Published: Thu, July 05, 2018
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Uruguay's Cavani unlikely to face France in quarter-final

Uruguay's Cavani unlikely to face France in quarter-final

The South Americans kept Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo at bay in their 2-1 last-16 win, and that goal conceded was the only one against them so far in Russian Federation - a defensive feat only matched by Brazil, who play Belgium later on Friday.

The two former tournament winners face each other in Nizhny Novogrod with a place in the World Cup semi-finals at stake, but the potential absence of one of Uruguay's key men could deliver an early advantage to France.

On the surface, though, Uruguay look relaxed and their experienced central defenders Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin are relishing the chance to foil both Mbappe and their friend and Atletico Madrid team mate Griezmann.

"If you let France have space it will be very hard", Uruguay's coach Oscar Tabarez said after securing a place in the quarter-finals.

"El Maestro" Tabarez has been in charge of Uruguay for 12 years and has not only forged a strong team who rarely fail to deliver on the big stage, but also a side with an vast work ethic and huge experience.

"In a World Cup you have the top-level players", said Mbappe, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain.

While Uruguay striker Luis Suarez will be opposing Barcelona teammate Samuel Umtiti.

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Edinson Cavani scored the opening goal and the victor in the second half, earning him Man of the Match honors, and moving his team on to face France in the quarterfinals.

Between them, the experienced defence have over 350 worldwide caps between them.

"We want to deny them space, stop them playing, make their strikers uncomfortable - that's our weapon", said midfielder Diego Laxalt at the Uruguay camp in a hotel outside Nizhny Novgorod which, oddly, is painted in the colours of Brazil.

"Things don't depend on just one player".

The match is likely to be unsurprising, if not only for tactics, but also because of those involved. This time, only Rodrigo Bentancur has been booked.

The two nations have met three times in the World Cup and Uruguay have not lost once.

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