France advances to World Cup final, defeats Belgium 1-0


Following that incident, the wind quickly dissipated from Belgium's sails as both Giroud and Griezmann had a pair of threatening shots on Courtois in the final minutes.

A Umtiti header found the back of the net on a corner kick 51 minutes in for the match's lone goal, and he and his fellow defenders kept Belgium from threatening much.

One of the Red Devils' many French connections was the biggest danger, as Eden Hazard, who began his career with Lille in Ligue 1, pulled the first attempt of goal just beyond the far post.

France coach Didier Deschamps has recalled Blaise Matuidi in the only change to his lineup for the World Cup semifinal against Belgium at St. Petersburg Stadium.

"That was the difference, but if you're going to lose, I'm so proud of the players". A feeling that we could do more and better, a feeling that probably Hazard was out of it, because he tried absolutely everything.

First, his surging run helped set up Nacer Chadli's late victor in the come-from-behind 3-2 defeat of Japan. They defended well, the were compact. France legend Thierry Henry, who scored three goals as a 20-year old when France won it all in 1998, is now an assistant coach on the Belgian sideline.

"When Deschamps took off Giroud to bring on N'Zonzi, then Pogba had more freedom but had freedom not to do silly things, he had freedom to keep the ball away from unsafe areas, to keep the ball, to assist Griezmann for a great chance, he was very very mature".

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Belgian citizen Gregory Oleffe and Olivier Debregeas from France debate Tuesday's World Cup match between their two countries. "Set plays", the former Porto and Real Madrid coach said. Wherever Kanté goes, he is influential, a Hoover vacuum making interceptions and preventing attacking moves from happening.

Mbappe, Hazard and Neymar were identified as the most likely targets and after his performance in the World Cup semi-final, the exceptional French youngster seems like the ideal fit for Ronaldo's shoes.

Not only did a lot of them speak a common language, but 14 of the 22 starters on Tuesday night also played in the English Premier League, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur represented in both blue and red jerseys. The team will take the victor of England or Croatia in the final, with those two playing on Wednesday.

England face Croatia on Wednesday in the Luzhniki, seeking to reach their first World Cup final since 1966 against a background of near hysteria at home. Looking ahead to the last four encounter, Mourinho said he believes England will enter the tie fresher. No, I play at City. That familiarity with playing styles could affect how these teams approach one another in this semifinals match.

They haven't played well except for the previous match in which Martinez tweaked his system ever so slightly to more of a back four, dropped Carrasco and Mertens and discovered that by pushing De Bruyne - perhaps one of the best four players in the world - into advanced positions, he was quite good at football.

Who do you think will win this match?