live

Highlights, France vs Belgium, FIFA World Cup 2018, Semi-final 1 at Saint Petersburg: France win to reach final

France meet neighbours Belgium in the semi-finals of the World Cup on Tuesday. Follow our live blog for scores and updates from Russia.

FP Sports July 10, 2018 11:43:05 IST
Auto refresh feeds
Highlights, France vs Belgium, FIFA World Cup 2018, Semi-final 1 at Saint Petersburg: France win to reach final

Highlights

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

July 11, 2018 - 01:56 (IST)

So that's all for today. So one team that will compete in the final of the FIFA World Cup 2018 has been decided. France will take on either the winners between England and Croatia. Belgium might have deserved to have more from their campaign but today, France deserved to go. They got the goal and then organised themselves to ensure Belgium are frustrated till the end. 

Some big players like Romelu Lukaku went missing today. Hazard and De Bruyne did well but it was just not enough. 

We will be back with tomorrow's second semi-final. So have a good day! 

July 11, 2018 - 01:42 (IST)

Stats from the match!

July 11, 2018 - 01:36 (IST)

Magnificent Mbappe

July 11, 2018 - 01:33 (IST)

FRA 1-0 BEL

Mbappe was superb tonight; the rest of the French team a bit less flamboyant, but Deschamps won't mind - all he desire is victory. He is one step away from eternal glory, 20 years after he won the World Cup as a player. At the time Les Bleus faced Brazil and won 3-0 thanks to a double header from Zidane. On Sunday, they will meet the English, spearheaded by Gareth Southgate, founder of the Order of the Navy Waistcoat, and Harry Kane, or Croatia, who hopes rest with Modric in the midfield. It should be a cracking semi-final tomorrow.

From us here in St Petersburg, it is good night!

July 11, 2018 - 01:30 (IST)

Well done! 

July 11, 2018 - 01:29 (IST)

FULL-TIME! FRA 1-0 BEL

And that’s it! French players storm the pitch. Deschamps is dancing and Griezmann is in tears. Scenes of delirium: France will play the World Cup final on Sunday against the winner of tomorrow’s semi-final between England and Croatia. Axel Witsel looks utterly dejected. Ultimately, his team didn’t do enough to trouble a well-organised France. Belgium’s golden generation is just that - golden but not victorious. They reached the semis, but ultimately are not world beaters. Umtiti’s goal and France vintage defending was the difference between the two sides in a semi-final that won’t go down as a classic.

July 11, 2018 - 01:25 (IST)

FULL-TIME! FRA 1-0 BEL

France are through to the World Cup final. Umtiti's second-half goal gets the job done for France. 

Heartbreak for Belgium's golden generation.

 

July 11, 2018 - 01:23 (IST)

90+5' FRA 1-0 BEL

How many saves from Courtois? He pulls off another one to deny Tolisso. 

July 11, 2018 - 01:22 (IST)

90+4' FRA 1-0 BEL

Two nominal strikers for Belgium now. It's the final throw of the dice. They have two minutes left. At the other end, Griezmann should have done better. France trying to run down the clock with a lot of time-wasting.

July 11, 2018 - 01:20 (IST)

90+2' FRA 1-0 BEL

Chance for Griezmann to finish the game off but Courtois saves it. 

Preview: France look to return to the final of the World Cup for the first time since 2006, while Belgium look to confirm the promise of their 'golden generation' and reach the final for the first time.

The Belgians have won all five of their matches in Russia, scoring 14 goals and leaving Brazil and Japan by the wayside. In the quarter-final against Brazil they showed their adaptability and in the last-16 they showed their resilience by fighting back from 0-2 down against the Japanese.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has shown that he can make changes to his system, using a 4-3-2-1 for most of the tournament, but adapting to a 4-3-3 to exploit Brazil's weaknesses down the flanks.

Highlights France vs Belgium FIFA World Cup 2018 Semifinal 1 at Saint Petersburg France win to reach final

France and Belgium will battle for a place in the FIFA World Cup final. AP

Martinez has succeeded where his predecessors failed by making the team greater than the sum of its parts. The Spaniard has shown great tactical pragmatism by setting up his side to suit the characteristics of his best players and exploit the weakness of opponents. This was exemplified in the team's 2-1 quarter-final victory over Brazil, when Kevin De Bruyne was deployed as a false nine while Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard where pulled wide.

It remains to be seen what system he will use against a French side that is rock solid in midfield. One change forced on Martinez is at right back where he will have to find a replacement for the suspended Thomas Meunier. Celtic's Dedryck Boyata may feature as a right-back.

Martinez dropped forward Dries Mertens against Brazil and fielded Nacer Chadli, who had scored the injury-time winning goal against Japan. Other midfield options include Marouane Fellaini, Axel Witsel and Yannick Carrasco.

The French drew one group game (against Denmark), but their World Cup has been one of constant progression built around goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, central defenders Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti and midfielders, N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba.

Olivier Giroud provides a focal point in attack. Add to that the pace of Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, who will also drop back to help in the middle and Didier Deschamps has a team without any apparent weaknesses.

If Belgium persist with three central defenders, Deschamps will look to full-backs Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard to push forward and look to exploit spaces between the Belgian defensive trio of Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

France will have to be wary of Eden Hazard and De Bruyne's pace on the break. Martinez and his players have already shown they can change their formation depending on their rivals and Tuesday promises to be an absorbing tactical battle.

With inputs from agencies

Click here for full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018

Click here to view the full schedule of FIFA World Cup 2018

Updated Date:

also read

Champions League: Manchester City put faith in collective strength to blunt PSG's star power
Sports

Champions League: Manchester City put faith in collective strength to blunt PSG's star power

Backed by Abu Dhabi ownership, City and Qatari-owned PSG have often been compared for the manner in which they have changed the face of European football over the past decade.

Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain's star quality gives Pep Guardiola sleepless nights
Sports

Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain's star quality gives Pep Guardiola sleepless nights

Pep Guardiola knows Brazil forward Neymar and France striker Kylian Mbappe pose a serious threat to his hopes of leading Manchester City to their first Champions League final.

Champions League: Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois finally feeling at home ahead of awkward return to Chelsea
Sports

Champions League: Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois finally feeling at home ahead of awkward return to Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois has against all the odds became one of Real Madrid's best signings in years.