France reaches World Cup semifinals, beats Uruguay 2-0

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia — Antoine Griezmann’s fluke goal helped France earn a place in the World Cup semifinals.

Griezmann scored with a shot that bounced off the hands of the opposing goalkeeper and into the net, giving France a 2-0 victory over Uruguay on Friday.

The 1998 champions will next face either Brazil or Belgium on Tuesday in St. Petersburg.

Griezmann’s shot in the 61st minute went right into the hands of Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. But the ball popped off his palms and looped over his head and into the net.

Raphael Varane gave France the lead with a header in the 40th minute. Griezmann sent in a free kick from the right side and Varane raced across the area. He got his head to the ball and sent it into the far corner behind Muslera.

France went on to reach the World Cup final the last two times it advanced to the semifinals. They won their only World Cup in 1998 on home soil, and in 2006 lost to Italy on penalties.

The match at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium pitted France’s speed against Uruguay’s stubborn defence and its occasional attacking threats. But with Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani injured and on the bench and Luis Suarez neutralized, it was France that scored the goals.

Suarez, who scored two goals in the group stage, didn’t get a single touch on the ball in France’s penalty area for the entire match. Cavani scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Portugal in the round of 16, but he sat on the bench with an injured left calf he picked up in that match.

Four minutes after Varane gave France the lead, Uruguay nearly equalized. France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris dived to his right and got a hand on a header from Martin Caceres, pushing it just wide of the goal.

Although he didn’t score, 19-year-old France forward Kylian Mbappe again looked dangerous on the attack, trying to slice in from the right wing or directing quick passes into Uruguay’s defence.

Mbappe, who has modeled his game after Cristiano Ronaldo and is being compared to Zinedine Zidane, also picked up a second-half yellow card for falling to the ground as if in agony after a touch from an opponent.

Mbappe scored twice against Argentina to become the first teenager with multiple goals in a World Cup knockout game since a 17-year-old Pele in 1958.

Uruguay, led by 71-year-old coach Oscar Tabarez, was trying to reach the semifinals for the second time in the last three World Cups. Heading into the match, Uruguay had been unbeaten in 2018 and had allowed only one goal in its first four World Cup matches in Russia.

A country of only 3.5 million, Uruguay won World Cup titles in 1930 and 1950 and then waned. But it has undergone a revival in the last 12 years under Tabarez, a former elementary school teacher.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Education minister targeting more money to classes

Alberta Education announces new funding model

Red Deer city councillor wants to ban ‘conversion therapy’ in Alberta

The discredited practice is a form of psychological abuse, says Dianne Wyntjes

Updated: Summer villages oppose increased density at Buffalo Lake RV park

The summer villages of White Sands and Rochon Sands have rejected a… Continue reading

Indoor farmers market survey underway

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce sponsors survey

New Red Deer utility rates take effect March 1

The City of Red Deer has increased its utility fees. Beginning March… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

New highway to B.C. proposed

The Howse Pass shortcut to British Columbia is worth taking another look… Continue reading

Stolen car provides opportunity to try out public transit

I had my car stolen on Jan. 10, just as our one… Continue reading

POLL: How would you characterize Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handling of the rail blockades?

How would you characterize Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handling of the rail… Continue reading

Upsets tighten Tournament of Hearts race to championship round

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The “pool of death” defending champion Chelsea Carey… Continue reading

Repairs will force QEII lane cloure north of Ponoka on Wednesday

Crews will be performing cable barrier repairs on the QEII Highway, five… Continue reading

Ottawa changing stress test rate for insured mortgages starting April 6

OTTAWA — The federal government is changing the stress test rate for… Continue reading

PM urges patience, promises reconciliation in face of anti-pipeline blockades

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to redouble reconciliation efforts with… Continue reading

Most Read