World Cup: Cavani brace for Uruguay while Mbappe seals win for France

Written by Ignacio Cervantes, Sports Editor

Two quarter-finalists emerged as Uruguay and France advance to the next round and will matchup in Nizhny Novgorod Friday.

In Kazan, Kylian Mbappe was the key figure in the French’s 4-3 elimination of Argentina. The Frenchman’s two goals assured Les Blues’ lead and resulted in game-winners. Antoine Griezmann’s converted penalty kick came from a foul on Mbappe. The young Frenchman was lively and took advantage of space offered from an unorganized Argentina defense.

Unlike Argentina, fellow South Americans Uruguay continued its defensive resilience by holding Cristiano Ronaldo scoreless and remaining stingy in Sochi. Edinson Cavani became the oldest Uruguayan to score twice in one game at a World Cup after his two goals sandwiched Pepe’s equalizer for Portugal.

The first was a lovely set up that started with Cavani before being finished off by the 31-year-old with a well-taken header. The second goal took clinical execution as goalkeeper Fernando Muslera quickly punted the ball 70 yards which resulted in a pass to Cavani. The Uruguayan decided to send a one-time curling effort out of Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio’s reach.

Back in Kazan Stadium, Argentina worked hard for a 2-1 lead following Griezmann’s go-ahead but the French were always in control and looked the better outfit throughout. Benjamin Pavard’s wonder-goal from outside the box equalized for France then 11 minutes later Mbappe’s two tallies made it 4-2.

Within a dozen minutes, La Albiceleste went from leading to trailing two fold. The game was out of sight for Argentina at that point with elimination near for Argentine great Lionel Messi.

Attention swings to the meeting between Uruguay and France in the quarterfinals where tension will increase.