France beat Belgium 1-0 to reach final

  • France beat Belgium 1-0 to reach final

France beat Belgium 1-0 to reach final

It means the 1998 World Cup winners will play either England or Croatia in the final on Sunday. The World Cup equivalent of a local derby, with a heavy dose of national rivalry thrown in.

Hazard was risky again moments later when he cut in from the left and unleashed a rasping drive which clipped off the back of Raphael Varane and just over the bar.

France was relentless on the attack in its 4-3 win against Argentina, but it has now revealed a grit in wins against Uruguay and Belgium that many were not sure existed.

Youth, so much youth, running through key positions in the team like an electric current.

Samuel Umtiti celebrated France's 1-0 lead. Good for many years to come.

Asked what Macron said, Mbappe replied: "President Macron said that he would see us in the semifinals, and that he was going to come back to see us with the World Cup".

"I do not care about the Ballon d'Or, I want the World Cup".

'The game was very close, very tight and it was going to be decided by the one who could find the final touch in the box or get a bit of luck on goal.

France will have to be at its best to shut him down.

And Spain has flogged its tiki-taka game of possession and passing to death and needs to find a new path to victory and without midfielder Andres Iniesta, who retired after Spain's loss to Russian Federation in the first knockout round. France will have their work cut out for them, and so will Hazard and co.

Unless the English get there first. Didier Deschamps's team has many faces to it, but they are all smiling now.

For months, Deschamps has been downplaying expectations by making out that France's youth was a drawback, not its strength.

This version of the team, so stacked with young talent, could have broken either way.

Stung into action, Martinez sent on Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli in the 65th minute, and both were heavily involved as Belgium pulled off a late comeback, with Chadli securing victory with practically the last kick of the game.

51st minute: Goal. France. The PSG right-back received his second yellow card against Brazil.

For much of the match, Mbappe was quite possibly the best player on a field he shared with some of the game's brightest lights over the last half decade or so: Vincent Kompany, Olivier Giroud, Romelu Lukaku, Antoine Griezmann, Kevin De Bruyne, Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard.

"We showed character and mentality, it was very hard for us tonight".

Six minutes of injury time provided Belgium with hope but France ran the clock down and nearly made it 2-0 as Griezmann and then Corentin Tolisso's shots were well saved by Courtois. Remarkable that their 12th game will be a World Cup final. In a way, France are over-dependent on Mbappe to create attacks from the right wing due to his marvelous pace. It gave France a 52 percent chance of winning and Belgium a 48 percent chance. Griezmann, at 27, still has a future with France.

Mbappe's incredible backheel then put Giroud clear on goal but the striker's effort was well blocked by Mousa Dembele.