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Oscar Tabarez: France will be "very tough" opponents for Uruguay

Tabarez: 'France will be tough opponents'
© Reuters
Oscar Tabarez hails the "dedication" shown by Uruguay's players to overcome Portugal and set up a quarter-final against France, which he predicts will be even tougher.

Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez has predicted a "very tough" afternoon for his players when they attempt to stop France's formidable attackers in next week's World Cup quarter-final.

La Celeste beat Portugal 2-1 in their first knockout-stage tie on Saturday night to join France, who had earlier overcome Argentina 4-3, in the next round.

Tabarez is happy with the way his side came out on top against the European champions despite seeing less of the ball, but he admits that they will have their work cut out against the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe in Nizhny Novgorod next Friday.

"The distinctive feature of the game was the dedication the players showed on the pitch, and that is the way that we see football," he told reporters. "It was difficult. Portugal had more possession and were often in our half of the pitch, and it would have been better for us to have more of the ball and play the game closer to their goal.

"But we have a very strong team in terms of our mindset and I am very happy. We know that France will be very tough indeed. They have two exceptional strikers, Griezmann and Mbappe - they're very fast indeed. And you can see how [Argentina] defenders struggled to keep up with Mbappe today.

"It will be very difficult for us. But we will try our best and look to impose our way of playing on them, using our strengths. We're here to play all seven matches, right up until the final, and we will see what happens."

Uruguay have won their opening four games at a World Cup for the first time since 1930 when lifting the trophy for the first of two times.

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