Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Culture | By Jeremy Gray

FIFA WC: France beat Belgium 1-0 to reach finals

FIFA WC: France beat Belgium 1-0 to reach finals

Umtiti was the next France player to save a certain goal as De Bruyne's cross squeezed through and the defender hacked clear from inside his own six-yard box with Belgium players lining up to slot it into the net. After all, they have won their five World Cup matches, and their road has been significantly tougher than France's one. A pair of Diego Maradona second-half goals sank Belgium that day.

First, let's cover the suspensions.

The victory boosted France's morale, and they followed it up with a workman-like 2-0 win over Uruguay that was impressive because of how well they managed to control the game against tricky opponents.

He has not tasted defeat in a competitive game as Belgium boss, his last loss in a non-friendly match the Toffees' 3-0 defeat by Sunderland in May 2016. In his place expect Nacer Chadli or Yannick Carrasco in the midfield.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez looks dejected after the match.

The 19-year-old sprinted at the Belgium defence from kick-off at the Saint Petersburg Stadium and the game quickly became a personal battle between him and Eden Hazard with regards to who would steal the show.

For the die-hard France fans, there's one twist that makes this semifinal convincing. 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.

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump's campaign worked with Moscow. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters aboard Air Force One on June 29, 2018.

France were careless in possession and Belgium nearly went ahead as Kevin De Bruyne chipped a pass to Hazard who blasted a low shot just past the post.

"The peculiarity is that there are many players on my team who have club teammates facing them". They have everything they need to be a great team and and they are a great team. We played as team-mates.

"We know them and they know us", said Deschamps.

"If you are looking for 5-0, don't come to a World Cup, you won't get this", he said. "It is an opportunity in our careers and we have to grab it with both hands".

When the final whistle blew, the French players rushed to the corner to celebrate as Magic System's Magic in the air played in the background. One was a weak volley in the 61st minute from Kevin De Bruyne, who got poor contact and bounced the ball harmlessly to Lloris.

This is the 74th meeting between these teams, but it's mostly been through friendlies between neighboring nations.

It's only the second time in history that Belgium have reached the World Cup semi-final, 32 years after Diego Maradona's Argentina beat them at the same stage in Mexico in 1986 before going on to win the tournament.

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