France beat Belgium 1-0 to reach final

Tanya Cunningham
July 11, 2018

And it was even a sign of the fact that the France backline had not much to worry about when Samuel Umtiti outjumped Marouane Fellaini in the 51minute to score.

The first semi-final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup takes place on Tuesday, with France and Belgium set to clash at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Russian Federation.

It means the 1998 World Cup winners will play either England or Croatia in the final on Sunday.

Well, they have to play a third-place playoff on Saturday, but they won't be world champions. The Atletico Madrid forward has been directly involved in 13 of France's last 20 goals scored in major tournaments (World Cup and Euros), with nine goals and four assists.

When and what time is the semi-final match between France vs Belgium?

Belgium was attempting to reach their first-ever final after defeating favorite Brazil in the quarterfinals. Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard made repeated forrays into the French box but the combination of Raphael Varane, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and defensive midfielder Blaise Matuidi kept them out.

"Unfortunately for us, the difference is just a dead-ball situation, a set play", Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said.

France engineered the more threatening opportunities in stoppage time, using counterattacks to force saves from Courtois on Griezmann in the 93rd minute and Corentin Tolisso in the 96th minute, the latter of which went out for a corner and helped France bleed the clock dry.

France President Emmanuel Macron was on hand for the game in St Petersburg and came down to the dressing room to celebrate with the players and staff.

"We're immensely privileged to be in the World Cup final", France coach Didier Deschamps said.

Five minutes later, Mbappe put Benjamin Pavard through on goal.

Belgium threw bodies forward and sent several crosses into the box in the closing minutes, but none produced particularly risky chances. We can be very happy and lucky that we can have the team what we have.

"But he did know that from the time he became an assistant to Martinez".

"Vive la France! Vive la Republique!" I am very happy for my players.

We'll find out who France's opponent will be on Wednesday, as England and Croatia battle for the right to face them.

Yet while Hazard - Belgium's captain - faded after a strong opening 30 minutes, Mbappe was a constant threat.

Despite having won 123 caps for France, Henry's sights this week have been firmly set on knocking out the country of his birth, and helping his employers take the unprecedented step of reaching a World Cup final.

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