- France reach World Cup semi-finals for sixth time in their history
- After remaining invincible this year till last week, Uruguay defence concede twice in 61 minutes.
- Varane (40′) and Griezmann (61′) scored to pack Uruguay home.
France beat Uruguay 2-0 to reach the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 12 years at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod.
France put some good moves together only to struggle in the box, where the Uruguayans were quick to snuff out any danger. Ironically, France’s opener came from a set-piece, habitually one of La Celeste’s strengths, with Raphael Varane glancing a header home from Antoine Griezmann’s pinpoint delivery.
In a bid to turn the game around, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez rang the changes in the second half, sending on Maxi Lopez and Cristian Rodriguez. Their Russia 2018 hopes came to an end, however, when a Griezmann shot deceived Fernando Muslera and slipped through the keeper’s hands and over the line.
Following are six reasons which differentiated both the teams,
- Uruguay went into the game without key striker Edinson Cavani, who was ruled out with a calf injury, with Cristhian Stuani drafted into the starting line-up. Cavani and Suarez have been playing together in Natonal side for a long time. The usual understanding, which is apparent between two strikers as well as Cavani’s Goal finding ability, both were missing. That led today’s match a direct contest between Uruguay defence and France attack. Diego Godin will be disappointed his follow-up shot was wildly off target.
- France rarely sparkled, but they didn’t need to move through too many gears, and they go into the semi-finals without any major weak points and appearing capable of taking on anyone of the survivors in this tournament. Furthermore, this talented side is well-disciplined and continuously improving in each matches under Didier Deschamps.
- France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris ensured his side went in at the break with the advantage, producing a brilliant one-handed save to keep out a Martin Caceres header. He saved few chances to deny Uruguay a goal.
- Uruguay’s Fernando Muslera showed how easily it can go wrong for the custodian with a horrendous error to gift France their second goal in the 61st minute. Griezmann tried his luck with an effort from outside the box which was straight at Muslera, but the keeper’s ill-chosen attempt to palm the ball away ended with him merely deflecting it into the net.
- Uruguay defence Defence were their usual organised selves, giving away no space whatsoever. Atletico de Madrid’s Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez, have great understanding between them and remain invincible this year, till they met Portugal in Round of 16 match last week. Defence could not withstand France attack for long.
- The difference between raw talent that these two teams have, certainly made the real difference. France, the most expensive national squad, is keeping Ousmane Dembélé out of starting eleven. This speaks lot about the depth of talent that they have.
In terms of excitement, this quarter-final tie did not come close to Les Bleus’ win over Argentina in the last 16. But the contest was intense. As the game was much physical with Uruguay midfield trying to make situation tough for France, this was a match that lived up to expectations, generating plenty of tension from start to finish.
At 69th minute of the game, Mbappe went down claiming he had been struck in an incident off the ball and was confronted by a furious Godin about his playacting. This incident resulted in yellow card for both Kylian Mbappe and Christian Rodríguez.