FIFA World Cup 2018 Last 16: France, Uruguay send Argentina, Portugal home

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

On Saturday, France defeated Argentina 4–3 and Uruguay defeated Portugal 2–1 in the FIFA football World Cup in the Last 16 knockout phase. France is scheduled to play against Uruguay for the quarter-finals.

France v Argentina

France faced Argentina in the first match of the Last 16 at the Kazan Arena. Argentina had greater ball possession. In the 11th minute, France was awarded a penalty kick after Marcos Rojo received a yellow card, bringing down Kylian Mbappé in the penalty area. Antoine Griezmann scored from the penalty giving the French side an early lead. In the 41st minute, Ángel Di María equalised for Argentina from outside the box, assisted by Éver Banega. The first half ended 1–1.

In the second half, Gabriel Mercado scored the second goal for Argentina from Lionel Messi's assist, putting the South Americans in the lead in the 48th minute. France equalised within ten minutes, when Benjamin Pavard scored a goal from outside the penalty area. In the 64th minute, Mbappé scored the third goal for France and four minutes later Mbappé netted the fourth goal, from Olivier Giroud's assist. French midfielder Paul Pogba committed a foul in the injury time and Argentina won a free kick in the defensive half. Sergio Agüero scored the third goal for Argentina from Messi's assist. The match ended with France emerging the winners.

Nineteen-year-old Mbappé became the first teenager to score two goals in the FIFA World Cup tournament since Brazilian Pelé when he achieved the feat in 1958. He was named Budweiser Man of the Match. After the match, French coach Didier Deschamps said, "There is an excellent mentality in this group and we did everything to go further. Since I am responsible for everything, particularly when it doesn't go well, I'm very proud."

After the match, Argentine defender Javier Mascherano announced retirement from international football. Mascherano has played 147 games for the country, which is a national record.

Uruguay v Portugal

Uruguay faced Portugal in the second match of the Last 16 at Sochi. Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo had an attempt for a goal in the 6th minute from Bernardo Silva's assist, but it was saved. A minute later, Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani scored a header from Luis Suárez's assist, giving the South Americans an early lead. Just before the half-time whistle, Cavani had an opportunity to double the lead from Diego Godín's assist but missed it. The first half ended with Uruguay leading 1–0.

Ten minutes into the second half, Pepe equalised for Portugal, scoring a header from Raphaël Guerreiro's assist. In the 62nd minute, Cavani scored a goal from Rodrigo Bentancur's assist, restoring Uruguay's one-goal advantage. Cavani was later substituted off in the 74th minute due to injury. Ricardo Quaresma's attempt for an equaliser in the injury time was saved and Uruguay won the match 2–1.

After the match, Portugal's coach Fernando Santos said, "In football, there are no moral victories and I would have preferred to play worse and win the match. But I do feel that the second half was very good from us in terms of desire and our determination to score." Cavani was named Budweiser Man of the Match.

France is to play Uruguay in the quarter-final.

June 30, 2018
1700 MSK (UTC+0300)
France 4–3 Argentina Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia
Attendance: 42,873
Referee:   Alireza Faghani (Iran)
Antoine Griezmann   13' (pen.)
Benjamin Pavard   57'
Kylian Mbappé   64'
Kylian Mbappé   68'
Blaise Matuidi   72'
Benjamin Pavard   73'
Olivier Giroud   90+3'
(1–1) HT Ángel Di María   41'
Gabriel Mercado   48'
Sergio Agüero   90+3'
Marcos Rojo   11'
Nicolás Tagliafico   19'
Javier Mascherano   43'
Éver Banega   50'
Nicolás Otamend   90+3'

June 30, 2018
2100 MSK (UTC+0300)
Uruguay 2–1 Portugal Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia
Attendance: 44,287
Referee:   César Arturo Ramos (Mexico)
Edinson Cavani   7'
Edinson Cavani   62'
(1–0) HT Pepe   55'
Cristiano Ronaldo   90+3'