France won through to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 12 years after seeing off a combative Uruguay side that struggled in the absence of the injured Edinson Cavani. 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.
Images: FIFA Photos
Match Summary: FIFA Summary