FIFA World Cup: France defeats Belgium to book a place in the final

Samuel Umtiti’s headed goal in the 51st minute put France into their third FIFA World Cup final

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter
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NH Sports Bureau

A header from Samuel Umtiti off an Antoine Griezmann corner in the 51st minute proved to be the only scoring shot of the first semi-final as France defeated Belgium 1-0 to book a final spot.

Belgium, however, put up an inspired show and created a fair share of chances themselves. But the third-ranked side failed to convert chances into scoring shots. France, on the other hand, defended precisely with Varane leading the charge in defence and the French side also looked dangerous on the break with Matuidi and 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe putting up a fine performance for their side. In the added six minutes of time, when Belgium pressed desperately to find a late equaliser, the French side had at least two shots on target but Courtois, the Belgian goalie made some fine saves to deny France from another goal.

Lloris, the French goalkeeper too made some vital saves throughout the match to deny Belgium a goal. In the very 21st minute, it was Lloris’ brilliant save that prevented Belgium from taking a lead when Alderweireled got his shot on target going away from the goalkeeper. Lloris’ diving effort was needed to deny an opening goal for Belgium, which could have proved vital.

France too had many more opportunities, which they wasted, to score another goal in the match. Olivier Giroud in particular messed up several opportunities, so did Belgium’s highest scorer in the tournament Romelu Lukaku.

France will meet the winner of second semi-final between England and Croatia on Sunday in the final of FIFA World Cup 2018, while Belgium will meet the loser of the Wednesday clash in the third place playoff on Saturday.

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