France reaches World Cup final with 1-0 win over Belgium

Thierry Henry

Lloris and Courtois played a huge part in their sides" quarter-final wins and it was only thanks to two of the best "keepers in the world that the game remained goalless at half-time. No, I play at City.

"It's essential to have a player like Kevin, that he can play different roles", Martinez said. "For him tomorrow it could be a bit hard, but he works for Belgium now, he wants us to win. That's the quality that he has".

The first yellow card of the game was issued to Belgium's Eden Hazard, who pulls Matuidi to ground to prevent a France counter-attack and shortly following was Alderweireld who picked up Belgium's second booking.

Martinez' men are the only side to have won all of their games in 90 minutes in Russian Federation and are the tournament's top scorers with 14 goals.

Speaking from an RT studio in Manchester, Mourinho admitted he "smelled a match without many goals" and that the game could have stayed at 0-0 or even 1-1.

First, his surging run helped set up Nacer Chadli's late victor in the come-from-behind 3-2 defeat of Japan.

Mbappe turned it back on again as France secured a place in Sunday's World Cup final with a 1-0 victory over Roberto Martinez's side on Tuesday night.


Former French football legend Thierry Henry must have had mixed emotions as the nation of his birth reached the World Cup final and the country he helps coach was eliminated. "The players talked a lot amongst each other; I do not know if some players talked to the coach individually, but I think the coach understood everything quickly".

Belgium started the stronger of the two teams in Saint Petersburg but Umtiti's header from a corner in the 51st minute was the crucial breakthrough as the defender stole the limelight from jet-heeled Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.

But the potent Belgian attack gradually faded as France's rock-solid defence handed Belgium its first shutout of the tournament. "This is not how you are going to move forward". "His level of execution is exceptional".

Bringing back a system he used successfully during his first season at Everton, Martinez deployed a false nine and Lukaku on the right. Belgium reached the quarterfinals at the 2014 World Cup and the European Championship in 2016 but has yet to fulfil its lofty expectations. Of course, there are no guarantees in the World Cup, especially in 2018. "He's a player with high-quality runs, a big motor, but also quality crosses and assists".

"We're going into a semi-final but it just seems like it's the next step on the journey", he said. That's why we believe bettors should wager on the draw, and the teams should practice their penalty kicks.

France will have to be at its best to shut him down. It never materialized, and after a final few minutes of French keep-away, the game was over and Les Bleus were through to the final having shut down the tournament's best offense.

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