Live Commentary: France 4-0 Uzbekistan - as it happened

France's Geoffrey Kondogbia is congratulated by team mate Yaya Sanogo against Ghana during the Under-20 World Cup on June 21, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole's live coverage of the Under-20 World Cup quarter-final between France and Uzbekistan that the former win with ease.

France cruised through to the semi-finals of the Under-20 World Cup this afternoon with a 4-0 win over Uzbekistan.

New Arsenal signing Yaya Sanogo opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark before Paul Pogba doubled his side's lead from the penalty spot.

Florian Thauvin also scored from the spot before half time, while Kurt Zouma added the fourth with a glancing diving header in the second half.

Uzbekistan were reduced to 10 men when Tohirjon Shanshitdinov was shown a second yellow card, adding insult to injury for the Asian side.

You can read how it all unfolded with Sports Mole's live play-by-play coverage below.


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3.30pmGood afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for the quarter-finals of the Under-20 World Cup, starting with France vs. Uzbekistan.

3.32pmWe'll start by looking at the favourites this afternoon, which is unsurprisingly France. They have had a fairly comfortable passage through the tournament so far, with their only real hiccup coming in a 2-1 loss to Spain in the group stage.

3.34pmA 1-1 draw with USA in the groups was also a shaky result - it supplied the Americans with their only point of the tournament - but they were impressive during their 3-1 win over Ghana in their opening match, and even more so in their 4-1 defeat of hosts Turkey last time out.

3.36pmSo inconsistency has been a bit of a problem for the French, but they will be fully expecting to reach the last four this afternoon. Apart from Spain and perhaps Uruguay, who play each other in the quarters later today, France are the favourites for the whole tournament and it would be a huge shock if Uzbekistan were to topple them this afternoon.

3.38pmSpeaking of Uzbekistan, the central Asian side have also been a bit inconsistent during the tournament, although their progression would have surpassed pre-World Cup expectations for sure. Their 3-1 win over Greece in the last round was impressive and if they can produce a similar performance today, then they would certainly test France.

3.40pmThey began the tournament in style with a comfortable 3-0 win over New Zealand before pulling off a very good draw against a Croatia side that went on to win the group. Indeed, their draw with Uzbekistan were their only dropped points. However, they followed that up with a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Uruguay - a result more fitting with what many were expecting to see at the start of the campaign.

3.42pmThe bad news for Uzbekistan is that they are missing a few key players for today's match. Borbourbek Yuldashov and Sardor Rakhmanov are both suspended while Jamshid Iskanderov has been ruled out through injury.

3.44pmRakhmanov and Iskanderov are particularly big losses for them. The former is their joint-top scorer in the tournament with two goals, while Iskanderov is probably their most influential player.

3.46pmUzbekistan's seven goals thus far have been fairly spread out throughout the squad. Rakhmanov shares top scorer status with both Abbosbek Makhstaliev and Igor Sergeev, meaning that they have a defender, a midfielder and a striker all as their joint-top scorers.

3.48pmArsenal fans, meanwhile, will be particularly interested to know that their new signing Yaya Sanogo is the top scorer for France in this tournament so far, bagging three goals for his country including one in the last-16 clash against Turkey.

3.50pmFrance, as a whole, have not had a problem scoring goals in the competition so far. They are the joint-second highest scorers with nine, three goals behind Portugal in the charts. Seven of those goals, however, have come in just two matches. Interestingly, though, they have scored in all four of their matches so far.

3.52pmWhile the nature of an Under-20 World Cup means that experience is hard to come by, as a nation France has plenty of it as this stage. They have reached the last eight four out of five attempts in this competitions, while Uzbekistan - who only became a member of FIFA 19 years ago - are in unchartered territory.

3.54pmIt is new ground for both sides when it comes to playing each other, however. This is the first time France and Uzbekistan have ever met at any level of football.

3.55pmPREDICTION: We're five minutes from kickoff in Turkey, which means that it is time for my match prediction! I can't see past France for this one. Uzbekistan have had a great ride through the tournament but I think it will come to an end today. I'll go for 3-0 to France.

3.57pmAs the camera pans along the line of French players 'singing' the national anthem, it seems that players get more in tune with age as well! Not exactly passionate singing, and I hesitate to even call it singing at all!

3.57pmPoor singing is not exclusive to France either it seems. Uzbekistan are equally as out of tune!

3.58pmThe ground is by no means full - nowhere near in fact - but there is a decent Uzbekistan following. This is a source of great pride for them, and it could be a sign of a rising football power if these youngsters can produce similar performances on the full international stage.

3.59pmThe French side contains a number of names you may have heard of before. I've already mentioned Sanogo, but perhaps the one to keep an even closer eye on is captain Paul Pogba.

0 minKICKOFF: Here we go! Uzbekistan get us underway in the first of the Under-20 World Cup quarter-finals.

2 minOFF THE POST! France make a patient start to the match, dominating the ball before eventually springing in to life through Sanogo. The new Arsenal man slips as he steers his shot goalwards, but it comes off the inside of the post and the keeper collects the rebound effort. Almost a perfect start for France there.

4 minUzbekistan are really struggling to get their feet on the ball in these early stages and the quality difference is easy to see already.

5 minCHANCE! Another chance for Sanogo early on, but he doesn't quite catch hold of his shot. He feeds it to Foulquier down the right, and the full back reaches the byline before pulling it back to Sanogo, who sweeps it into the arms of Amanov.

6 minSHOT! The French are attacking at will at the moment and I can't see this staying goalless for long. This time it is Kondogbia who finds space to shoot, but his effort flashes past the post.

8 minCHANCE! Yet another chance for France, this time via a corner. Bahebeck whips it in and Pogba is left completely unmarked, but Amanov is down well to keep the header out. The skipper probably should have done better there, though.

10 minFrance come forward again, but for once the defence come out on top as they crowd out Sanogo before dispossessing him and getting it clear. Still nothing of an attacking threat from the Asian side, though.

12 minThe French are providing a mix of patient build-up play until they see a gap and then really accelerating into the attack to try to catch Uzbekistan off guard. Another attack is rebuffed after attempted skills from Sanogo, but it is all France still.

14 minA chance for a little respite for Uzbekistan as they get a free kick. They know they can't commit too many forward though as this French side will hurt them on the break.

15 minYELLOW CARD! Sure enough, the ball comes right back at the Asian side and Sanogo looks to set up a counter attack. Eventually Fomin brings an end to the move with a foul on the edge of the box, for which he picks up a yellow card. Very good position for France here...

16 min...it's close, but not close enough from Pogba. He bent it over the wall but couldn't get it back down in time. The keeper looked to have that covered anyway.

18 minOFF THE POST! That is all too easy for Thauvin as he waltzes through a couple of lacklustre tackles before firing a low shot in from the edge of the box. For the second time today Amanov is well beaten, but once again it rebounds back off the post and Uzbekistan escape.

20 minIt's one-way traffic here, and has been for the entire match. Uzbekistan have no-one up front so every time they get the ball all they can do is give it straight back to France. They need an outlet, but are focusing on getting 11 men behind the ball to try to stem the tide.

22 minWe're 22 minutes in and the France keeper has just had his first touch of the ball. Uzbekistan had a free kick around 30 yards from goal which Kozak drilled through, but it was easy for Areola.

23 minCHANCE! Another big chance for France, but it is wasted yet again. This time it is Thauvin who finds himself through on goal, but he slices his shot into the side netting when he should have done a lot better.

24 minMakhstaliev doesn't quite show the shooting form that has seen him become his country's joint-top scorer in the tournament as he blazes an effort well over the bar. That one is nearly out of the ground!

26 minFrance's dominance has just wavered slightly in the last five minutes or so. They are still completely in control of this one, but they don't seem to be finding ways through the Uzbekistan defence at will like they were earlier.

28 minUzbekistan are starting to get on the ball more often now, but they still have little or no threat going forward. They don't want to commit too many men upfield and leave themselves exposed at the back, so the strikers are very isolated.

30 minUzbekistan have their best spell of the match as they pump a couple of crosses into the box. They are cleared with minimum fuss before the move comes to an end with an aimless long ball forward. More promising from the underdogs there, though.

31 minGOAL! France 1-0 Uzbekistan (Yaya Sanogo)

32 minFrance finally take the lead, and it is Arsenal new boy Yaya Sanogo who gets it. Bahebeck reached the byline down the left before guiding a low cross between the legs of a defender and to Sanogo, who had a simple tap in. He was never going to miss that, and you have to say that the goal has been coming.

34 minPENALTY TO FRANCE!

35 minGOAL! France 2-0 Uzbekistan (Paul Pogba)

36 minBahebeck is again instrumental as he spins away from his man and advances into the area, only to be upended by Shamshitdinov who picks up a yellow for his troubles. He can have no complaints there. Pogba takes the responsibility and shuffles up to the ball with the slowest run up I have ever seen. It is effective, however, as he sends Amanov the wrong way and rolls it into the bottom right corner. Have the floodgates opened?

38 minIt will take something really special from Uzbekistan to come back from this, and I can't see it happening to be honest. France may fancy adding to their goals tally as well, so it could be a long second half for the Asian side.

40 minUzbekistan have a free kick around 35 yards from goal, which will give the defence a chance to trot forward. Set pieces look like their most likely avenue for a goal, but this one is cleared with ease.

42 minFrance have lost he urgency that they had before the opening goal - perhaps understandably. They are still being afforded a lot of room by the Uzbekistan defence, though, so there is still joy to be had in attack.

43 minPENALTY TO FRANCE!

43 minGOAL! France 3-0 Uzbekistan (Florian Thauvin)

44 minThat is well and truly game over. France are awarded another penalty as a cross into the box bounces up and hits the arm of Turapov. It is another clear penalty, and the Uzbekistan players know it. This time Thauvin steps up and hits it with just enough power to beat Amanov, who got two good hands to the spot kick and almost kept it out.

45 minCHANCE! It probably should be 4-0 here as Uzbekistan once again do themselves no favours. There are miskicks and slices galore and Sanogo is almost put through, but Amanov makes a good save from the striker's shot.

45 minWe will have one minute of added time.

45+1 minHALF TIME: France 3-0 Uzbekistan

4.50pmWell, that was one of the most one sided halves of football I have seen in a long time. Uzbekistan were thoroughly outclassed throughout and France are as good as through to the last four already.

4.52pmAmanov has a problem here as his nose is dripping with blood. He has only just left the field, quite a while after the rest of the players as he receives treatment on that injury. I'm not quite sure how bad it is but by the look on his face he may not be back out for the second half.

4.53pmBack to that opening 45 minutes, though, and what a disappointment for Uzbekistan. They may not have expected to win this one, but they wouldn't have expected to go out with such a whimper either. France have had two penalties, have hit the post twice and have also missed a number of other chances. In all honesty, it could be six or seven at the break.

4.55pmUnless something truly drastic happens after the break, France can safely assume that their name will be in the hat to face either Ghana or Chile in the semi-finals on July 10. There is surely no way back for Uzbekistan now, and I can even see France getting another three or four goals in the second half.

4.57pmThe most impressive players so far have been Florian Thauvin and Jean Christophe Bahebeck for France. They have been a creative force, with Bahebeck in particular getting two assists, and have threatened in front of goal themselves. Yaya Sanogo has been a handful at times, which will please Arsenal fans, while Paul Pogba is running the midfield with ease.

4.59pmAs for Uzbekistan, none of their players have had a chance to shine. It is clear that they are missing two of their most influential and best players in Rakhmanov and Iskanderov, but no-one else has stepped up to the plate this afternoon.

5.01pmA reminder that still to come this afternoon we have another quarter-final, and what a match it promises to be. Perennial tournament favourites Spain take on Uruguay for a place in the final four, where they will face either Iraq or South Korea.

5.03pmYou can follow that match with me on Sports Mole, with kickoff scheduled for 7pm.

5.04pmRight, the players are back out for the second half, including Amanov of Uzbekistan, who looks to have shaken off that injury.

45 minKICKOFF: France get us back underway. Just 45 minutes separates them from another semi-final appearance in this tournament.

46 minFrance make a quick start as Digne races down the left before feeding it inside to Thauvin. The attacker looks to cut a ball into the middle towards Sanogo, but it is cut out well by the keeper.

47 minUzbekistan's most promising attack ends in a corner as they have a four-on-four situation. Turapov is racing down the left and is played in, but his cross is just deflected behind.

48 minCHANCE! The corner comes to nothing and immediately France look to break free. Bahebeck is released down the left and sends a fine low ball into the middle where Sanogo just has to direct it in. Instead, though, he slices his effort well wide. That was a very good chance, not quite as easy as his earlier goal but he still should have scored.

50 minYELLOW CARD! Things are getting a little heated now, and perhaps unsurprisingly given Uzbekistan's poor disciplinary record during this tournament it is one of their players who enters the book. This time it is Sabirkhodjaev who is cautioned.

52 minCHANCE! I'll tell you what, this Thauvin looks like a very promising player. He dances past a couple of challenges on the edge of the box, showing the sort of grace on the field that France haven't seen since Zidane, before pulling off a final outrageous piece of skill and firing a shot just over.

54 minUzbekistan are getting frustrated here, and as their frustration rises their discipline is falling. It is free kick after free kick at the moment.

56 minThis match has been very scrappy since the restart, which is a shame as France were playing some nice football in the opening 45 minutes. There are still flashes of brilliance from the mercurial Europeans, but less so than when the score was 0-0.

58 minUZBEKISTAN SUBS: The first changes of the day come for Uzbekistan, and it is probably wise given the fall in discipline. Off comes Yusupov for Urinboev, while Turupov, who gave away that second penalty, makes way for Masharipov.

60 minSAVE! Sanogo bursts forward before finding Thauvin, who cuts outside of his man who create space to shoot. His effort is powerful rather than placed, but Amanov still needs to make a good save.

61 minFRANCE SUB: Geoffrey Kondogbia has quietly gone about his business today, and he has done very well alongside Pogba in the midfield. He makes way for Axel Ngando.

62 minNgando has a chance to make an immediate impact, but he drags his shot well wide of the post.

64 minGOAL! France 4-0 Uzbekistan (Kurt Zouma)

65 minThere is the fourth goal, and it was only a matter of time before it came. A corner into the box is not defended with any quality whatsoever, and Zouma steals in at the near post to glance a diving header into the far corner. Too easy.

66 minYELLOW CARD! Kozak becomes the latest player to enter the referee's notebook for a foul that gives France a free kick in a good position.

67 minUZBEKISTAN SUB: Uzbekistan's final change of the match sees Kamranbey Kapadze replace Sardor Sabirkhodjaev.

67 minThe eventual free kick is on target, but never troubles Amanov as he catches it with relative ease.

68 minRED CARD! Oh you could see that one coming as well. Things go from bad to worse for Uzbekistan as a poor challenge from Shamshitdinov earns him a second yellow and a red card. He has probably come off worse from that tackle as well, and the red card is shown to him as he is stretchered off the pitch.

69 minFRANCE SUB: Bahebeck is forced off after that foul as well. That is a shame as he has been very good this afternoon.

71 minFrance are now the tournament's top scorers, by the way. The likes of Spain, Ghana and Uruguay will be taking note of how impressive the French have looked this afternoon.

73 minBosetti has a chance to shape and shoot from just inside the area, but his curling effort ends up quite a way wide of the goal. Poor effort.

74 minCHANCE! Sanogo races through on goal and looks to go round the onrushing keeper, who comes out bravely to smother the new Arsenal striker. He is down holding his nose again, however. He may have aggravated the injury he picked up at the end of the first half there, and he may not be able to continue here. Remember, Uzbekistan have used up all of their subs.

76 minAmanov is made of stern stuff, though, and he chooses to see out the 90 minutes. Uzbekistan would have been in even more trouble if he was unable to continue - they would have had nine outfield players and another outfield player in goal!

77 minFRANCE SUB: Lucas Digne's involvement in this match is over as he is replaced by Pierre Yves Polomat, who until now was the only French player not to have played in this tournament so far.

78 minBosetti is inches away from connecting with a fizzing low ball across the face of goal. Had he got on the end of that one it was a certain goal. It may well be 4-0, but France could have had a lot more this afternoon.

80 minPogba lifts a fine ball over the top to Sanogo, who takes it down on his chest very well, but some top defending denies the Arsenal striker.

81 minCLOSE! That would have been some goal! Pogba lifts an inch-perfect ball over the top that Bosetti latches on to. The sub watches it drop over his shoulder and hits a brilliant first-time volley that flashes just wide of the post. That was a superb effort, one of the hardest skills in football.

83 minSAVE! Bosetti has another chance to add to France's tally but this time he is denied by Amanov. Sanogo floats a good ball into the sub's path, and he takes a touch before sending a half-volley straight at the Uzbekistan keeper.

85 minFair play to the Uzbekistan fans, they are still beating their drums and making noise despite never having been in the game this afternoon. A quarter-final appearance is still a huge achievement for them.

86 minCHANCE! Bosetti just can't put the ball in the back of the net! He twists and turns brilliantly inside the box to create space to shoot, but he snatches at his effort and puts it wide. He did everything right until the finish.

88 minFrance are still pouring forward in numbers late on here. They always seem to have as many attackers as Uzbekistan have defenders, which has been the main reason that they have created so many chances in this game.

89 minPolomat makes his way down the left before passing the ball inside to Bosetti, who flicks it goalwards with a first-time effort, but once again the keeper is there to deny him. He should have scored at least one since coming on.

89 minUzbekistan come forward into the area and Zouma makes a good sliding challenge inside the box. There are a couple of half-hearted claims for a penalty but the referee correctly gives a corner, which is easily dealt with by the keeper.

90 minThere will be two minutes of added time here in Turkey.

90+2 minFULL TIME: France 4-0 Uzbekistan

5.53pmThere we have it, France are through to the semi-finals of the Under-20 World Cup, and it couldn't have been much easier for them. It was a very solid performance and Uzbekistan never looked like threatening. It perhaps should have been more than four goals, but no side are going to turn down such a comprehensive victory even if they should have had more. Complete and utter dominance from the French in that match.

5.55pmA word on Uzbekistan who have done brilliantly to get this far. The players are now applauding their fans, and what a journey it has been for them. They had never won an U20 World Cup match before this year so to get to the quarter-finals is a massive achievement. They may not have done themselves justice this afternoon, but they will look back on their campaign as a successful one on the whole.

5.57pmFrance, meanwhile, cruise through to the final four where they will face either Ghana or Chile. On today's performance you'd back them as favourites against either of those sides, and France have really established themselves as one of the tournament favourites now.

6pmRight, that's it from me here! France comfortably progress through to the semi-finals of the Under-20 World Cup, and there was never any doubt about it. Uzbekistan crash out after a fine campaign and can hold their heads up high. Be sure to stick around for the day's second quarter-final which will see Uruguay take on Spain. Live commentary of that one will be on Sports Mole from 6.30pm. Meanwhile, I will leave you with Jack Prescott's match report for this game. Goodbye!

Spain's Jese celebrates scoring against Ghana during the Under 20 World Cup on June 24, 2013
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