France vs. Belgium - Football Match Report

2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: France vs Belgium

2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: France vs Belgium

Samuel Umtiti's second-half header was enough for France as they overcame Belgium 1-0 in Saint Petersburg to reach world football's showpiece event for the third time.

The game will feature plenty of talented attackers and has the potential to be one of the most exciting games of the competition. They managed to shut out Belgium after that and will now face either England or Croatia in Moscow's Luzhniki stadium on Sunday. Les Bleus topped Group C without really convincing, but knockout-stage wins over Argentina and Uruguay have enhanced their credentials as serious contenders.

France kicked off and were off with Kylian Mbappe just breezed past Jan Vertonghen on the right flank but his cross could not be latched on by Antoine Griezmann but Belgium soon settled.

France coach Didier Deschamps has faced some criticism for being too pragmatic and functional despite having so many stars in his squad, but the organization of the team was superb and Belgium was largely restricted to only minor chances as time wound down.

After spending most of his career at Premier League club Arsenal and putting down roots in England, 40-year-old Henry has had little involvement in French football despite being one of the most popular players that France has ever produced.

Roberto Martinez came out and spoke about the belief coursing through the team's veins in the aftermath of the victory over the five-time champions.

In France, sports shops were rapidly selling out of the national soccer strip on Tuesday as fans got ready for the semi-final showdown in St. Petersburg.

"He's brought something we didn't have", said Spanish coach Martinez. After the Red Devils had dominated the first half, largely thanks to an awesome Eden Hazard, France took responsibility and controlled the match in the second.

France's record worldwide goalscorer Thierry Henry will be presented with an awkward situation when his nation takes on neighbours Belgium, his current employers, in Tuesday's highly anticipated FIFA World Cup semi-final.

With his side clinging onto a 2-1 lead, Hazard repeatedly carried the ball forward in the dying minutes, drawing fouls to offer the Belgian backline some respite.

Add the two goals that Japan scored against them, France might just have the edge in this regard.

Giroud then had another great chance as Mbappe cushioned a long ball across the area, only for the striker to fluff his shot under pressure from Alderweireld.

Umtiti, and particularly Raphael Varane, were excellent at the back for France.

They were rewarded only minutes later when Samuel Umtiti rose high to glance his header off the corner through the arms of Courtouis.

Lukaku has enjoyed a great World Cup so far - following on from scoring 27 goals in his first season with Manchester United. With Belgium's front three likely to come under intense scrutiny, the man to break the shackles could be Nacer Chadli. France were in the final of the Euros, but I don't want any of my players to be frustrated or disappointed.

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