It was meant to be an intense encounter when a resilient Uruguay locked horns with star-studded France for a place in the semis having knocked out Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Lionel Messi’s Argentina respectively in the previous round.
The game was perfectly balanced initially, but a stunning header of Raphael Varane and a second-half howler of Fernando Muslera saw France clinching a comprehensive 2-0 victory to enter the ‘final four’ of the competition.
France had a slow start but capitalized late in the first half when Varane headed home from Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick. The South Americans had a golden opportunity to equalize minutes later but Martin Caceres’ thumping header was majestically parried away by French custodian Hugo Lloris and Diego Godin, the Uruguayan skipper, failed to direct the rebound on target from an extremely acute angle.
La Celeste, being down by a goal, started the second half brightly but lacked Edison Cavani’s presence who was ruled out with an injury. Cristhian Stuani failed to make any impact high up the pitch and Luis Suarez often looked isolated in opponent’s box. Their all efforts, however, went in vain when veteran custodian Fernando Muslera made a mess to deal with Griezmann’s strike and palmed the ball straight into his own net. The game, therefore, went beyond Uruguay’s reach and France, one of the prime title contenders, have now successfully made it through to the semis where they will be contesting the winner of Brazil vs Belgium on Tuesday night.
Uruguay vs France Lineups:
Uruguay: Fernando Muslera, Martin Caceres, Jose Gimenez, Diego Godin, Diego Laxalt, Lucas Torreira, Nahitan Nandez (Jonathan Urretaviscaya 73′), Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancus (Cristian Rodriguez 59′), Luis Suarez, Cristhian Stuani (Maximiliano Gomez 59′).
France: Hugo Lloris, Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Kylian Mbappe (Ousmane Dembele 88′), Antoine Griezmann (Nabil Fekir 90′)+, Corentin Tolisso (Steven Nzonzi 80′), Olivier Giroud.
Uruguay vs France Highlights:
Uruguay vs France Match Stats:
|Shots (on Target)||11(4)||11(2)|