France beats Uruguay 2-0, qualifies for the semi-finals

"They are probably the dirtiest team I have ever come up against", he said.

Although he didn't score, 19-year-old France forward Kylian Mbappe again looked unsafe on the attack, trying to slice in from the right wing or directing quick passes into Uruguay's defence.

This is the moment when the FIFA World Cup starts to get interesting.

It's the big battle of the B's as Brazil and Belgium clash at 8pm in what should have been the final had it not been for the unfortunate draw.

He also did not use Edinson Cavani's injury-enforced absence as an excuse, although that undoubtedly made life much easier for France.

"I'm very happy for Raphael, he's gained four years of experience and that's become clear; all these players have grown, they have more maturity, and I think that's necessary", he added.

"We are a team and we are all happy to be here", said Andersson, who explained that his players have now spent 45 days together.

Author of France's second goal against Uruguay, Antoine Griezmann, said he didn't celebrate his goal because he had friends and colleagues playing against him.

Top of the group, or second
With the victory , Belgium gets what appears to be an easier match in the next round against Japan on Monday in Rostov-on-Don. Moments later Pickford let a Michy Batshuayi effort squeeze past him and was rescued by Gary Cahill's goal-line clearance.

"Before the quarter-final I had six players that were already booked and now I have everyone available for the next match and that is great also".

"But I have not seen a game like that before and how they behaved". Followed by Brazil, another team that is favored to win, but hasn't played to its fullest potential yet, and, Belgium, who have all the makings of a championship team but ran into significant issues against Japan in the Round of 16.

"Of course the loss hurts, but we do not have the right to be dramatic".

A country of only 3.5 million, Uruguay won World Cup titles in 1930 and 1950 and then waned.

Uruguay will have to decide whether to retain Tabarez, whose contract is set to expire, but the 71-year-old said it would be his decision on whether he returns.

"Everyone was saying you should come in second (in Group G) ... but look at the European Championship when we had the same route as England now and things went wrong straight away".

"We are strong in our beliefs and have been from the outset".

  • Michelle Webb