Nizhny Novgorod, Russia: Raphael Varane’s glancing header and a goalkeeping blunder that gifted Antoine Griezmann a soft goal gave France a 2-0 victory over Uruguay in the first World Cup quarter-final on Friday and set up a last-four tie with Brazil or Belgium.
Varane’s 40th-minute header from a Griezmann free kick was only the second goal Uruguay had conceded all tournament. The South Americans went close to equalising just before the break only for Martin Caceres’s goal-bound header to be brilliantly turned onto a post by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
But it was an error by Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera that settled it when he tried to palm a routine long-range, swerving Griezmann shot after 61 minutes but misjudged it and allowed it to slip past him.
Uruguay, hard-hit by the absence of injured key striker Edinson Cavani, showed plenty of commitment trying to find a way back but France controlled the ball well to secure their St. Petersburg semi-final slot.