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Tuesday, February 19, 2019 05:57:28 PM
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French, Belgians move to semifinal

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TASS, Moscow :
The first pair of teams for the FIFA World Cup 2018 semifinals became known on Friday after France had won in the game against Uruguay in Nizhny Novgorod and Belgium had defeated Brazil in Kazan.
The France vs Uruguay ended 2-0. The goals were scored by Raphael Varane [40] and Antoine Griezmann [61]. The French opened the score with Varane's header. The second goal became possible through the Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera's error who failed to stop the ball with his hands.
Uruguay's performance was obviously affected by the absence of the forward Edinson Cavani from the field because of a trauma he received in the previous game. "Some footballers have special significance for the team and Cavani is one of them," said the forward Luiz Suarez. "We surely missed him today. We should blame no one else but ourselves."
Didier Deschamps, the chief coach of the French, said his team had played better than the Uruguyans. He indicated that the French had shown more mastership, especially in the second period.
The players are young and the requirements put forward to them are higher, since the team is facing increasingly more serious competitors in the playoff, Deschamps said.
France's 19-year-old forward Kilian Mbappe voiced the team's hope to get to the final. He stressed his personal big ambitions regarding victory in the championship, adding that the French could play equally well in the attack and in the defense.
Kazan Arena was fully sold out for match between the Brazilian and Belgian teams, with 42,873 spectators attending. It was one of the most spectacular games in the championship.
Brazilians opened the score 13 minutes into the game with midfielder Fernandinho's own goal. Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium scored his team's second goal at the 31st minute. Although the Brazilians' attack on the Belgian goal became really dense in the second period, the Belgians did not miss opportunities for counterattack.
Brazil's coach Tite said the match vs Belgium was the most complicated moment for him throughout his 30-years-long career. He indicated, however, Brazilian fans obviously saw perfectly well what was standing behind the results of the game and that was why they greeted the team so warmly after the defeat.
Team Belgium has gotten to the semifinal for a second time in the history of World Cup championships. The first time it played a semifinal game was in 1986. De Bruyne told reporters the whole world will be watching their match with France, which the teams will play on July 10 in St Petersburg.

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