France coach Didier Deschamps praises his team after they beat Uruguay in last eight of World Cup

France coach Didier Deschamps praised his young team for their 'deserved' quarter-final victory over Uruguay in Nizhny Novgorod but then fired an ominous warning: we can do better.

Friday, 6th July 2018, 8:11 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:15 pm
France's Antoine Griezmann is congratulated by teammate Kylian Mbappe

Goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann were enough to beat a hard-working but outclassed Uruguay side and France can look forward to a semi-final clash with Belgium or Brazil in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.

“I think we deserved the result. We played against the beautiful Uruguay side but we played better than them and had more control, especially in the second half,” said Deschamps.

“But it wasn’t a perfect match. There were some technical issues. We can always play better.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The 1998 World Cup-winning skipper seemed particularly pleased his side had given Uruguay so few opportunities, especially from set-pieces.

As it happened, the crucial goal, Varane’s 40th-minute header, came from a France free-kick and Deschamps was reminded it was the Real Madrid defender who was beaten by Germany’s Mats Hummels when Les Blues crashed out at this stage four years ago in Brazil.

“Varane made a mistake then but he has four more years’ experience now and it’s often in tough times you learn the most,” the 49-year-old said.

Oscar Tabarez, his opposite number, was magnanimous and matter-of-fact in defeat.

“We didn’t play as well as our rival and that’s why we lost,” the 71-year-old said.

“We made a huge effort in the first 20 minutes but after that we were not able to exploit the problems France had and then they scored. That’s a detail that makes a huge impact on a game like a quarter-final.”