France Dispatch Uruguay To Advance To Semi-Finals

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Goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine  Griezmann helped France reach the FIFA World Cup semi-finals for the sixth time in their history.

Los Charrúas made a strong start all the same, with Cavani’s replacement Cristhian Stuani shooting across the face of goal. At the back, meanwhile, La Celeste were their usual organised selves, giving away no space whatsoever.

Seeing more of the ball, 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.

The Uruguayans would have equalised on the stroke of half-time but for a miraculous stop from Hugo Lloris, who dived full-length to claw away a Martin Caceres header.

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.

THE STATS

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.

 

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