NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia – A shot that flew directly at the hands of the goalkeeper turned into a World Cup goal for Antoine Griezmann.
The striker scored the second goal in France's 2-0 quarterfinal victory over Uruguay on Friday, sending a seemingly easy-to-save shot at a waiting Fernando Muslera. But the ball hit Muslera on the palms, bounced off and looped over the keeper's head and into the net.
The victory gave France a spot in the World Cup semifinals. The 1998 champions will next face Belgium on Tuesday in St. Petersburg.
Griezmann didn't celebrate the goal, his third of the tournament. "I was playing against a lot of friends," said Griezmann, who is Atletico Madrid teammates with Uruguay's Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez, "so I think it was normal not to celebrate."
Raphael Varane scored first with a header in the 40th minute. Griezmann sent in a free kick from the right side and Varane raced across the area. He got his head to the ball and sent it into the far corner behind Muslera.
Griezmann scored in the 61st minute. The Frenchman has a special fondness for Uruguay — he speaks Spanish like someone from the South American country and has been pictured wearing the team's jersey. Godin is also the godfather of Griezmann's daughter.
"I love Uruguayan culture and I love Uruguayans, so I have a lot of respect for them," Griezmann said.
Playing without striker Edinson Cavani (left calf), who scored both goals against Portugal on Monday, Uruguay had few chances. Four minutes after Varane's goal, French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made a diving stop on Martin Caceras, pushing the ball wide.