Goalkeeping blunder helps France knock out Uruguay

Goalkeeping blunder helps France knock out Uruguay

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 a set up a last-four tie with Brazil or Belgium.

Uruguay went into the game without key striker Edinson Cavani, who was ruled out with a calf injury with Cristhian Stuani drafted into the starting line-up and the impact on their attack was noticeable.

France forward Kylian Mbappe, who had ripped apart Argentina in the previous round with his directness and pace, wasted a good opportunity to open the scoring in the 15th minute when Olivier Giroud headed across the box to him but the 19-year-old's looping header was off-target.

France advance! Pic: Getty

A relatively quiet game sprung to life in the 40th minute when Varane sprinted clear of his marker to meet a well-placed Griezmann free kick with a perfectly angled header.

Moments later, France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris ensured his side went in at the break with the advantage, producing a brilliant one-handed save to keep out a Martin Caceres header although Diego Godin will be disappointed his follow-up shot was wildly off target.

If that was an example of goalkeeping at its very best, Uruguay's Fernando Muslera showed how easily it can go wrong for the custodian with a horrendous error to gift France their second goal in the 61st minute.

Antoine Griezmann scored France's second goal against Uruguay, sending his team to the semi-finals

Griezmann tried his luck with an effort from outside the box which was straight at Muslera but the keeper's ill-chosen attempt to palm the ball away ended with him merely deflecting the ball into the net.

Brazil and Belgium meet later on Friday while Saturday's quarter-finals see England take on Sweden and hosts Russia face Croatia.