France edge Belgium to reach World Cup final

Sergio Cunningham
July 11, 2018

The defeat is painful for Belgium, foiled at the semi-final for the second time in their history, as the clock ticks on their so-called "golden generation".

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.

But with their King Philippe watching from the stands, there was to be no coronation. Harry Maguire and Dele Alli headed past the Swedes en route to a 2-0 victory, guiding England to their first semifinal appearance since 1990, and just their third ever.

France beat Belgium 1-0 in their World Cup semifinal on Tuesday, using a Samuel Umtiti set-piece goal off a corner kick to beat the Belgians and send France to Sunday's World Cup final.

These links extend to their respective football teams, who meet on Tuesday evening to contest a place in the World Cup final. This is the team with the highest number of goals scored in the World Cup, 15, so far.

Lloris is the captain and he played a key role against Belgium, diving to his right midway through the first half to claw away Toby Alderweireld's shot and then getting in front of Lukaku to punch away one of substitute Dries Mertens' many crosses.

"The last two years, he brought something we didn't have", said the former Swansea, Wigan and Everton boss.

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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.

So all of the above applies for fans hoping to watch England and Croatia play for a spot in the World Cup 2018 finals.

For the generation of Hazard, De Bruyne, and Romelu Lukaku, beating Brazil in the quarter-finals was meant to be the breakthrough en route to winning a major tournament. "For sure, I would rather him being with us and giving me the advice, but you can't be jealous, and it is not shocking me at all", said French forward Olivier Giroud, about Henry, reported Reuters. We can be very happy and lucky that we can have the team what we have. "What we have is a really good team that performed really well". A pair of Diego Maradona second-half goals sank Belgium that day.

Their best chances came in the game's first 30 minutes, when they controlled the majority of play during a cautious start from both teams. "That's why I don't think the performance came down to individuals". The only time it happened in Belgian football was in 1986, when we finished fourth.

Martinez didn't talk about the end of an era, but he was already looking to the future after the match. "From tournament to tournament, that's the drive and the ambition".

After a cagey opening, Paul Pogba's ball over the top nearly created an opportunity in the box for Mbappe before the same combination a few minutes later saw Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois forced to race out and smother a throughball before Mbappe could get on the end of it.

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