France is the first 2018 World Cup semifinalist after seeing off Uruguay on Friday in the quarterfinals, 2-0. Facing one of two South American teams to make it to the quarterfinals, the Europeans managed to do something no other team at the World Cup had been able to do -- score multiple goals against the best defensive team around. Raphael Varane scored in the first half, then Antoine Griezmann scored in the second half on an all-time blunder, as Paul Pogba and company move on to face either Brazil or Belgium.
The winning goal came just 40 minutes in, as Griezmann played a free kick into the box that Varane put away with class:
But it appeared that the lead would be short lived, as Uruguay, who were without injured top scorer Edinson Cavani, threatened on a free kick of its own. A fine ball into the box found Martin Caceres' head, but Hugo Lloris made the save of the tournament at the back post. Check it out:
The teams went back and forth, with France looking like the sharper team, as Uruguay failed to adjust without Cavani, who missed the game due to a calf injury. Uruguay was sloppy on the ball, but not as sloppy as goalkeeper Fernando Muslera just after the hour mark. A shot from Griezmann went on frame, and the Argentina-born shot-stopper couldn't read the movement of the ball well, getting a hand on it but sending it into his own net. Take a look:
For a France team that hadn't looked that sharp this cup, even in a 4-3 win over Argentina, they put together arguably their best performance of the tournament, especially defensively, to move on. Meanwhile, this looks like the end of an era for Uruguay, in what could be the last World Cup for some of its stars. Luis Suarez is 31, as is Cavani, while Diego Godin and Muslera are 32. It's safe to say, at the next World Cup this team will likely look a whole lot different, with some heavy shoes to fill.
Next up, France will take onin the semifinals on Tuesday,
Relive France vs. Uruguay match commentary
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