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Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann scored as France advanced to a World Cup semi-final against either Belgium or Brazil after easing past Uruguay on Friday.
Following an opening passage high on energy but bereft of quality, Varane glanced home a Griezmann free-kick to open the scoring before the Atletico Madrid man doubled France's advantage just after the hour mark in a moment to forget for Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
Griezmann found space 25 yards out and fired in a shot that should have been routine for Muslera but the ball slipped through his grasp and into the net.
Oscar Tabarez's Uruguay, without injured striker Edinson Cavani, never looked like finding a route back into the game and France now await Friday's late game to see who they will meet in St Petersburg on Tuesday.
The opening 40 minutes were notable only for Uruguay's pressing and harassing of France whenever Didier Deschamps' men were in possession, and a bad miss from Les Bleus' golden boy Kylian Mbappe.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker, who scored twice in the 4-3 defeat of Argentina in the last 16, ought to have opened the scoring in Nizhny Novgorod but fluffed his lines horribly after 15 minutes.
After latching on to Olivier Giroud’s knockdown in the box, Mbappe had time and space to bring the ball down but instead attempted a header that drifted harmlessly over Muslera's crossbar.
The game was crying out for some creativity and it arrived five minutes before the break. Griezmann's inswinging free-kick from the right was met by Varane and his flicked header flashed past Muslera and into the bottom left corner.
Uruguay almost responded in similar fashion four minutes later but Martin Caceres' header was brilliantly saved by Hugo Lloris low to his right and Diego Godin hammered the rebound wildly over.
France started the second half on the front foot but it was still a surprise when they made it 2-0 after 61 minutes. Muslera suggested the ball swerved but he should have got his body behind Griezmann's shot and could only watch as it dropped apologetically into the net.
Uruguay substitute Cristian Rodriguez fired a shot a yard wide after 64 minutes but the South Americans were struggling to create anything and their frustration boiled over when Mbappe went down softly under a challenge from Rodriguez, prompting angry confrontations involving Godin, Nahitan Nandez and Paul Pogba.
Corentin Tolisso could have made it 3-0 to France after 73 minutes but curled over, while Griezmann also flashed a late free-kick over the top.
Uruguay centre-half Jose Gimenez was in tears with five minutes to go, such was his anguish as France cruised home.
90+5- Peep! France is through to the semi-finals where a match against Brazil or Belgium awaits! Raphaël Varane with a glancing header, along with a goal from Antoine Griezmann thanks to an error from Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera get them there. Match Report to follow.
90+4 Uruguay are trying to get it into the box, but France are knocking it away for fun.
90+2 Nabil Fekir is on for a quick runout Antoine Griezmann is coming off.
90-Five minutes of extra time for Uruguay to turn it around (I don't think they will)
88- The Uruguay fans are in full voice, they can be proud of the efforts of their side today. France have just been too strong defensively.
88- Dangerous Free-kick for France as Pogba is hauled down outside the box. Griezmann lashes the ball high over the bar.
87- Mbappe is off Ousmane Dembélé. One superstar in the making for another.
85- Oh dear, Uruguay need to do something quickly about this scoreline if this is going to go to extra-time.
83-Urretaviscaya is downed by Hernandez, no free-kick for Uruguay... cue shots of miserable men dressed in baby blue.
80- Uruguay is starting to look a little flat. Godin smacks a long ball forward, N'Zonzi heads away. That sums up La Celeste's attacking in this game.
78- French Sub! Steven N'Zonzi is on! He's replacing Corentin Tolisso . Ahhh 50% right is okay I guess....
77- I've been very impressed with the French backline today, haven't given Uruguay a sniff really, although to be fair La Celeste have been poor in attack.
76- Olivier Giroud lops the ball well over the crossbar.
74- No substitutes yet from France, which is quite surprising. I would pop on Steven N'Zonzi for Mbappe if you are asking...
72- France will be looking to exploit the space left as Uruguay push forward. Tolisso attempts a curler which fizzes over the bar.
71-Jonathan Urretaviscaya is on soon for Uruguay...
66- Uhoh! It's getting a little tasty now. Mbappe was on the floor for an off the ball incident. It didnt look like much, a mass argument breaks out. After we settle down, Mbappe gets a yellow and sub Rodríguez gets a yellow for his troubles.
64- Torriera leaves a little in on Pavard, who is rubbing his ankle. Free-kick France, which is eventually cleared by Uruguay.
60- Goal! Pogba streams through the midfield! Tolisso picks out Griezmann, who has a pot-shot at goal. Muslera flaps at it, and ball skims out of his hands and into the back of the net! Horrible! 2-0 France!
59- Double sub for Uruguay. Bentancur & Stuani make way. Maxi Gomez and Christian Rodriguez are on.
58- Uruguay has upped the ante here... as Cáceres smashes the cross from Suarez well over the bar.
55-Umtiti is disposed of in his own penalty box! The ball is passed to Bentancur, his shot skew's wide.
53- Suarez takes the ball down perfectly in the box, and flicks it to Nández his cross is short, and not very good. The frustration is written all over his face.
52- Suarez clears the corner, which falls to Pavard his strike sails over the bar, no repeat of that stunning goal against Argentina in the round of sixteen.
51- It's all been France during the second half. Mbappé wins a corner for Les Bleus.
49- Mbappé with a great free-kick into the box, Muslera punches well not before clattering Paul Pogba, who looks very shocked at the whole ordeal. Poor Paul.
47- Nearly disaster for Uruguay! Greizmann chases down a pass to Muslera, who is a little too relaxed on the ball. The French attacker swipes at the attempted pass, which rebounds out. A close call!
45- France is getting this party started (again)! Griezmann get us back underway!
45- Peep! Good game this! A bit tepid at first, but a quite lovely header from France's Raphaël Varane is the difference maker at the break. Uruguay will be looking to get back into this in the second half. Join me in 15minutes for more updates!
44- Suarez is jumped on by Umtiti... Dangerous Free-kick, which is cleared by Olivier Giroud! The replay shows that the Chelsea man tugged the shorts of Godin... cheeky!
43- What a save from Loris! Cáceres plants a header bound for the bottom corner, the French captain throws out a hand to save the ball, Godin follows up, but his effort blazes over!
39- Goal! From the Free-kick, Griezmann drifts the ball in, and Raphaël Varane glances the ball towards the bottom left corner, it glides in! France have the breakthrough! It's deserved on the balance of play! 1-0 Les Bleus!
38- Bentancur gets a yellow for taking down Tolisso, he'll miss the semi-final, should Uruguay progress...
36- Up the other end, Matias Vecino gets a shot on target, but its easily gathered by Hugo Lloris.
35- Paul Pogba with an absolutely dreamy through ball to Mbappé, who in a flash knocks the ball across the box. No French player is even in the box. A big waste.
32- Nández has his shirt shamefully tugged by Lucas Hernández. Yellow card for the Atletico defender.
29- Whistles from the crowd as France slow the play right down. Pavard, who has been impressive as right back launches in a cross to Mbappé. His touch is sloppy and the ball skips across the penalty area before Martín Cáceres clears.
25- Ngolo Kante charges forward and picks out Mbappé, a turn of pace from the teenager, but Diego Laxalt is equal to it! Fine defending!
22- It's wasted! Still, France has had 61% possession... I'm feeling a sense of Deja Vu here...
20- France is turning the screw here, plenty of nice passing just no end product for now. Vecino blocks Pavards attempted cross, it's a corner for Les Bleus.
18- Pogba launches one into row Z, you are better than that, Paul.
14- First Chance of note for France! Pavard clips in a cross for Olivier Giroud, who nods it towards Mbappe, it's a little too high for the teenager, who stretches for the header which ends on the roof of the net.
13- Corner Uruguay, Godin's header is punched clear by Loris, and Griezmann eventually gets rid!
11- This game has plenty of bite, Suarez is clattered into by Barca team-mate Umtiti, the free-kick is launched up to Suarez but his attempted cross is blocked!
10- The delivery is good! Varane's header flies over!
9- Stuani has been in the thick of it in the first few minutes. He smashes into Hernández, France win a dangerous looking free-kick. Griezmann stands over it.
7- Stuani seems up for this, he's wrestled to the ground by Paul Pogba in his own half. Free-kick Uruguay.
4- First chance of note for Uruguay! Suarez and Stuani combine. Stuani's shot trickles well wide.
1- Uhoh! Giroud seems to have injured his ankle... Jose Gimenez seems to be a culprit here... Don't worry! Mr Handsome is okay, he'll live to fight another day.
Peep! Luis Suarez gets us started! Uruguay is in baby blue, France are all in white for the game!
It's Quarter-final time! I'm quite excited! Fancy telling me who is going to win? Drop me a line on Twitter
The National Anthems have been observed perfectly! Time for some football!
Twenty minutes to go ahead of Kick-off! How about a nice hit of news to get you in the mood? Kate Mason has more!
Some team breakdown of the Uruguay selection. Just how will they cope without Cavani?
Team News! We have Team News! Big news for Uruguay! Edison Cavani is injured, he failed to shake off that calf injury. As expected Cristhian Stuani is with Luis Suarez up front. As for France Corentin Tolisso comes in for the suspended Blaise Matuidi.
Hello! Welcome to the Live Updates for the first quarter-final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup! It's a big one! Uruguay takes on France for a place in the semi-finals. Both teams have actually won the World Cup! Who will be the better side in Nizhny Novgorod? The defensive solidity of Uruguay or the attacking flair of France? As ever join me for a Live Stream of the game along with Updates and video highlights with me. Strap in, it's going to get fun!
Uruguay & France will meet on Friday afternoon in the first quarter-final of the 2018 World Cup. Both sides have shown their class during the tournament, and will be looking to push through to the semi-finals were a clash against Brazil or Belgium awaits.
La Celeste are targeting their fifth straight victory in Russia, looked impressive in their 2-1 round of sixteen victory against Portugal in Sochi. Uruguay looked compact in defense, and clinical in the breakaway as Edison Cavani scored a spectacular brace to dump the Euro 2016 winners out of the tournament.
Cavani is the only major injury doubt for the South American side after limping off in the second half with a hamstring injury. Till now, head coach Oscar Tabarez has remained tight-lipped on the fitness of the PSG striker, who could renew rivalries with team-mate Kylian Mbppe in Nizhny Novgorod should he be fit to start. If Cavani is unavailable then Cristhian Stuani could be in line for a start up-top with Luis Suarez.
Uruguay has only conceded once so far in the tournament, thanks in part to the centre back pairing of Diego Godin & José Giménez. The pair plays their club football together at Atletico Madrid and that understanding has been crucial in La Celeste’s success in Russia. With the attacking talents possess by France the duo is set for a major test. Providing they can get the better of Les Bleus, Uruguay can be confident of reaching the final four.
Uruguay Predicted Team
Muslera; Caceres, Gimenez, Godin, Laxalt; Nandez, Torreira, Vecino, Bentancur, Suarez, Stuani
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TV Channel- MAX HD3
Stadium- Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
As for France, they will be confident of reaching the final four after they blew away Argentina 4-3 to book their place in the quarter-finals. Les Bleus have been preparing for a physical battle in Nizhny Novgorod, and even if Edison Cavani is fit or not, this will be a true test of their World Cup credentials.
Kylian Mbappe lit up the World Cup with his two goals against Argentina. The PSG striker scored two spectacular strikes and will be aiming for more of the same against fellow South American side Uruguay. It’s scary to think that Mbappe is just 19-years old, but if the precocious talent puts in another impressive performance he could have a genuine chance firing his side into the final four.
One major piece of team news will be the suspension of Blaise Matuidi. The Juventus midfielder has added solidity in the French midfield, and his absence could be seen as a major blow to Les Bleu's progression to the final four. Expect Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso to slot into the side.
France Predicted Team
Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Kante, Pogba; Mbappe, Griezmann, Tolisso; Giroud
It promises to be a fascinating encounter as Uruguay & France battle it out for a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup. Watch the Live & Exclusive stream of the game on MAX HD3 & beIN SPORTS CONNECT.