France beat Uruguay, reach semifinal

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  • Varane nodded France ahead
  • Muslera howler on Griezmann goal
  • France reach semifinal for first time since 2006

France beat Uruguay 2-0 in Nizhny Novgorod on Friday, with Les Bleus scoring in each half against a lackluster Uruguay outfit who missed Edinson Cavani badly.

Raphael Varane nodded home the opener for France, while Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera made a huge error to allow Antoine Griezmann to score his third goal of the tournament and seal the win.

Didier Deschamps’ side were deserved winners in a slightly cagey encounter as they’ll face either Brazil or Belgium on Tuesday in Saint Petersburg.

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Early on Uruguay twice went close as Cristhian Stuani‘s dragged a shot across goal, then from a set piece Hugo Lloris punched away with Stuani lurking.

At the other end Mbappe headed over when wide open after Olivier Giroud‘s header across goal, with the teenager unaware of the time and space he had close to goal.

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France took the lead five minutes before the break as Griezmann whipped in a free kick and Varane glanced a header into the far corner to put Les Bleus ahead.

Lloris then denied Caceres with an incredible save right on half time as he pushed his header away, then did enough to put Diego Godin off with his follow up.

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In the second half Uruguay had a few half chances with balls into the box but Luis Suarez was locked down and grew increasingly frustrated.

A moment of madness then swung the game further in France’s favor as Muslera pushed a routine shot from Griezmann straight into his own net. A horror moment for Uruguay’s goalkeeper to double France’s lead.

A huge brawl then broke out with yellow cards dished out Paul Pogba grabbing the head of a Uruguay player among a melee.

Corentin Tolisso then curled just over late on as France aimed to seal their passage to the semifinal in style. In the end they had to settle for two goals as Les Bleus won comfortably.