Sports

Deschamps lives in present as France reach World Cup final

Deschamps lives in present as France reach World Cup final

Samuel Umtiti broke through in the 51st minute, and France held on to defeat Belgium 1-0, sending Les Bleus to the World Cup final.

"It was a frustrating match".

It was a sea of red, black and yellow, as about 150 people gathered at the Belgian Embassy in the Capital to support Belgium as they played neighbour France in the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup.

"It's me that scored", Umtiti said, "but we all delivered a big game".

Boasting an impressive combination of experience and youthful zest, they controlled their quarter-final against Uruguay, running out comfortable 2-0 winners. More important than that, however, is how Deschamps has convinced these two to not only sublimate their own impressive talents for the good of the side, but he has convinced that the one role in the side free of much defensive responsibility go to the squad's youngest member, Mbappé.

The lost left Chelsea star Hazard with a somewhat bitter taste in his mouth at full-time.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said luck was against his side."It was a very tight game". France earned one corner less than Belgium, but converted a curler from free kick specialist Antoine Griezmann for the only goal of the match.

Nearly as if in a state of denial, the players took their frustration out on the France side, first on the field-there were plenty of fouls, squabbles and bookings towards the end-then in their post-match comments.

Samuel Umtiti's second-half header was all Didier Deschamps' men required to qualify for their third final at the global football fiesta since 2006 edition which they lost 5-3 on penalties to Italy.

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Belgium had last reached the final four 32 years ago, and had never beaten Les Bleus in their two previous World Cup meetings.

Martinez introduced an extra attacker in Dries Mertens in an attempt to turn the tide and he almost had an immediate impact as his cross was headed inches wide by Marouane Fellaini.

Belgium had won all five matches in Russian Federation coming into their meeting with the French, and had scored 14 goals in the process.

"There wasn't a lot said in the dressing room after the loss, because there was a lot of sadness", Hazard said.

"We could easily have frozen".

Eden Hazard was also scathing of the French in the post-match press conference claiming that he would rather lose with Belgium than win with France. He went on, "We wanted to play 7 matches here, and we will do so".

"Would I want to win as a part of the France team?"

Kevin De Bruyne later added fuel to the fire.

Throughout this World Cup, if there's one criticism we've heard directed at France, it's that it hasn't looked overly impressive, despite winning five of its six matches and drawing the other. We need to look at the younger generations, but we have the drive and ambition. "For Belgian football I think eventually there will still be an opportunity to do well". "This is common ammonia, which is moistened in cotton wool and breathed in", said Bezuglov to Sport.ru. "It is their right to play like that. but it is not nice to see". I play against teams that play so defensively 90 per cent of the time.


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    We will enjoy this game and hopefully we can make history". "If you're asking me a question in a one-off final can we do it?" France and Belgium are two attractive, entertaining sides with big names lining up on both ends of the field.