By Isaac Ndou
MOSCOW: Uruguay progressed to the last 8 stage by beating Portugal 2-1 and France had beaten Argentina 4-3 earlier on the day to progress to the quarterfinals.
South America’s Uruguay will lock horns with Europe’s France on Friday in the 2018 FIFA World Cup’s first quarterfinals match which will determine who will be the first to buy a ticket to the semi-finals of the world showpiece being staged in Russia.
The two sides have had an impressive tournament so far as they have brushed off top sides in the tournament. Uruguay progressed to the last 8 stage by beating Portugal 2-1 and France had beaten Argentina 4-3 earlier on the day to progress to the quarterfinals.
France will go into the encounter being the underdog side as they have only managed to beat Uruguay on one occasion in their last 8 previous meetings with the South Americans, drawing four times and losing three times in the process.
The last time the two sides met, Uruguay walked away 1-0 winners in an international friendly that was played in June 2013. The goal scorer on the day Luis Suarez who plays for Spanish giants Barcelona will be present in the coming encounter and may feel confident get on the scoresheet again.
Uruguay has never lost against France in the World Cup finals as they previously beat them 2-1 in the 1996 World Cup and drew 0-0 in the 2002 and 2010 in the global tournament. They may give France a tough time yet again this time around.
However, France has managed to be unbeaten by other Uruguay’s South American compatriots in the World Cup finals as they have won 5 times, drew 4 times and kept 7 clean sheets in those matches.
Some players who may be of influence to the outcome of the game may include Edison Cavani, Luis Suarez (both Uruguay) and Kylian Mbappe along with his French teammate Paul Pogba.
The two sides will meet at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Friday afternoon with kick off scheduled for 16h00.