World Cup 2018: Quarter-Final Scores, Results, Highlights, Reaction for Friday

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2018

KAZAN, RUSSIA - JULY 06:  Assistant Coach of Belgium Thierry Henry consoles Marcelo of Brazil during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Brazil and Belgium at Kazan Arena on July 6, 2018 in Kazan, Russia.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

France and Belgium became the first two teams to book their spots in the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Friday, with two more matches to be played on Saturday.

Les Bleus beat Uruguay 2-0, while Belgium held on for a historic 2-1 win over Brazil.

Sweden and England will open Saturday's proceedings before hosts Russia clash with Croatia.


Bleus Too Much for La Celeste (France 2-0 Uruguay)

Uruguay―without star man Edinson Cavani―never found their groove in Friday's loss against France, giving away few chances but earning even fewer for themselves.

Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann took care of the scoring for Les Bleus, although the latter was aided by goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, who picked an awful time to commit a blunder.

Here's a look at the second goal (for U.S. viewers only):

FOX Sports @FOXSports

Welp. Muslera fails to save a strike from Griezmann, as France double their lead on a howler. #URUFRA https://t.co/tG10FMO9WE

ITV Football shared the highlight for British viewers:

ITV Football @itvfootball

GOAL! Griezmann's effort from range is fumbled by Muslera and the ball loops into the Uruguay net! https://t.co/0vgZyB99YE

By that point, Varane had already opened the scoring with a smart header, and the two-goal buffer was enough for Les Bleus. With Cavani not there to open up spaces with his movement, Uruguay were almost toothless in attack, despite the best efforts of Luis Suarez.

Per Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe, Paul Pogba had yet another standout performance:

Sam Tighe @stighefootball

FT: #URU 0-2 #FRA. A step too far for Uruguay w/o Cavani. Suarez playing two players' roles up there made him effective at neither. Up against it, the last thing they need in that scenario is a Muslera error. Another good game at the #WorldCup from Pogba. Laxalt vs Mbappe was fun

France are arguably the most complete team still in the tournament and will fancy their chances of going all the way. On paper, their toughest challenge comes next, with the four teams on the other side of the bracket all seen as inferior to Belgium.


Red Devils Knock Out Five-Time Champions (Belgium 2-1 Brazil)

Belgium equalled their best-ever finish in a World Cup on Friday by reaching the semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Brazil, sending another shockwave through the tournament.

Fernandinho opened the scoring for the Red Devils, beating his own goalkeeper with an unfortunate header.

Here's a look at that goal (for U.S. viewers only):

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

"Own Goal" shows up in the quarterfinals to put Belgium ahead! 😂 https://t.co/PuK5j01WVw

The Selecao had their chances but struggled for efficiency, and they were caught on the counter later in the half, with Romelu Lukaku setting up Kevin De Bruyne for a second goal.

After the break, possession was almost entirely for Brazil, but the Belgians―led by a phenomenal Marouane Fellaini and liberating runs from Eden Hazard―stood firm. It wasn't until Renato Augusto got his head on a superb cross that Thibaut Courtois was finally beaten.

The Chelsea man would only be beaten once and came up huge in the dying minutes with a contender for the best save of the tournament (for U.S. viewers only):

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Thibaut Courtois saved the day for Belgium in stoppage time. 🙌 https://t.co/IwJyNkOBAH

Belgium and France haven't faced each other since 2015, when the former beat the latter 4-3 in Paris. Neutral fans will undoubtedly hope for a similar scoreline this time around.


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