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How France beat Uruguay to storm World Cup semi-finals

By Joseph Kizza

Added 6th July 2018 04:49 PM

Les Bleus beat Uruguay 2-0 to reach the last-four stage

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Les Bleus beat Uruguay 2-0 to reach the last-four stage


Live reporting by Joseph Kizza









(Uruguay 0 France 2)

France will now shift their attentions to the semi-finals, which will offer them a perfect opportunity to play in the final of this edition of the World Cup.

They will play against Belgium, who beat pre-tournament favourites Brazil in the second quarter-final duel of the competition.

Raphael Varane's 40th-minute goal and Antoine Griezmann's strike in the 61st minute opened up the way for Didier Deschamps's side to sweep aside a Uruguayan side playing without their star marksman Edinson Cavani, who was forced off with a calf injury against Portugal.

The spotlight was left on Luis Suarez.

Despite his renowned proficiency in front of goal, even the Barcelona FC striker, too, couldn't change the course of his side's fate.

In the end, France emerged with the victory laugh.

The same, of course, couldn't be said of Uruguay.











      FULL TIME - France through, Uruguay out

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

Game over.

France are into the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals.

Uruguay are knocked out.

That's football for you - Ruthless. Entertaining.




90 (+3) min      SUBSTITUTION - France

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

France make a final change.

Second goalscorer Antoine Griezmann has played his part. On comes Nabil Fekir.

Two minutes left.




(Uruguay 0 France 2)

It is definitely an IMPOSSIBLE task for Uruguay now.

But then, anything can happen in this sport.




89min      'Here we come!'

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

The French fans are in full voice.

Their side are surely making it to the semi-finals. What a day for them!




87min      SUBSTITUTION - Mbappe off, Dembele on

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

Ousmane Dembele is brought on late for Kylian Mbappe, who receives a warm hug from his coach.

France minutes away from progressing to the last-four.




83min      France on the roll

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

Uruguay have been VERY DIFFICULT to beat here in Russia, but the way they have been brushed aside by a clinical French side will get them looking back on that night Edinson Cavani walked off with a calf injury against Portugal.

His two goals of the night took them through to where they are today, but it is almost time up for La Celestes.




80min      France on the roll

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

France eliminated Lionel Messi's Argentina in ruthless fashion in the knockout stage.

They are now looking to dumping out another South American side.

Ten minutes to wrap it up.




77min      'Difficult'

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

In the buildup, Uruguay head coach Oscar Tabarez admitted that the French side's strongest points are the attackers, singling out Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) FC teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe.

"If you let France have space, it will be very difficult."

At the moment, his side are trailing and are allowing France the space they need to punish them even more.




72min      Next up

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

The winner of this game will face either Brazil or Belgium, who face off later tonight.




  70min      Cease fire! Cease fire!

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

Referee Nestor Pitana has a situation here.

Kylian Mbappe has gone down rather easily, infuriating the Uruguayans - sparking off an altercation around the midfield.

Paul Pogba gets involved, as do other players from both sides.

In the end, Mbappe is shown yellow, as is Uruguay susbtitute Cristian Rodriguez.





65min      Day to dump in memory's trash can

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

There are so many days Fernando Muslera will want to forget in his life.

Today is one of them.

Only if his team fail to come back into the game. Time is running out though.




63min      Uruguay staring at exit door

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

The door out of the competition is staring right at Uruguay.

I mentioned earlier that France have never lost a game in which Antoinne Griezmann has scored.







  61min     GOAL! - Griezmann (France)

(Uruguay 0 France 2)

Antoine Griezmann. And the Frenchman finds the net!

What was supposed to be a routine save will be a goal to forget for Fernando Muslera, as his catch of Griezmann's long-range effort fails to stick in his gloves.

A poor goal to concede.

But will the French care? Never!









59min      DOUBLE SUBSTITUTION - Uruguay

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

And the South Americans make changes.

They bring on two, take off two.




55min     Les Celestes prapare for reforms

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

You would wonder when Uruguay, who are trailing, would make a change in this game.

Looks like very soon.

Maximiliano Gomez is seen on the bench slapping on a shirt.




53min     Chance for Uruguay

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

Les Celstes make a meaningful attack, with Luis Suarez involved.

But the French back is water-tight. No way through.

I have been told that the Uruguayan supporters outnumber their French counterparts inside Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

The massive stadium is hosting its last match of this tournament.





51min     Cavani absence missed

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

France head coach Didier Deschamps was not really certain whether Edinson Cavani would feature in today's game. The fearless Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forward suffered a calf injury against Portugal en route to the quarter-finals.

"I am preparing my team for if Cavani plays. If he plays or not, I will only know 90 minutes before the game."

The Uruguay striker is watching from the bench. How his nation misses him in this match!




48min     Griezmann magical touch

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

France are unbeaten in every game in which Griezmann has scored. Make that seven wins and two draws.

The Atletico Madrid forward almost found the net a minute ago, thanks to some profligacy at the Uruguayan back.




46min     What was that?!

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

Fernando Muslera will not want to look back at that one.

A back pass to him has him almost punished by a prowling Antoine Griezmann right in the box.

Careless from the Uruguayan goalkeeper!




     KICKOFF! - Second half

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

Uruguay have been breached at the back - for only the second time at this tournament.

Can they recover?

They have 45 minutes to do so.





5:57pm     HALF TIME: First shot on target a goal

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

France scored with their first shot on target in the opening half.

Griezmann, who delivered the freekick that eventually ended in the back of the net, has been rusty in Russia though, seeing the back of the net only twice from 12 attempts. Both were penalties.

Does he have a goal today?




5:55pm     HALF TIME: A comeback?

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

Uruguay's last defeat at the quarters was in 1966 when they were hammered 4-0 by West Germany. But their last two quarter-finals have been victories - in 1970 and more recently in 2010 (when I was finishing university).

They will need to get an early equaliser once we get back into action.





(Uruguay 0 France 1)

That's pretty much it for the opening half. France have the edge.

Can Uruguay respond after the interval?




44min     France cruising

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

France have been shifting through the gears since the start of the tournament - getting better and better, bursting into life against a toothless Argentina, which even the great Lionel Messi could not come to the rescue of.

Varane's 40th-minute goal is so far the difference and if it ends like this at half-time, Les Bleus will have placed one foot into the semi-finals.




43min     CLOSE! -  Caceres (Uruguay)

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

Uruguay are eager to claw back into the game quickly.

Martin Caceres almost equalises from a freekick but his fierce header draws French goalie Hugo Lloris into a fine stretch - and save.







  40min     GOAL! -  Varane (France)

(Uruguay 0 France 1)

France draw first blood through defender Raphael Varane, who nets his third goal for his country - and what a time to find the back of the net!

Antoine Griezmann whips in the freekick to find an ever-rising Varane, who nods past Fernando Muslera.

Five minutes to half time!





  39min     YELLOWCARD! -  Bentancur (Uruguay)

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

Rodrigo Bentancur is booked for clattering Corentin Tolisso.

France prepare to take a freekick. Antoinne Griezmann will be the man to deliver.



34min     CLOSE! -  Mbappe (France)

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

France have not been unbeaten by a South American side in their last nine World Cup matches. They have won five and drawn four.

And this might excite you even more, France fan. They have kept a clean sheet in seven of those games.

Meanwhile, Paul Pogba has good vision to find Kylian Mbappe, whose dash on the right flank sees him let rip but the cross finds no teammate as it whistles agonisingly across the Uruguayan goalmouth.






  32min     YELLOWCARD - Hernandez (France)

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

Luca Hernandez is the first man to be booked today for naughtily pulling back Nahitan Nandez.

The Uruguayan needs a quick change of shirts after that challenge.



27min     Can Suarez deliver again?

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

By the way, Suarez scored the only goal when these two sides last met in June 2016 for a friendly in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo.

If Uruguay win today, they will beat the national record of four consecutive victories at a single Wold Cup. They last did that in 1930 - when they won the tournament.




25min     Ouch! - Suarez knocks Pavard

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

That was quite a nudge from Luis Suarez on his minder Benjamin Pavard. It is a freekick but Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana will keep his hands away from his pocket.




23min     'Uruguay play as a unit'

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

France head coach Didier Deschamps said before the game that La Celeste have so many assets and qualities.

"They defend as a unit, they play together and they love to do that."

Well, he is right.

Uruguay, who have shipped only one goal in four games, have the most watertight defence so far - only equalled by Brazil.

Only Portugal's Pepe has seen the back of Uruguay's net at this tournament.



21min     First corner for France

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

France are bossing ball possession so far - 61% v Uruguay's 39%.

That dominance sees them get their first corner of the game. Antoine Griezmann swings it in, but it is too high for Paul Pogba - the Manchester United midfielder being the main target for that delivery.




18min     Three times for Mbappe

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

Mbappe has scored three goals so far this tournament. He will have to score three more to equal then-fellow teenager Brazilian Pele's six that he scored several decades back in 1958.

Germany's Edmund Conen, who scored four goals in 1934, is the only other teenage player to have netted more than three times at the same Wolrd Cup.




15min     CHANCE! - Mbappe (France)

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

That looked close.

France make a counter attack, which ends with Kylian Mbappe - who is playing on the right wing - heading the ball onto the roof of the net.

For a player of his calibre, that should have been re-aligned better.

Uuhs and aahs from the lively crowd.



13min     First corner - Uruguay

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

Les Celestes get the first corner of the game. Lucas Torreira delivers it from the right. It is connected by a Uruguayan head but Hugo Lloris flies out to punch it out of play.





11min     Early Franch scare - Mbappe

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

It is quite a start here. We have no goals yet, but there is promise for that in the coming minutes.

We see Kylian Mbappe involved in action in these early stages but the teenager abandons his attack, appearing to have received a knock while as he prepared to slap on the afterburners on the flank.

There is a brief moment of scare in the French camp, but it is shortlived, as the teenage sensation gets back in action.



08min     Drought?

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

France's only win over Uruguay in eight previous meetings was a 2-0 win in a friendly in the French capital Paris 33 years ago.

They have had a fairly decent start so far here in Russia.



06min     Fourth time

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

These two sides are meeting for the fourth time at a World Cup. It is their first duel at the knockout stage though.

Their last two World Cup meetings ended goalless (in 2002 and 2010). Today, however, we shall have to have a winner - even if it means through a penalty shootout.




04min     Uruguay will miss Cavani

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

Uruguay are playing without their star striker Edinson Cavani, who failed to recover from a calf injury he suffered during their victory over Portugal in the last-16.



02min     Matuidi out, but France start strong

(Uruguay 0 France 0)

Les Bleus are playing without Blaise Matuidi in the midfield, but already, the French have started strong.

But they have a man down near the edge of the Uruguayan box. Olivier Giroud is down, and he is clasping his foot - or ankle - in agony.

Replays show Diego Godin, who is captaining Uruguay, stepped on him while vying for the ball in the first minute of the game.




(Uruguay 0 France 0)

Luis Suarez, who will play without his common partner Edinson Cavani, gets the first touch of the ball as we get underway here in Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.



4:55pm     Hello and welcome

(Uruguay v France at 5pm)

Welcome to this live text commentary of today's first quarter-final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

I will be taking you through today's game right here.

Don't forget to refresh your page for updates.

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