‘South American slayers’ France move to semi-finals at expense of Uruguay

6 Jul, 2018 17:09
‘South American slayers’ France move to semi-finals at expense of Uruguay
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© Damir Sagol / Reuters

France added a third South American scalp to their collection, easing past Uruguay to take their place in the semi-finals - but the post-game narrative has been dominated by the ‘gamesmanship’ of French teen star Kylian Mbappe.

Have bested Peru in the group stages and Argentina in the round of 16, Uruguay are the latest victims as Didier Deschamps’ France marched into the next round thanks to goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann, the latter of which came from the latest in a series of howlers to afflict goalkeepers in this tournament.

It was a workmanlike performance from France, with N’Golo Kante again outstanding at heart of the French midfield.

Uruguay were shorn of their most influential player, with Edinson Cavani ruled out after the knee injury he suffered in his outstanding performance in the round of 16 tie with Portugal, and Luis Suarez struggled to make an impact on a game in which Uruguay’s hopes were pinned almost exclusively on him. The Barcelona man failed to make a touch of the ball in the French penalty box, a statistic which should tell you all you need to know about the game.

Kylian Mbappe, so electrifying in the tournament, didn’t quite reproduce the performance he put in in the last round against Argentina and was also subject to criticism for what some viewers considered to be playacting on the field.

Either way, France advance to the World Cup semi-final where they will play the winner of Friday’s mouth-watering tie between Brazil and Belgium.