Tactful France see off Belgium to reach Final

Les Bleus booked their place in the World Cup final after edging past European neighbours Belgium 1-0 in the semi-final in St Petersburg.

By SportBrief Reporter

The Frenchmen’s tactical acumen was on show as they managed to outdo a Belgian side rich with attacking talent the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.

Defender Samuel Umtiti scored the winning goal for the 1998 champions in the second half with a towering header from Antoine Griezmann’s corner.

Although Didier Deschamps’ side were on the back foot for large periods of the game, they emerged victorious to reach their third final, having been beaten by Italy on penalties in 2006.

Belgium came through the quarter-finals by impressively beating Brazil, but they were unable to find the equaliser, as Axel Witsel’s powerful, long-range drive was pushed away by Hugo Lloris, who also brilliantly kept out Toby Alderweireld’s turn and shot.

At the final whistle, the France substitutes ran on the pitch to celebrate with the players, while manager Deschamps was mobbed by his staff before dancing around in a circle.

England play Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in the second semi-final on Wednesday to determine who will face France.

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