Published: Wed, July 11, 2018

Blow by blow: France vs Belgium

Blow by blow: France vs Belgium

But with their King Philippe watching from the stands, there was to be no coronation.

Henry, World Cup victor in 1998 with Les Bleus, is assistant coach to Roberto Martinez, manager of Belgium, beaten 1-0 in the semifinals this morning.

France advanced to the 2018 FIFA World Cup final after beating Belgium 1-0 in the semifinals at Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia Tuesday. We played as team-mates.

On the other side is France, a world soccer titan vying for its third finals appearance in the last six World Cups.

In the 19th minute, Hazard's shot from the left of the box was headed away by Raphael Varane, who had his back to the goal. We got in good one v one situations. "We weren't in control two years ago against Argentina".

France and Belgium have met a staggering 73 times, their first meeting having been a 3-3 draw in 1904.

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. Lloris was strong when called upon in the second half, after Umtiti's header had tilted the scales in France's favor, and Les Bleus will go in search of their second title on Sunday in Moscow against either England or Croatia.

Didier Deschamps has one of the strongest squads in the tournament, and it's hard to find a weakness in his team. Mertens nearly had an immediate impact as his cross was headed skywards by Varane and De Bruyne missed his kick when coming in to hit a volley.

"It is a bit unusual to see him with the Belgium team but that is his career and that is how he is learning his future career".

When the match ended, the French players danced on the field and shook the hand of Thierry Henry, another 1998 World Cup victor who is now Belgium's assistant coach. A pair of Diego Maradona second-half goals sank Belgium that day.

Roberto Martinez's swashbuckling Belgium side head into Tuesday's semi-final with familiar foes France as the World Cup's leading scorers, but their old rivals have evolved as the tournament has progressed and will also be full of confidence. France were in the final of the Euros, but I don't want any of my players to be frustrated or disappointed.

"Generations come and go, " Kompany said. It allows the country to be more ambitious and believe in its own talent.

Born to two footballing parents in the Belgian municipality of Braine-le-Comte, Hazard's reputation spread across the border and saw him snapped up by Lille at the age of just 14.

Martinez didn't talk about the end of an era, but he was already looking to the future after the match.

"You don't run you don't spend any of your energetic sources, you do it in a relaxed way, you do it as part of your recovering session and you go for the set pieces and you develop the set pieces and you become really risky on that then that can be in this case happen in the space between of Witsel and Fellaini". "From tournament to tournament, that's the drive and the ambition".

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