France will play in the FIFA World Cup 2018 final for the first time since 2006 after beating Belgium 1-0, thanks to a header from Samuel Umtiti.
France will face either Croatia or England in the final of the World Cup in Russia on Sunday (July 15th).
Both sides, France and Belgium, had plenty of chances, with France taking 19 shots to Belgium’s nine. But only Umtiti’s 51st-minute header following Antoine Griezmann’s corner found the back of the net.
Kylian Mbappe surged forward inside the first ten seconds and crossed low for Griezmann. But the forward failed to get on the end of it, and Belgium cleared.
Deschamps’ men were careless in possession, and Belgium almost went ahead. Kevin De Bruyne chipped a pass to Hazard who blasted a low shot just past the post.
Then, moments later, at the other end, Hazard’s goalbound shot was flicked over the bar by the retreating Raphael Varane. Belgium were pushing for a goal and the one-time WC winner had to rely on a brilliant stop from Hugo Lloris.
Umtiti was the next France player to save a particular goal. De Bruyne’s cross squeezed through and the defender hacked clear from inside his six-yard box. After Belgium’s early pressure, it was France pushing harder, as half-time approached.
Lukaku had the first chance of the second half. Axel Witsel put in a fine cross, but the Manchester United striker could not direct his header on target. And, Belgium were made to pay on 51 minutes. Umtiti leaped ahead of Marouane Fellaini at a corner to head home from Griezmann’s delivery.
Mbappe’s incredible backheel then put Giroud clear on goal, but Mousa Dembele well blocked the striker’s effort. Six minutes of injury time provided Belgium with hope, but France ran the clock down and almost made it 2-0.
Courtois well saved Griezmann and Corentin Tolisso’s shots. In the end, Umtiti’s goal was enough to secure a place for the French side in the Moscow final.
FT: France 1-0 Belgium
Samuel Umtiti 51′