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World Cup 2018: Varane & Griezmann send France into a sixth semifinal

12:45 AM MYT 07/07/2018
The Les Blues have marched to the semifinals at the expense of a Uruguayan team who sorely missed Edinson Cavani...

A sturdy performance from France have seen them ease past a tough Uruguayan side to reach the semifinals of the World Cup. 

The 2-0 win was achieved, thanks to a first-half header from Raphael Varane and a long-range effort from Antoine Griezmann which was spilled into his own net by the Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. 

The Latin Americans clearly missed Edinson Cavani's threat up front as Varane and Umtiti easily kept them at bay for the entirety of the game. Luis Suarez was not afforded much space nor service and struggled to impact the game. 

It was a cagey start to the game, as is always normal in a high-stakes game, with neither team creating much in the first half. But it was Uruguay who were moving the ball about a bit better in the early exchanges. Nahitan Nandez had an early chance from close range but other than that, they hardly troubled Hugo Lloris. 

France soon grew into the game and Kylian Mbappe saw a header from six yards out fly high. Just as Didier Deschamps' men started dictating proceedings, the opening goal came. Griezmann had a freekick on the right wing and he whipped a good ball into the box which was glanced into the net by an alert Varane. 

Interestingly, it was only the second goal the miserly Uruguayan defence had conceded in the tournament. Uruguay then had a chance of their own when Martin Caceres saw a goalbound header stopped spectacularly by Lloris. 

But if anybody expected a fightback from Suarez and co. in the second half, they were left bitterly disappointed as France coasted comfortably through. Uruguay struggled to create anything of note and Oscar Tabarez's substitutions also failed to give them the much-needed spark. 

Once Muslera committed that blunder to allow Griezmann's hopeful shot to go into his net, there was no way back for Uruguay. 

France, not complaining a bit, have marched on to the final-four in the knowledge that they have already beaten three South American teams in the World Cup. Only Netherlands in 1974 have managed such a feat before. 

This talented France team has a lot more to offer and if they peak at the right time, a second World title might just be heading to Paris.