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Deschamps says France proved mettle; ready for Brazil or Belgium

10 Juillet 2018

France stopper Raphaël Varane was on cloud nine after helping France's to a 2-0 win over Uruguay and a semis berth, while the coaches of both sides recognised Les Bleus' superiority over the Edinson Cavani-less Celeste.

The victory gave France a spot in the World Cup semifinals. You don't easily replace one of the best attackers in the world.

The goal scorer didn't celebrate what was his third goal of the tournament.

"We've achieved something that is very handsome and it is not easy because you have 10 to 15 teams coming here to win", said De Bruyne, who was asked to play in a more unfamiliar, deeper midfield role in this match.

"This week I focused a bit more on their defence with respect to the Uruguayan positional play, because they are very good when it comes to playing in the central part of the field with their three best players in the air". When Delle Alli scored England's second goal against Sweden, it was just the team's second goal from open play at the tournament.

Even without the Edinson Cavani half of their risky attacking front line, Uruguay went close to drawing level nearly immediately when Martin Caceres forced a superb save from French keeper Hugo Lloris just minutes before the break.

England boss Gareth Southgate believes Harry Kane is among a group of talented young players who could challenge Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the top of the game. He had earlier spoken of his affinity with the South American country, its people and their customs. "They are a pleasure to watch", he said.

France were already leading 1-0 when Muslera attempted to parry Antoine Griezmann's shot from distance, only to see it squirm through his grasp and over the line.

"The further we go in this competition the fewer mistakes we can afford to make", he added.

Soccer Football - World Cup - France News Conference - France Training Camp, Istra, Russia - July 7, 2018 France's Raphael Varane during news conference.

"He's not Uruguayan, he's French and he scored a goal", the Barcelona star told reporters.

The usually reliable Fernando Muslera committed a howler for Griezmann's goal. France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris dived to his right and got a hand on a header from Martin Caceres, pushing it just wide of the goal.

France manager Didier Deschamps and his staff were not impressed by the incident, with a fire engine being called out as a precaution.

The 33-year-old journeyman defender has formed a formidable center back pairing with Manchester United's Victor Lindelof, as well as scoring twice from the penalty spot in Russian Federation.

Tite's men came back in the second half and were given hope when Augusto headed home a superb pass from Philippe Coutinho.

Thibaut Courtois's last minute save helped Belgium beat Brazil 2-1 to advance to their second-ever World Cup semi-finals.

Sweden lags as a +370 bet on Saturday's World Cup odds, and are also pegged as distant +2500 longshots on the championships odds.

"England are heavy, forceful and well organised and they can win the World Cup as they also don't give too many openings". But it has undergone a revival in the last 12 years under the 71-year-old Tabarez, a former elementary school teacher.

Brazil had a string of late chances, but their finishing let them down, and their World Cup was over. "Totally different to the game against Argentina", said Giggs. "Today we played against opponents who were better and stronger than us".

Deschamps says France proved mettle; ready for Brazil or Belgium