France was able to stave off the threat from an Uruguay side that has been stingy at the back with only one goal conceded before this quarter final tie against the French. The injury Edison Cavani picked up in Uruguay’s victory over Portugal led to Luis Suarez being paired upfront with Cristhian Stuani. However, Stuani’s presence for Uruguay meant little or nothing to the French back-line spear headed by Raphael Varane who was amongst the goals in France’s 2-0 win over the South Americans.
The first half was looking like it was going to end barren, before a foul by Rodrigo Bentacur in the 38th minute led to the free-kick which was taken by Antoine Griezmann and headed home by Varane to give the French side a 1-0 lead going into half time.
In the game which was largely dominated by the French team, it was no surprise that they scored another goal. Griezmann capped up a wonderful afternoon with a long range effort in the 61st minute which Fernando Muslera in goal for Uruguay fumbled. Though an excuse could be made for the goalie because it seemed like the wind changed the direction of the ball, but France would not be bothered about the mishap that befell the Uruguayans.
2-0 the game ended and France make it to the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The game between Brazil and Belgium was one not to be missed. I enjoyed every bit of it and if you did not watch it, I implore you to please find it and settle down to watch it. Ensure you have a lovely bottle of red wine while at it with grilled turkey to go. It was a game of 2 halves where the first belonged to Belgium and the second was for Brazil. The Red Devils of Belgium took the lead in the 13th minute thanks to a Fernandinho own goal and just as the game wore on, it was looking like Brazil would grab an equalizer but Thibaut Courtois in goal for Belgium and a defence comprising of Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen said no way.
Belgium grabbed a second through their star player Kevin De Bruyne in the 31st minute and Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku deserved all the credit for setting up the chance which was well taken. First half ended 2-0 in Belgium’s favour.
The second half kicked off with Brazil dominating procession but could not bury their chances. Respite came in the 76th minute when Phillipe Coutinho set up Rodrigo Augusto to pull a goal back for the Selecao. 2-1 and I was at the edge of my seat hoping Brazil would get the much needed equalizer. It didn’t happen as the Belgians held on to win 2-1 and progressed to semi-final to face France.
Kevin De Bruyne was miles ahead of every player on the pitch and deserved to be named man of the match. I would not be surprised if he’s named player of the tournament.
Brazil and Nigeria have been eliminated from the tourney which means England who play Sweden later today and France are the only other teams I am rooting for that are left.
Have a fab weekend guys.