Published: Sun, July 15, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

France reach World Cup final as Paris erupts

France reach World Cup final as Paris erupts

"That's football!" goes the saying, one that reflects the resigned air of Belgium's Red Devils after France had ended their hopes of glory at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.

In an enthralling, albeit highly tactical rather than incident-packed match, it was once again a set-piece that proved decisive with Umtiti's near-post header from an Antoine Griezmann corner settling matters.

But the worrying factor for Croatia or England is that France still look to have another gear to move into.

Despite chances for both sides, the half-time score remained goalless.France began the second half much stronger than they had the first and they showed yet again how unsafe they are from set-pieces, with Umtiti scoring a header from a corner in the 51 minute. This goal eventually was the only decided the outcome of protivostoit.

"I think the manager deserves a lot of credit because against Argentina and Uruguay, and even [against Belgium], his plan was ideal", he said.

"Unfortunately for us the difference is a dead ball situation", Belgium manager Roberto Martinez told the BBC after the match, adding that his players "gave everything".

Belgium dominated the game with 60% possession and from the outset France sat deep, looking to break on the counter through Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.

English fan causes severe damage to local taxi in U.K. town after England wins World Cup quarterfinals
English fan causes severe damage to local taxi in U.K. town after England wins World Cup quarterfinals

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made a great save in each half, denying the potent Belgian attack of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku the chance to advance the country to its first major final.

Showing attacking intent, alongside De Bruyne.

"The attitude of the players was brilliant and we couldn't ask for anymore". And the images below help illustrate just how incredible a moment it was.

And it worked. France had double the amount of shots to their opponents and eventually won 1-0, with the game's only goal coming from a corner. However, the pair have lambasted France's tactics.

France's objective is one game shy of becoming a reality.

France can begin to prepare for the final at the Luzhniki Stadium, eager to avoid a repeat of 2006 when they were beaten by Italy on penalties in Berlin and the pain of the loss to Portugal on home soil in 2016. We could've come to this stage and froze and not dealt with what France have done in the past.

After his team fell behind, Martinez took off Dembele and pulled De Bruyne back into central midfield, and though Belgium did not get a goal, it controlled the play better and created more chances.

Kerber defeats Williams to win Wimbledon
In a stunning upset, the 7-time Wimbledon champion lost the final to Angelique Kerber of Germany in 2 sets: 6-3, 6-3. When Williams made another mistake to lose the next game, she gestured to her coaching team with a look of despair.

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