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France gets past Uruguay to book spot in World Cup semifinals


France continues to find ways to win at the World Cup as Les Bleus are onto the World Cup semifinals following a win over Uruguay.

Goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann helped lift France to another grind of a win in a 2-0 victory over Uruguay. With the win, France will play either Brazil or Belgium in the World Cup semifinals.

While both sides traded spells of possession and half-chances, France finally broke through on a set piece goal. Following a foul from Rodrigo Betancourt,  Griezmann stepped up and played a free kick into the box. Varane flicked on the header, beating Fernando Muslera for the game’s opener.

Muslera was the culprit for the second goal as the Uruguay goalkeeper’s mistake directly led to France’s finish. Griezmann knuckled a shot from well outside of the box and the effort left Muslera flat-footed on his line. The goalkeeper palmed at the ball but couldn’t keep it out of the back of the net as France all but moved into the semifinal.

France will now take on Brazil or Belgium on Tuesday with a spot in the final on the line.


You could give N’Golo Kante Man of the Match recognition in nearly every game, but the midfielder was particularly strong in the middle of the field to limit a weakened Uruguay team.


Griezmann’s goal all but ended the match while sealing France’s spot in the semifinal.


Muslera’s howler will haunt him for some time as the normally-steady Uruguay goalkeeper let one slip at the worst possible moment.


  1. Did anyone else see Christian Gimenez crying on the field continuously starting in the 87th minute? Easily among the most shameful, embarrassing things I’ve ever seen in a World Cup. Heck, it would’ve been embarrassing at the Little League World Series.
    I have no problem with a guy breaking down and sobbing after the final whistle ….. nothing wrong w passion …. but with a full ~8 minutes of actual competition left, you owe it to your team to COMPETE. Stranger things have happened than a team who is being outclassed in a major knockout game somehow striking twice in injury time (‘99 champions league final comes to mind). But wandering around the field weeping? Just terrible. Grow up.

  2. ….and that, boys and girls, is how a good referee manages a high-pressure, high-stakes game between South American and European teams.
    Hopefully Gringer took a little time off his schedule to watch this game. He could learn a thing or two.

    • Much easier when outside of one incident, the South American team keeps their relative cool and doesn’t blow a gasket at the mere sound of a whistle.

    • You rreeaally had to strain to get your daily dose of dumb anti-American comment in, didn’t you, Lil’ Bobby? But good on you for sticking to the plan. You’re making a big difference…

  3. france “managed” this game. they won. that’s fine. but it’s not exciting. i want to see a team that thrills me with their play all 90 minutes. this is a world cup, after all. i don’t think i’m setting the bar too high.

      • “Nature of sport,” period, that there is often a tension between doing it pretty on purpose, and doing it in the manner to minimize risks and maximize results.

        Interestingly I don’t think hockey fans get as bent about whether their team is checking and defense obsessed or more finesse. Am I suggesting certain soccer fans have a belief, unique in strength to our sport, favoring aesthetics over results? Hmmm.

        When the Rockets started to build a superteam, but were allowing nearly as many points as their offense could score, they didn’t say, well, we play fast break b-ball, and we’re not going to stain that prettiness with “negative” defense. They swapped out for some defenders who could still shoot.

        The odd thing to me is few people seem to acknowledge the relevance of this tension to a team that didn’t qualify behind a missionary coach pushing his players to try to change the way they play, and go abroad and sign at as big a club as possible. Is instead organizing your career to maximize playing time the prosaic equivalent of simply playing for the result? Hmm.

    • I think it’s that Spain and Barca had their brief shining moment c.. 2010 where those teams could “pass the ball all the way upfield and into the other net,” and thus for some reason certain people associate “pretty” with “winning,” but as a general matter when one used to discuss the Dutch Clockwork Orange of the 70s, and teams like it, it was almost a hippy careless thing, like I’d rather play in a certain way than win. More often it’s some industrial Italian squad that wins instead. People keep pimping free-wheeling to the USA. Spain is already gone. Brazil looks to be going.


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