Brazil and France target World Cup semi-finals

Doug Mendoza
July 9, 2018

We were up against an excellent Uruguayan side, but we were better than they were today.

Just how to ensure Kylian Mbappe gets a plentiful supply in his efforts to prise open a notoriously stingy Uruguay defence will be France coach Didier Deschamps' main preoccupation before Friday's World Cup quarterfinal.

A Fernandinho own goal and brilliant Kevin De Bruyne strike, after Thiago Silva had hit the post for Brazil, earned Belgium a date with neighbors France in St Petersburg on Tuesday, their second trip to the last four at a World Cup after 1986. "But that's no excuse", Suarez said Friday.

"We've changed things on the penalties now, so it might be time we can change the scores against them".

"In any case, it definitely won't be a failed World Cup now, and we'll wait to find out our opponents and see what happens".

Thomas Meunier, who got his second yellow for fouling Neymar, will miss Belgium's semi-final against France on July 10.

Deschamps said his side had "again raised our level" after the 4-3 win that ended Argentina's campaign in the last 16.

"You need to get a tactical advantage when you play Brazil", Martinez said.

"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.

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In the semi-final, France conceded first against Croatia, then Lilian Thuram memorably scored the only two goals of his worldwide career to send an unconvincing France into the final. "We had far more control than they had, especially in the second half".

Edinson Cavani says that he "tried everything to be ready" for Uruguay's 2018 World Cup quarter-final against France.

Cavani was back in training on Thursday and France are acutely aware of the threat posed by the man who plays for Paris Saint-Germain.

One fan, Bob Green, 53, from Stamford, in Lincolnshire, said he believed more England fans were making the journey.

"Totally different to the game against Argentina", said Giggs.

Vardy has started only one match in Russian Federation, against Belgium, when coach Gareth Southgate made sweeping changes to his lineup including resting captain and World Cup leading scorer Harry Kane.

"Against Uruguay we responded to the physical challenge and we showed that we can vary our game, I think it's one of our strengths", he added.

This England team, unlike those of teams past, has been more than happy to adopt the underdog status.

Other reports by GizPress

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