World Cup - Quarter-final
UruguayUruguay0FranceFrance2

World Cup 2018: France beat Uruguay 2-0 to reach semi-final

By Chris BevanBBC Sport in Nizhny Novgorod

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.

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.

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

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.

France do what they need to win

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.

Instead, France took control of the game in midfield, found a way to hurt Uruguay from the right flank and then struck their first decisive blow from Griezmann's well-worked set-piece.

France's second goal gave them breathing space, and added gloss to the scoreline, but they rarely looked troubled in any case and with defensive resilience as well as attacking flair, they will make formidable opponents to whoever they face next.

Uruguay simply outclassed by France

Uruguay's hopes of reaching the last four of the World Cup for the first time since 2010 were always going to be hit by Cavani's enforced absence through a calf injury.

While their famed defensive organisation was again evident in Nizhny Novgorod, ultimately they paid the price for having a blunted attack.

Their failure to score for the first time in this tournament was not for the want of trying, however, with eight of their outfield players having attempts at goal.

Noticeably, Luis Suarez was not among them, and although he charged around to try to make things happen for his side in the final third, inspiration eluded him, as it did his team-mates.

Other than Caceres' header, and Godin's wild miss with the follow-up, Uruguay were largely kept at arm's length, and not even the noisy support they received from the stands could change the feeling they were simply outclassed.

Man of the match - Antoine Griezmann (France)

Antoine Griezmann
The man who claims to love Uruguay did not celebrate after scoring but, with a goal and an assist, he was the player who did most to put France into the final four

What they said

France manager Didier Deschamps: "We had done something big against Argentina and today we have again raised our level. I have a good team that still has plenty of room for improvement.

"You can see our lack of experience sometimes, but we have so many qualities too.

"It definitely won't be a failed World Cup now."

Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez: "We don't play as well as our rivals, that's why we lost.

"The boys really gave everything, but France were able to control the match very well. After the second goal, there was a huge gap between the teams."

Match stats - 10 games unbeaten against South American sides

  • France have reached the World Cup semi-final for the sixth time, progressing to the final twice (1998 and 2006)
  • France have become only the second team to beat three different South American sides in a single World Cup tournament, after the Netherlands in 1974
  • France are unbeaten in 10 World Cup matches against South American sides (W6 D4), since a 2-1 loss v Argentina in 1978 - the joint longest run alongside Italy (1982 to 2010)
  • Uruguay received more yellow cards (two) than they had in their previous four World Cup games combined (one)
  • France have now scored with each of their last six shots on target at the World Cup
  • This was Uruguay's first competitive game that Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez did not start together since March 2017, a 4-1 defeat by Brazil
  • France have lost none of the 20 games in which Antoine Griezmann has scored for them (W18 D2)
  • Griezmann has scored seven goals in his last six appearances in the knockout stages of major tournaments
  • Varane's goal was his third for France, with all three of them being headers
  • Uruguay forward Luis Suarez failed to have a single touch in the opposition box, and also failed to register a single shot

Line-ups

Uruguay

  • 1Muslera
  • 22Cáceres
  • 2Giménez
  • 3Godín
  • 17Laxalt
  • 14Torreira
  • 8NándezSubstituted forUrretaviscayaat 73'minutes
  • 15Vecino
  • 6BentancurBooked at 38minsSubstituted forRodríguezat 59'minutesBooked at 69mins
  • 11StuaniSubstituted forGómezat 59'minutes
  • 9Suárez

Substitutes

  • 4Varela
  • 5Sánchez
  • 7Rodríguez
  • 10de Arrascaeta
  • 12Campaña
  • 13G Silva
  • 16Pereira
  • 18Gómez
  • 19Coates
  • 20Urretaviscaya
  • 23M Silva

France

  • 1Lloris
  • 2Pavard
  • 4Varane
  • 5Umtiti
  • 21HernándezBooked at 33mins
  • 6Pogba
  • 13Kanté
  • 10MbappéBooked at 69minsSubstituted forDembéléat 88'minutes
  • 7GriezmannSubstituted forFekirat 90+3'minutes
  • 12TolissoSubstituted forN'Zonziat 80'minutes
  • 9Giroud

Substitutes

  • 3Kimpembe
  • 8Lemar
  • 11Dembélé
  • 15N'Zonzi
  • 16Mandanda
  • 17Rami
  • 18Fekir
  • 19Sidibe
  • 20Thauvin
  • 22Mendy
  • 23Areola
Referee:
Néstor Pitana
Attendance:
43,319

Match Stats

Home TeamUruguayAway TeamFrance
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home11
Away11
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home17
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Uruguay 0, France 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Uruguay 0, France 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Nabil Fekir (France).

  4. Post update

    Lucas Torreira (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, France. Nabil Fekir replaces Antoine Griezmann.

  6. Post update

    Paul Pogba (France) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Lucas Torreira (Uruguay).

  8. Post update

    Hand ball by Lucas Torreira (Uruguay).

  9. Post update

    Foul by Paul Pogba (France).

  10. Post update

    Maxi Gómez (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Antoine Griezmann (France) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

  12. Post update

    Paul Pogba (France) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by José Giménez (Uruguay).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, France. Ousmane Dembélé replaces Kylian Mbappé.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Olivier Giroud (France).

  16. Post update

    Jonathan Urretaviscaya (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Paul Pogba (France).

  18. Post update

    Cristian Rodríguez (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, France. Steven N'Zonzi replaces Corentin Tolisso.

  20. Post update

    Samuel Umtiti (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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Scores, Results & Fixtures

Friday 6th July 2018

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Uruguay33005059
2Russia32018446
3Saudi Arabia310227-53
4Egypt300326-40

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain31206515
2Portugal31205415
3Iran31112204
4Morocco301224-21

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France32103127
2Denmark31202115
3Peru31022203
4Australia301225-31

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia33007169
2Argentina311135-24
3Nigeria310234-13
4Iceland301225-31

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brazil32105147
2Switzerland31205415
3Serbia310224-23
4Costa Rica301225-31

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sweden32015236
2Mexico320134-16
3South Korea31023303
4Germany310224-23

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium33009279
2England32018356
3Tunisia310258-33
4Panama3003211-90

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Colombia32015236
2Japan31114404
3Senegal31114404
4Poland310225-33
View full World Cup tables

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