World Cup 2018: Varane header and Muslera howler sends France into last four | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 06.07.2018
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World Cup 2018: Varane header and Muslera howler sends France into last four

Raphael Varane's majestic header and a goalkeeping error by Fernando Muslera ended Uruguay's World Cup campaign and sent France into the semifinals of the World Cup. They will face the winner of Belgium versus Brazil.

Uruguay 0-2 France
(Varane 40', Griezmann 61')

France have returned to a World Cup semifinal for the first time since 2006 after an efficient and intelligent display saw them beat a Uruguay team that struggled without the injured Edison Cavani.

After a slow and scrappy start in which Kylian Mbappe missed a glorious chance, sending his free header well over the bar, France broke the deadlock.

Antoine Griezmann whipped in a free kick and Raphael Varane timed his diagonal run perfectly to send his header in at the back post. Before halftime, Hugo Lloris made a superb reflex save to deny Martin Caceres with Diego Godin somehow blazing the rebound over.

With Uruguay pressing for an equalizer, Fernando Muslera made a game-changing error that all but ended the contest. Griezmann's hopeful shot from outside the area swerved a bit but should have been saved. Instead, Muslera flapped and the ball spun into the net.

The goal saw tensions rise as Mbappe saw yellow for some theatrics, but Uruguay's frustration quickly faded into disappointment as their World Cup dream slipped away.


As it happened:

FT Uruguay 0-2 France — It's all over! France are through to the last four of the World Cup with a deserved win over Uruguay, who limp out meekly. They really missed Cavani today.

90'+3 Uruguay giving France the kitchen sink treatment but it's all in vain...

90' Uruguay have five minutes of injury time to save their World Cup campaign, and it doesn't appear as though they will. Close but no cigar once again for the Uruguayans.

89' Griezmann hits an ambitious free-kick clear of the bar.

88' France make another swap. Mbappe makes way for Dembele.

85' Smart dummy by uarez on the edge of the box and the ball almot falls to Rodriguez, but Nzonzi read it very well and brings the ball out of defense for the French. 

82' Uruguay work it down the right to Caceres, whose cross is hopelessly deep for Suarez. Uruguay out of ideas and almost out of time. 

80' France making a change. The Bayern Munich midfielder Tolisso, who has had a decent game in the middle, is replaced by Nzonzi.

78' Uruguay going down somewhat meekly here, and not in the fighting manner you'd associate with them. It's all been hugely disappointing for La Celeste today.

75' Giroud has a go from the edge of the box but curls it wie of the far post.

72' Good build-up play from France gives Tolisso a sight on goal from the edge of the Uruguay penalty box. He fires over, but should have done better.

69' Pogba decides to get involved too, despite it having nothing to do with him whatsoever. The referee deals with it by booking Mbappe and Rodriguez, which was probably the best action to take. 

Fußball WM 2018 Uruguay - Frankreich (Reuters/C. Barria)

Mbappe lay on the ground while the Uruguay players protest.

67' Something has happened off the ball between Mbappe and Rodriguez. Mbappe goes down, no foul is given, Godin grabs Mbappe by the arm and tells him to get up and a 22-man confrontation ensues. All a bit silly. 

65' Pavard is down and receiving treatment.

63' That appears to be the killer blow for Uruguay, who have lacked an attacking threat without Cavani but were always in the game at 1-0. A difficult task has become a mountainous one for a side who had just made an attacking change to get back into it.

61' GOAL! Uruguay 0-2 France — A howler from Mulera hands France a two-goal lead! Griezmann's fierce shot from distance wobbles in the air and Muslera lets it slip through his fingers, triggering memories of Loris Karius in the Champions League final.  

60' Here comes the change. An attacking one for Uruguay as Rodriguez replaces Bentacur.

58' You'd have to think Ocar Tabarez needs to make some changes soon. Their gameplan has gone out of the window since France scored and Uruguay haven't looked particularly threatening since the break.

56' Umtiti makes a hash of controlling the ball and Bentacur gathers it but strikes wide. 

53' Griezmann's corner is headed clear as far as Pavard, who has a go from a long way out but it's well wide and definitely not repeat of the stunner the Stuttgart man scored againt Argentina. 

51' France have started this half very positively. Uruguay being forced into defending quite deep. 

48' Dangerous free-kick whipped in by Mbappe rather than Griezmann this time. It ha plenty of pace on it but Muslera punches it clear and clatter into Pogba in the process.

SECOND HALF — We're back underway.

Fußball WM 2018 Uruguay - Frankreich (Reuters/C. Barria)

Let's all just appreciate the magnificence of Hugo Lloris for a moment.

HT Uruguay 0-1 France — Varane's majestic header gives France the edge in this tight quarterfinal. A stunning save by Hugo Lloris keeps France in front. Close half that came to life in the final five minutes. An intriguing one, this. 

45' Two massive moments in the space for four minutes there. Both have gone France's way. Two added minutes.

44' HUGE SAVE LLORIS! A world class save by Hugo Lloris keeps France in front. Caceres thought his header was heading for the bottom corner but the Tottenham keeper pulls off arguably the save of the tournament so far, clawing away deep to his right. 

42' Uruguay looking for a quick response, but Nandez's strike from distance is bread and butter for Lloris.

40' GOAL! Uruguay 0-1 France — A brilliant header by Varane puts France ahead! Griezmann's free-kick is perfect and Varane, running diagonally across the box untracked, glances it into the bottom corner. Outstanding by the Real Madrid man.

38' A frankly nasty tackle by Bentacur on Tolisso. A needless, overly aggressive hack on the Bayern Munich midfielder and Bentacur is straight into the book. 

36' Best chance so far as Suarez crosses into the box from the right. Pavard makes the clearing header, but Stuani forces it back into the area, and Vecino's volley is straight at Lloris.

35' Good play from Pogba to pick out the run of Mbappe down the right side, but the teenager was way too fast for his teammates and his cross finds nobody in the middle.

Fußball WM 2018 Uruguay - Frankreich Edinson Cavani (Getty Images/A. Livesey)

A helpless Edinson Cavani watches on. The injured Uruguay striker missing out today.

33' A deserved yellow for Hernandez, who lets Nandez sneak past him and halts him with a tug that is so forceful that Nandez needs to replace his ripped shirt!

32' Kante looks to have sent a nice ball through to Mbappe, but it hits the ref.

30' France getting jeered for their first real period of possession in the game. It's been quite passive from the French thus far.

28' Pogba's early cross from the right is seeking Giroud, but Muslera is alert to it and comes out to claim positively.

26' Mbappe's pace momentarily gets him beyond Laxalt, but the Genoa defender recovers well — at the expense of a corner.But it's a corner France are unable to capitalize on.

23' Deep inside his own half, Pavard goes down on the touchline after getting caught by a late barge from Suarez. It's that kind of game, folks.

20' Nice interchange involving Griezmann, Pogba and Giroud, but the final ball by Griezmann is intercepted.

18' Pogba gets a sight at goal 35 meters out and lets fly... the less said about the execution the better. High, wide and ugly.

16' France feeling their way into this now, but it's been a quiet — dare I say dull — start to this one.

15' Chance for Mbappe as the ball is flicked on to him in the box, but Mbappe's header was too high and he should have got that on target at least. 

Fußball WM 2018 Uruguay - Frankreich (Reuters/C. Barria)

It's been a scrappy start in Nizhny Novgorod.

14' Lloris makes an important punch on the edge of his six yard box after a corner was nodded towards the France goal by Gimenez.

12' Umtiti late on his Barcelona teammate Suarez. This game already shaping up to be a scrappy war of attrition.

10' Hernandez is caught late by Stuani and Nadez falls on top of him. All a bit silly. France get the free-kick in a dangerous area on the left... but Griezmann' ball in finds the head of Varane but the Real Madrid defender can't keep his header on target.

7' Stuani get into a good position on the right but his shot drifts away from Lloris's far post and eventually goes out for a throw. A nice break by Uruguay again though.

5' Uruguay the team seeing more of the ball in the opening stages.

3' The French defense is tested early on as Laxalt cuts inside Pavard and his cross flashes across the face of the France goal.

1' KICK OFF. We're underway in Nizhny Novgorod, a city famous for being the childhood home of one of the world's best known Russian writers, Maxim Gorky. I bet you didn't know that.


The two captains, Hugo Lloris and Diego Godin, lead the players out of the tunnel and onto the field. Not long now...


Here's how they line up...

Uruguay: Muslera, Caceres, Gimenez, Godin, Laxalt, Nandez, Torreira, Vecino, Bentancur, Suarez, Stuani.

Subs: Campana, Varela, Sanchez, Rodriguez, De Arrascaeta, Gaston Silva, Maxi Pereira, Gomez, Coates, Urreta, Martin Silva.

France: Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Lucas, Pogba, Kante, Mbappe, Griezmann, Tolisso, Giroud.

Subs: Mandanda, Kimpembe, Lemar, Dembele, Nzonzi, Rami, Fekir, Sidibe, Thauvin, Mendy, Areola.


Hello everyone and welcome to live coverage of the first World Cup quarterfinal, between Uruguay and France. It promises to be a classic with an array of world class talent on show, but Uruguay are without striker Edinson Cavani.

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