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France vs Belgium, FIFA World Cup 2018 SF, Highlights: As it Happened

News18.com | July 11, 2018, 2:01 AM IST
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10 Jul 2018 - 23:30 IST - Saint Petersburg Stadium

Semi Final -

FranceFrance
120
1 - 0
BelgiumBelgium
110
Latest update: Samuel Umtiti's goal is enough to take France home against Belgium and to the final.

Catch all the live updates of France vs Belgium from the 2018 FIFA World Cup on News18Sports' Live blog.
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Jul 11, 2018 1:27 am (IST)

That's all for today! Good night folks! 

Jul 11, 2018 1:27 am (IST)

This is France's third final in 20 years, they won the first of the three in Paris 20 years ago and then lost to Italy in 2006. What will happen on Sunday when they play either England or Croatia? 

Jul 11, 2018 1:24 am (IST)

Full time: France - 1 Belgium - 0 

Jul 11, 2018 1:24 am (IST)

France have their eyes on the clock, but Pogba has found Tolisso and he shoots with his left, but Courtois deflects it for a corner. 

Jul 11, 2018 1:23 am (IST)

Varane makes yet another clearance from a Belgian cross after Hazard's mazy run found de Bruyne on the right. Then Vertonghen clunks into Mbappé to concede a daft freekick and a deserved yellow card.

Jul 11, 2018 1:22 am (IST)

Right after that France come back again in attack with Mbappe and Tolisso, but Kompany puts in one big tackle to stop the youngster. 

Jul 11, 2018 1:21 am (IST)

Griezmann has chance to finish it off after Pogba finds him on the edge of the box. But the right footed shot is collected well by Courtois. 

Jul 11, 2018 1:19 am (IST)

Pogba has earned himself a foul near the corner flag and France will take their time with this. Mbappe and Griezmann standing on it. 

Jul 11, 2018 1:18 am (IST)

We are into 6 minutes of stoppage time. Didier Deschamps can't bear to look. 

Jul 11, 2018 1:17 am (IST)

Kevin de Bruyne picks up the ball on the centre line and sends in a peach of a delivery to Lukaku, who can't reach the ball! Talk about service, that was the moment and Lukaku should have done much much better. Does not look like Belgium's day. 

Jul 11, 2018 1:16 am (IST)

Hazard is brought down cynically by Kante and the free-kick in by de Bruyne is headed out by Nzonzi after which Mbappe clears it out towards the center line. 

Jul 11, 2018 1:15 am (IST)

Lukaku has been completely missing today and his midfield has failed to give him good service. 

Jul 11, 2018 1:14 am (IST)

France take Matuidi out and put Tolisso in.

Jul 11, 2018 1:13 am (IST)

France have taken off Olivier Giroud and Nzonzi comes on with five minutes left in the game. 

Jul 11, 2018 1:12 am (IST)

Mertens tries to round Hernandez and deliver yet another great ball but the defender is wise to his game and leads him out of play.

Jul 11, 2018 1:11 am (IST)

Varane stops Hazard with a super tackle but the ball comes out to Witsel, who lets fly from range. It’s a ferocious hit but close to Lloris, who punches it away with both fists.

Jul 11, 2018 1:08 am (IST)

Brilliant run by Hazard down the left, past Pogba. He’s brought down by Giroud at the edge of the box. The ref waves play on, to the disbelief of Hazard and Belgians everywhere!

Jul 11, 2018 1:07 am (IST)

Belgium have had a major chunk of the possession in the game today so far, but France have closed out all avenues apart from Mertens it would seem, who has been putting balls in for fun into the box.

Jul 11, 2018 1:05 am (IST)

So stubborn have been France in their ways of defending their lead that Belgium's attackers are making more errors in passing than they would want to. Hazard and de bruyne both guilty of bad passes, while Mbappe on the other hand is having the time of his life. Quick feet and feints catching Belgium out easily. 

Jul 11, 2018 1:03 am (IST)

Kevin de Bruyne tries to drive and shoot, but the result is like one of Giroud's tries from earlier today - in the stands! 

Jul 11, 2018 1:02 am (IST)

15 minutes left in the game.

Jul 11, 2018 1:02 am (IST)

The way France are protecting their lead is very very impressive. They have been extremely solid and efficient and are like clockwork at the back. Belgium are struggling to find any openings and, at this point, are more likely to concede again on the counter.

Jul 11, 2018 1:00 am (IST)

Belgium need to get something on the Mertens crosses in if they want to make this happen. At the moment, they seem far from an equaliser. Meanwhile, Umtiti has taken a ball awkwardly in the face and has gone down. The Belgian support are booing him quite vociferously. France though will be happy they have broken up the play. 

Jul 11, 2018 12:59 am (IST)

Belgium stroke the ball around for a bit before it comes out to Mertens on the right, and he swings in another fantastic ball into the box, but Pogba heads it out. Belgium's crossing has gone up a few notches since Mertens has come on. 

Jul 11, 2018 12:57 am (IST)

France have been the more accomplished side since half-time and since they have score Kevin de Bruyne has given away the ball a little more than he would have liked – desperately trying to get his side back into this. 20 minutes to go.

Jul 11, 2018 12:55 am (IST)

Stat attack

Umtiti's effort was the 32nd headed goal at this World Cup. The last edition with more was 2002 (35)

The last team to come from behind and win a World Cup semi-final was France, against Croatia in 1998

69 of the 158 goals at Russia 2018 so far have come from set-piece situations

Jul 11, 2018 12:55 am (IST)

Mbappe has been on fire today, he switches play this time to Griezmann on the left with a lovely long diagonal ball. It comes back to Giroud who sends the ball into the stands. 

Jul 11, 2018 12:54 am (IST)

Since coming on Mertens has looked dangerous, and Hazard surprisingly has been kept rather silent so far in the second half. France have gone through the gears and the momentum is with them. 

Jul 11, 2018 12:52 am (IST)

Mertens with another lovely ball into the box from the right, that's punched out emphatically by Lloris. But it's not out of danger, and Mertens swings it in again and Fellaini's header which had pace is just off target. 

Jul 11, 2018 12:49 am (IST)

Big chance for Belgium! Lukaku finds Mertens bombing up the right and the ball in is hastily cleared by Varane, it falls to de Bruyne who will be really disappointed about not having connected on that volley. Half an hour to go now. That was also Mertens' first touch really. 

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France vs Belgium, FIFA World Cup 2018 SF, Highlights: As it Happened
(Image: FIFA)

Preview: Eden Hazard and a brilliant Belgian generation stand between France and a place in the World Cup final as the countries bring their historic rivalry to Tuesday's first semi-final in Saint Petersburg. Not since 1986 have Belgium made it this far at the World Cup, losing to a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina in Mexico and then going down 4-2 to France in the third-place play-off, the last competitive meeting of the nations. In the years since, France have won one World Cup and one European Championship, and lost the 2006 World Cup final. Now, with Kylian Mbappe their new standard-bearer, they are dreaming of getting there again. Belgium disappeared from the forefront of the international scene for years before emerging once more with their current gifted crop. With Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne, they lost in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals and at the same stage at Euro 2016, but under Roberto Martinez in Russia they have already taken an extra step after stunning Brazil in the last eight in Kazan. "They are a great team with a very good generation of players who have been playing together for several years," admitted France striker Olivier Giroud, who plays with Hazard and Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea. "We don't want to have them taking the mickey out of us. There is a big rivalry between France and Belgium, it's like a derby match." Beyond the geographical and linguistic ties, many of these players also know each other intimately from the Premier League. Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku were already close friends before becoming colleagues at Manchester United. But Hazard sums up better than anyone the close links between the nations. Born in the French-speaking part of Belgium, he came through as a player across the border at Lille, and was the outstanding player in the team that won the French league and cup double in 2011 before eventually moving on to Chelsea. Now he is the talisman in a Belgium team who have won all five games in Russia so far and are undefeated in 24 matches, although as a boy he idolised Zinedine Zidane. The French will remember well what happened when the teams last met, with Belgium tearing them apart in a 4-3 friendly win in Paris in June 2015. And the presence of French World Cup winner Thierry Henry on the Belgian coaching staff as one of Martinez's assistants adds extra spice to the occasion. "Of course I would prefer it if he were with us and he were giving me his advice, but we mustn't be jealous," said Giroud. Henry's old international colleague Didier Deschamps has not won over everybody in his time as France coach, as he continues to favour a cautious approach despite being able to call on some of the finest attacking talents in world football. Mbappe, still just 19, has already moved clubs for 180 million euros ($212 million) and the Paris Saint-Germain forward announced himself on the World Cup stage with his brilliant performance in France's 4-3 win over Argentina in the last 16. Deschamps' side were less thrilling, but equally efficient, as they saw off Uruguay in the quarter-finals. They will need to be at their very best defensively against the Belgians, and look to Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann to get the better of the opposition defence. "To do what (Mbappe) is doing at his age, I have never seen that, apart from Messi," said Belgium's Nacer Chadli, scorer of their winning goal against Japan in the last 16. "We came through the Japan game, then we broke down a barrier by beating Brazil. When you beat Brazil you don't fear anyone." Chadli could play as a right wing-back for Belgium in the absence of the suspended Thomas Meunier, with Thomas Vermaelen possibly starting. France welcome back midfielder Blaise Matuidi after suspension.
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