France vs. Belgium final score, recap

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Le Blues should have been ahead five minutes before the break when Mbappe slipped Pavard through on goal but Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois produced a stunning save to deny the full-back from close range.

France's fans sang in the stands long past the end of the match, surrounded by yellow-clad security.

It had been suggested that France needed to step up a level in quality if they were to get past the Belgians and they did just that. The team will take the victor of England or Croatia in the final, with those two playing on Wednesday.

"Vive la France! Vive la Republique!"

Some football fans in Lafia say they foresee Thierry Henry, a French national and assistant coach of Belgian National Football team team, finding himself in a dilemma as France and Belgium lock horns Tuesday in one of the semi final encounters in the ongoing FIFA World Cup competition in Russian Federation.

Kylian Mbappe has been the wonderkid that has lit up the tournament so far.

If they win, Belgium will mark their first World Cup final. Zidane was sent off in what was his final match.

France will start the semi-final in Saint Petersburg as favourites, with an impressive mix of youth and experience allied to tournament nous after they reached the Euro 2016 final.

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Not particularly noticeable during games, Henry is rarely seen next to Martinez or his No 2 Graham Jones in the technical area. Belgium enters with its much-lauded "golden generation" but a spotty history of missed tournaments and early exits.

"We worked hard defensively, we needed to take advantage a bit more in the counter-attacks but congratulations to my players and my staff", he said.

King Philippe of Belgium, President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and Belgium Foreign Minister, Didier Reyndersall, were in attendance and enjoying each other's company up in the VIP box.

Yet for all the fizz and sparkle of the attacking talents on display at St Petersburg, it was set-piece goal from centre-back Samuel Umtiti which set France on its way to a first World Cup final since 2006.

For France, N'Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud have been crucial thus far and are both are expected to feature in the semi-final. Varane, in particular, was outstanding.

England boss Gareth Southgate has told his players they can be bigger heroes even than the generation of 1966, which featured Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton. As France captain, Deschamps won soccer's most prized trophy in 1998.

For the fifth time in World Cup history, the semi-finals will be an all-European affair. Roberto Martinez's team was held to just three shots on frame. His first touch was after 10 seconds and, after receiving the ball on the right wing, he sped past Jan Vertonghen and then Mousa Dembele in a thrilling run.

"We showed character and mentality, it was very hard for us tonight". It is the ability of Belgium to quickly transfer from defence to attack that France will be most wary of and Lukaku is likely to face heavy scrutiny from Varane and Co.

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