The France men’s national football team, nicknamed Les Bleus (The Blues), has secured a place in the semifinal round of the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in Russia, overcoming Uruguay in a quarter-final showdown.
The French team defeated the Uruguay side, nicknamed La Celeste (The Sky Blue), 2-0 in a fixture staged at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Friday.
Les Bleus took the lead towards the end of the first half, when 25-year-old defender Raphael Varane, who plays as a center-back for professional Spanish club Real Madrid, slammed a glancing header in the 40th minute from teammate Antoine Griezmann’s free kick.
It was only the second goal that La Celeste had conceded all through the tournament.
The South Americans, hard-hit by the absence of injured key striker Edinson Cavani, went close to leveling the score just before the interval; but French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris brilliantly turned Martin Caceres's goal-bound header onto a post.
But it was a terrible misjudgment by Uruguayan keeper Fernando Muslera after 61 minutes that extended the 1998 FIFA World Cup champions’ lead.
Muslera tried to palm Griezmann’s shot but made an error and allowed it to slip past him.
Even though Uruguay showed plenty of commitment, trying to find a way back but France controlled the ball and denied the opposite side any scoring chance.
The France men’s national football team will face either Brazil or Belgium in a semifinal encounter at the Saint Petersburg Stadium next Tuesday.