Pre-tournament favourites and 1998 World Cup champion France has made it to the final of the FIFA World Cup 2018 by defeating its continental neighbours Belgium by a solitary second half goal on Tuesday.
Les Bleus, as the French are known in the world of soccer, are into the World Cup final, leaving Belgium’s golden generation to compete for bronze! Umtiti’s goal from a set-piece, and France’s excellent defending, were the diffrence between the sides the first semi-final.
The win, third for France in as many matches of World Cup against Belgium, thus deprived its continental rival its maiden entry to the final of the prestigious soccer event.
Other than World Cup matches, both France and Belgium have played each other 74 times before in which France won 24 times and Belgium 30 times with remaining 19 games ending in draws. But Belgium has never won against France in any World Cup encounter starting with 1938 when it lost 1-3 in the first round and again in 1986 in the match for third and fourth place.
For Belgium it was its second semi-final in the history of World Cup. The last time it played semi-final was in 1986 when it lost to the ultimate winner Argentina.
Today, the game witnessed some excellent soccer as both sides had their fair amount of chances.
After a barren first half, it was Umtiti, who had packed a surprise with his low header of a corner taken by Griezmann in the 51st minute.Umtiti the became the fifth French player to score in this World Cup. Incidentally it was his third international goal.
Belgium players, the under dogs, were all disappointment as best of their effort could not get past the French. The French also owe their success to a brilliant save by their goalkeeper Lloris of Romelu Lukaku.
France now await the winner of the second semi-final between England and Croatia for the title clash on July 15.