World Cup: France Powers Past Uruguay for Spot in Semifinals

Antoine Griezmann set up the first goal and scored the second

France beat Uruguay 2-0 Friday, winning a World Cup semifinal spot with help from a blunder by Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

Antoine Griezmann extended France's lead in their quarterfinal in Nizhny Novgorod in the 61st minute with a long-range shot that Muslera got both hands to but deflected into his own net.

Griezmann's shot was straight at Muslera, but the keeper couldn't hold it and it looped into the net.

France took the lead five minutes before halftime with a header from defender Raphael Varane. Griezmann was also involved in the opener, providing the free kick from the right for Varane to head home.

Uruguay nearly replied immediately, also from a set-piece, when Martin Caceres' header was saved low to his right by France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Uruguay started without key striker Edinson Cavani, who hadn't recovered sufficiently from a left calf muscle injury.

Uruguay had given up only one goal in its first four World Cup matches, while France had scored seven — most in the 4-3 victory over Argentina in the round of 16.

This was France's seventh quarterfinal and its fourth in the last six World Cups dating back to 1998 and the famous side led by Deschamps, Patrick Vieira, Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry — the so-called "Rainbow Team" from a multicultural France.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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