It was once again a ‘roadblock’ for the Red Devils Belgium in semi’s. Second time in history they have not able to qualify for the finals of FIFA world cup. France reached finals of the 2018 FIFA world cup beating Belgium 1- 0 at the first semi final at Saint Petersburg Stadium in Russia.
Samuel Umtiti awarded with man of the match in the first semi final between Belgium Vs France.
France book their place in their first World Cup Final for 12 years
It is the second defeat for Belgium in world cup Semi finals
In 1986, it was Diego Maradona’s Argentina who made the road block for Belgium from Qualfying for the finals. But in 2018 it was France. It is hard to say France played better than Belgium. Excluding the one goal which was happended at 51′ minute from a set piece corner, both France and Belgium were playing top class football in the first semi final of 2018 FIFA world cup. Lucky was France, the header from Umtiti reached the left side of the Belgium post minutes after second half started.
Watch the full highlgihts of Belgium Vs France (0 -1), first semi final of 2018 FIFA world cup here:
The first half saw chances at either end, with Belgium captain Eden Hazard going close before Hugo Lloris and Thibaut Courtois denied Toby Alderweireld and Benjamin Pavard respectively to ensure the opening period ended all square. At the half way stage both Belgium and France at 0 – 0.
“It was a very tight game, there were not many big moments that were going to decide the game. The difference between the defeat or winning was down to one dead-ball situation, that’s how close the game was. We have to give a lot of credit to the way France defended, even having certain attacking players defending very deep and giving us a lot of respect in that way. We couldn’t find the little bit of magic in front of goal or a little bit of luck at times. But if you’re going to lose a game, I’m so proud of the players – you lose with a lot of effort, giving everything you’ve got, driving until the last second. You have to accept it, congratulate France and wish them well for the Final.” – Roberto Martinez, Belgium coach
Second half started with again floury of attacks at both ends. Having seen the best chances come from defenders, it was apt that a centre-back opened the scoring. After Raphael Varane performed heroics in the quarter-finals against Uruguay, this time it was Umtiti, stealing a march on his marker Marouane Fellaini to meet Antoine Griezmann’s corner at the near post and flick a header beyond Thibaut Courtois. France 1 – 0 Belgium.
The only team who could come back from this situation in this world cup was Belgium. They have done it fearlessly against Japan, but France was too concetrated to defend. Even their strikers Giroud was in defence box to disallow Lukau, Hazard, Bruyne from Scoring. Lukaku got couple of half chances for equalizer. With his standard it should be goals, but the misses were costly for Belgium.
See all goals between France 1 – 0 Belgium first semi final of 2018 FIFA world cup:
- 51′: UMTITI (FRANCE) SCORES!!
- While Raphael Varane may have been the hero in the last round, his centre-back partner in crime Samuel Umtiti could be the game-changer here! He gets away from his marker at the front post and manages to flick his header beyond Thibaut Courtois.
“Their progress is huge. The players today are going to be even stronger in two years’ time and in four years’ time but today they are already competitive. We don’t do everything right but of course there is a progression. I’m very proud of them, I’m very proud of their mentality as well because I know it’s not just that you are playing at a high level that you are going to score goals but with our state of mind we can climb mountains and that’s what we’ve done so far.” – Didier Deschamps, France coach
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