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LIVE FROM NIZHNY NOVGOROD: France advance to semis after defeating Uruguay

France have defeated Uruguay 2-0 to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals.

Goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann were enough for Les Bleus to secure their first win over Uruguay in 33 years.

The first-half begun as expected, with France dominating possession but unable to penetrate Uruguay's stout defence. La Celeste allowed the French space on the wings as their midfielders and strikers retreated to create a compact fortress in the middle of the ground.

Ironically, it was from a set piece where the towering Uruguayan defence were unlocked, thanks to some cleverness from Antoine Griezmann.

The Atletico Madrid forward stuttered before taking his free-kick, breaking Uruguay's offside trap which then allowed Raphael Varane to ghost in and flick his header past Fernando Muslera at the far post.

Uruguay responded almost immediately through Martin Caceres. The Lazio defender rose majestically from a teasing free-kick, but his powerful header was denied by a magnificent one-handed save from Hugo Lloris. The Spurs keeper then reacted quickly to block Diego Godin's attempted rebound.

France doubled their advantage after 61 minutes courtesy of a howler from Muslera. Instead of grabbing Antoine Griezmann's 25-yard strike, the Galatasaray shot-stopper tried to flap it away and as a result, the ball slipped through his hands and into the back of the net.

Without their star striker Edison Cavani available due to a calf injury suffered against Portugal in the last round, Uruguay lacked sufficient firepower to get themselves back in the game as France coasted through to the final whistle.

Didier Deschamps's men will now play the winner of tonight's second quarterfinal between Brazil and Belgium in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.



WORLD CUP - QUARTER-FINAL

Uruguay - 0

France - 2 (Varane 42', Griezmann 61')

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod - 43,319

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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