Uruguay vs France 0-2 Highlights 6 July 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

France are into the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 2006 after seeing off Uruguay with the help of a terrible error by goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

It was arguably the save of the tournament and indisputably the decisive moment in this quarter-final. France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris provoked audible gasps from all around the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium when he seemed to defy gravity, Superman-style, to deny Martin Caceres, but its real significance lay both in the timing and the stark contrast with Uruguay’s Fernando Muslera.

France had taken the lead only moments earlier in almost identical circumstances when Raphael Varane rose to meet Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick, but with Muslera helpless on that header and later making a dreadful mistake to gift France a second, their surprisingly routine progress to a first World Cup semi-final since 2006 was confirmed.

Uruguay, for whom Luis Suarez, their talisman, did not have a single shot or touch inside the penalty area, had barely threatened and badly missed the additional attacking variety of Edinson Cavani, whose match-winning goals against Portugal came with the price of a torn calf.

Yet in a tournament where the attacking players have received so much acclaim, Lloris had also underlined the importance to any serious World Cup contender of an outstanding goalkeeper.

He is a quiet and sometimes reserved character but, in captaining Tottenham as well as France, always speaks and acts with a calm authority among so many emerging younger players. His save from Caceres was unusual not just for the distance of his dive but how he hung in the air long enough to get sufficient strength behind his right palm.

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