France forward Antoine Griezmann doubled his team's lead in the second-half of their Fifa World Cup 2018 quarter-final and knocked the wind out of Uruguay and their fans on Friday in Nizhny Novgorod.
The Les Blues number seven, who calls himself "half-Uruguayan", shot straight at Fernando Muslera from outside the box but the Galatasaray custodian made a mess out a regulation save as the ball was deflected into the net.
It was seemingly the goal that sealed the semi-final berth for France against the insipid, Edinson Cavani-less Uruguay but Griezmann did not celebrate after the strike and carried on with game which ended in his team's favour.
Didn't celebrate goal out of respect for Uruguay: Griezmann
Explaining the reason behind the muted celebration, the Atletico Madrid star said: "I didn't celebrate that goal because when I started as a professional player I was supported by an Uruguayan who taught met the good and bad things in football, so I have a lot of respect for Uruguay as a country."
"I was also playing against friends, so out of respect I thought that it was normal not to celebrate my goal," Griezmann said while referring to his Atletico teammates Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez.
"Uruguay are a tough team, who remind me of club side Atletico, where everybody works hard in attack and defence. I love Uruguayan culture and Uruguayans so I have a lot of respect for them."
Griezmann and his love for Uruguay
Griezmann, who in the past was pictured wearing Uruguay jersey, had revealed after the quarter-final win over Argentina that facing the Celeste would be a strong moment for him because of his love for the country.
He shed light on how Carlos Bueno, his former Sociedad teammate and Uruguayan forward, took him under his wings and even introduced him to mate, the traditional South American caffeine-rich drink.
Notably, Griezmann's affection for Uruguay stems from the fact he had made his debut for Real Sociedad under Martin Lasarte, the coach from the South American country. The latter became a father figure for the Frenchman and the two are still in touch, according to ESPN.
He had also become a supporter of Uruguayan club Penarol and even learnt their chants. After moving to the Spanish capital, he had made friends with Godin and Gimenez. The Uruguay captain is his daughter's godfather.
Nonetheless, Griezmann and France were clinical against Oscar Tabarez's men who clearly missed Cavani. The Paris Saint-Germain star missed the tie due to a calf injury he had picked up during their win over Portugal.
The Celeste created chances but they lacked the finishing skills as Luis Suarez was well-handled by the French backline.
Raphael Varane gave the Les Blues the lead in Nizhny Novgorod with a header in the 40th minute. Hugo Lloris then made a match-defining save to deny Martin Caceres before the half-time and Griezmann's second-half strike ended Uruguay's hopes.
Deschamps' men will now take on the winner of the second quarter-final between Brazil and Belgium in the last-four clash on Tuesday, July 10.