 

France celebrates Griezmann's second goal on 61 minutes, which put them firmly in control of the quarter-final 

It was an horrendous moment for Muslera, who reacts with dismay after conceding a soft second goal in the quarter-final
It was an horrendous moment for Muslera, who reacts with dismay after conceding a soft second goal in the quarter-final

It was an horrendous moment for Muslera, who reacts with dismay after conceding a soft second goal in the quarter-final

Match facts and ratings 

Uruguay (4-3-1-2): Muslera 5; Caceres 6.5, Gimenez 6.5, Godin 6, Laxalt 6; Nandez 5 (Urretaviscaya 73, 5), Torreira 6, Vecino 6; Bentancur 6 (Rodriguez 59, 5); Suarez 6, Stuani 6 (Gomez 59, 5)

Substitutes not used: Campana (GK), M. Silva (GK); Varela, Sanchez, De Arrascaeta, G. Silva, Pereira, Coates

Manager: Oscar Tabarez 6

Booked: Bentancur, Rodriguez

France (4-2-3-1): Lloris 7; Pavard 6.5, Varane 7, Umtiti 6.5, Hernandez 6; Kante 7, Pogba 6.5; Mbappe 6 (Dembele 88), Griezmann 7.5 (Fekir 90), Tolisso 7 (Nzonzi 80); Giroud 6.

Substitutes not used: Mandanda (GK), Areola (GK); Kimpembe, Lemar, Rami, Sidibe, Thauvin, Mendy

Manager: Didier Deschamps 7

Scorers: Varane 40; Griezmann 61

Booked: Hernandez, Mbappe

Referee: Nestor Pitana (Argentina) 6

Attendance: 43,319 

Cristhian Stuani, who came in for Cavani, was lively in the opening stages and Hugo Lloris had to be out alert to punch clear and stop him reaching a knock down from Gimenez following a corner.

France were without Blaise Matuidi, who was suspended. Corentin Tolisso came in to replace him.

It was a tense and fractious opening as it always promised to be and early chances were scarce.

In five previous encounters between the two countries since 2002 there had been only one goal.

Kylian Mbappe showed glimpses of his devastating turn of pace but wasted the first clear opening of the game, mistiming a header on target when unmarked in front of goal and became flustered by Uruguay's physical attention.

Lloris saved comfortably from Matias Vecino on the turn.

France dominated possession and took the lead, five minutes before half-time when a mistake in defence by Rodrigo Bentancur allowed Tolisso to steal the ball.

Bentancur's attempted to regain possession quickly but his tackle was clumsy and felled the French midfielder.

Referee Nestor Pitana gave a free-kick and booked the Uruguayan, a yellow card which was met with a pained expression as Bentancur knew this would rule him out of the semi-final if his team were to make it.

Griezmann addressed the free-kick and clipped it into the penalty area with his left foot.

Varane timed his run perfectly, away from Vecino and across the front of Stuani, he rose and glanced a header inside the far post at pace. Muslera had little chance with this one. 

Hugo Lloris made a superb one-handed save to deny Martin Caceres and preserve France's one-goal lead going into half-time
Hugo Lloris made a superb one-handed save to deny Martin Caceres and preserve France's one-goal lead going into half-time

Hugo Lloris made a superb one-handed save to deny Martin Caceres and preserve France's one-goal lead going into half-time

Diego Godin fires the follow-up over the bar after Hugo Lloris had denied Caceres with the initial effort as Uruguay attack
Diego Godin fires the follow-up over the bar after Hugo Lloris had denied Caceres with the initial effort as Uruguay attack

Diego Godin fires the follow-up over the bar after Hugo Lloris had denied Caceres with the initial effort as Uruguay attack

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris dives out to punch the ball clear as Uruguay striker Cristhian Stuani reaches for it 
France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris dives out to punch the ball clear as Uruguay striker Cristhian Stuani reaches for it 

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris dives out to punch the ball clear as Uruguay striker Cristhian Stuani reaches for it 

The France keeper and captain stretched out to clear the ball away from danger as Uruguay threatened an opening goal
The France keeper and captain stretched out to clear the ball away from danger as Uruguay threatened an opening goal

The France keeper and captain stretched out to clear the ball away from danger as Uruguay threatened an opening goal

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris makes a low diving save to keep Uruguay out during the early stages of the contest
France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris makes a low diving save to keep Uruguay out during the early stages of the contest

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris makes a low diving save to keep Uruguay out during the early stages of the contest

Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera comes out to ensure the ball clears his crossbar as his defenders watch on
Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera comes out to ensure the ball clears his crossbar as his defenders watch on

Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera comes out to ensure the ball clears his crossbar as his defenders watch on

Uruguay responded with a positive flurry of intent before the interval and forced Lloris into a brilliant save.

Again from a set-piece, this time delivered by Lucas Torreira and won in the air by Martin Caceres. Lloris sprang to his right and kept the header out with a firm right hand.

Diego Godin crashed in to try and ram the rebound into the roof of the net but blazed the ball over.

Oscar Tabarez did not wait long into the second-half to make two changes but his team were soon two adrift following a dreadful mistake by goalkeeper Muslera.

Griezmann was about 25 yards from goal, out on the left when he took a short pass from Tolisso and was given all the time and space he required to line up a strike on goal. 

Tempers flare during the second-half after France's Kylian Mbappe goes down and Uruguay's players protest 
Tempers flare during the second-half after France's Kylian Mbappe goes down and Uruguay's players protest 

Tempers flare during the second-half after France's Kylian Mbappe goes down and Uruguay's players protest 

A number of players from both sides became involved in the pushing and shoving as Mbappe lay on the floor holding his face
A number of players from both sides became involved in the pushing and shoving as Mbappe lay on the floor holding his face

A number of players from both sides became involved in the pushing and shoving as Mbappe lay on the floor holding his face

Uruguay and France players scramble to get on the end of a high ball during the first-half of their contest in Nizhny Novgorod
Uruguay and France players scramble to get on the end of a high ball during the first-half of their contest in Nizhny Novgorod

Uruguay and France players scramble to get on the end of a high ball during the first-half of their contest in Nizhny Novgorod

Uruguay defender Jose Gimenez heads the ball towards goal alongside fellow defender Diego Godin in the opening half
Uruguay defender Jose Gimenez heads the ball towards goal alongside fellow defender Diego Godin in the opening half

Uruguay defender Jose Gimenez heads the ball towards goal alongside fellow defender Diego Godin in the opening half

Matias Vecino of Uruguay attempts to intercept a byline cross by the French right-back Benjamin Pavard 
Matias Vecino of Uruguay attempts to intercept a byline cross by the French right-back Benjamin Pavard 

Matias Vecino of Uruguay attempts to intercept a byline cross by the French right-back Benjamin Pavard 

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez falls to the turf clutching his right calf under challenge from a France player during the first-half
Uruguay striker Luis Suarez falls to the turf clutching his right calf under challenge from a France player during the first-half

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez falls to the turf clutching his right calf under challenge from a France player during the first-half

He struck it sweetly but straight at the goalkeeper and although there may have been a slight wobble in flight Muslera really should have kept it out.

Instead he panicked, pushed his palms at the ball and helped it into the net.

In fairness to Griezmann, he seemed to take little delight in his goal, perhaps slightly embarrassed to see it slither in as well as sorry for his Uruguayan pals. 

France striker Olivier Giroud sends Uruguay's Lucas Torreira flying as they contest the ball during the opening minutes 
France striker Olivier Giroud sends Uruguay's Lucas Torreira flying as they contest the ball during the opening minutes 

France striker Olivier Giroud sends Uruguay's Lucas Torreira flying as they contest the ball during the opening minutes 

Rodrigo Bentancur manages to spin away from France's Antoine Griezmann in pursuit of the ball in midfield
Rodrigo Bentancur manages to spin away from France's Antoine Griezmann in pursuit of the ball in midfield

Rodrigo Bentancur manages to spin away from France's Antoine Griezmann in pursuit of the ball in midfield

Paul Pogba challenges Cristhian Stuani close to the touchline as France try and win the midfield battle against Uruguay
Paul Pogba challenges Cristhian Stuani close to the touchline as France try and win the midfield battle against Uruguay

Paul Pogba challenges Cristhian Stuani close to the touchline as France try and win the midfield battle against Uruguay

Referee Nestor Pitana from Argentina gestures a word of warning in the direction of France midfielder N'Golo Kante 
Referee Nestor Pitana from Argentina gestures a word of warning in the direction of France midfielder N'Golo Kante 

Referee Nestor Pitana from Argentina gestures a word of warning in the direction of France midfielder N'Golo Kante 

There was little goodwill extended elsewhere because from this point the niggly nature of the contest worsened, with France happy to run down the clock by milking every bit of late contact.

Nahitan Nandez left an elbow on Tolisso and Lucas Torreira was late on Benjamin Pavard.

A mass skirmish was triggered when Cristian Rodriguez nudged Mbappe and everyone waded in when the teenager overreacted.

Luis Suarez, ineffective without Cavani, was in the thick of it.

Referee Pitana settled the dispute with yellow cards for Mbappe and Rodriguez.   

Uruguay fans fly the flag ahead of kick-off as their side attempts to make it through to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia
Uruguay fans fly the flag ahead of kick-off as their side attempts to make it through to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia

Uruguay fans fly the flag ahead of kick-off as their side attempts to make it through to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia

French fans make their voices heard in Nizhny Novgorod as the first of the four World Cup quarter-finals gets underway
French fans make their voices heard in Nizhny Novgorod as the first of the four World Cup quarter-finals gets underway

French fans make their voices heard in Nizhny Novgorod as the first of the four World Cup quarter-finals gets underway

The two teams line up for the national anthems in front of a capacity crowd at the impressive Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
The two teams line up for the national anthems in front of a capacity crowd at the impressive Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

The two teams line up for the national anthems in front of a capacity crowd at the impressive Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

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