France advances to World Cup semifinals, beats Uruguay 2-0
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia — France is into the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 12 years after beating Uruguay 2-0. Raphael Varane opened the scoring with a header in the 40th minute and Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera’s error contributed to Antoine Griezmann’s clincher in the 61st.
France went on to reach the World Cup final the last two times it advanced this far. It won its only World Cup in 1998 on home soil, and in 2006 lost the final to Italy on penalties.
Varane raced across the area to meet a free kick and struck a glancing header that went into the far corner behind keeper Fernando Muslera.
Muslera was then to blame for Griezmann’s second-half goal when he tried to parry his shot away and instead saw it deflect off both hands into the goal.
These were only the second and third goals conceded by Uruguay in five World Cup matches. Uruguay played without striker Edinson Cavani who sat on the bench with an injured left calf picked up victory over Portugal in a round-of 16 match. Substitute Cristhian Stuani filled in for Cavani, teaming up front with Luis Suarez.
France faces either Brazil or Belgium in the semifinals.
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