Stop Mbappe! Uruguay's tactic v France for quarter-final

Grant SmithJul 08, 2018

France have become the first team to advance to the World Cup semi-finals after overcoming the threat of South Americans Uruguay in Nizhny Novgorod.

The first match features a number of teammates on their professional clubs facing off against each other when France takes on Uruguay in Nizhny Novgorod.

Former Middlesbrough striker Cristhian Stuani may get the chance to step out of the shadows for Uruguay should Edinson Cavani fail to recover from a calf problem in time for the game against France. "This is different, though - this is a World Cup".

This is Russia's best World Cup run since the break-up of the Soviet Union.

It took nearly the entire first half to break the deadlock, with Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane glancing a header home from Antoine Griezmann's cross.

Griezmann met Godin and Gimenez at Madrid airport wearing a Uruguay jersey when they flew back after clinching World Cup qualification - and has said he feels "part Uruguayan".

Mbappe, 19, was the star in France's thrilling 4-3 victory over Argentina. "It's up to us to put him in good positions".

Those ties are so thick that Uruguay striker Luis Suarez needled Griezmann this week for trying to be Uruguayan.

Uruguay skipper Diego Godin gestured with the teenager to get up, then tried to pull him from the turf, sparking a melee which involved most of the players and saw French coach Didier Deschamps going onto the pitch to try to calm tempers.

France's 2-0 quarter-final win over Uruguay set up a semi-final against the winners of Friday's second game, Brazil and Belgium, and the European neighbours will meet in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday with a place in next Sunday's final at stake. "We all make mistakes", Godin said.

"I've always joked ... that I wanted to face Umtiti at the World Cup - and it came true", Suarez said, adding that Uruguayan players are feeling good physically after four matches.

Mbappe, who has modelled his game after Cristiano Ronaldo and is being compared to Zinedine Zidane, also picked up a second-half yellow card for falling to the ground as if in agony after a touch from an opponent.

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