'One set play the difference', beomans Belgium's Martinez

11 July, 2018, 12:30 | Author: Kenneth Collins
  • 27-year-old looks like a man on a mission to bring the WC trophy for the first time in the country’s history

But with their King Philippe watching from the stands, there was to be no coronation.

The first semi-final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup takes place on Tuesday, with France and Belgium set to clash at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Russian Federation.

"I anticipated well and I thought it was an extremely good cross from the set piece so it made it easier for me".

Where and how to catch the live stream of France vs Belgium match?

Belgium were pushing for a goal and France had to rely on a brilliant stop from Hugo Lloris after his Tottenham teammate Toby Alderweireld somehow got a shot off after a corner that was travelling into the top corner.

He has not tasted defeat in a competitive game as Belgium boss, his last loss in a non-friendly match the Toffees' 3-0 defeat by Sunderland in May 2016.

France coach Didier Deschamps has faced some criticism for being too pragmatic and functional despite having so many stars in his squad, but the organization of the team was superb and Belgium was largely restricted to only minor chances as time wound down.

They managed to shut out Belgium after that and will now face either England or Croatia in Moscow's Luzhniki stadium on Sunday. 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.

"Generations. Who talks about generations?" Mertens nearly had an immediate impact as his cross was headed skywards by Varane and De Bruyne missed his kick when coming in to hit a volley.

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"Finals have to be won because we have still not got over the one we lost two years ago", said Deschamps.

"On paper, statistically we are a better team", Oleffe said of Belgium, and the numbers do seem to back him up.

Six minutes into the second half, France had their lead.

The loss saw Belgium miss out on reaching a first World Cup final, but they can still better their fourth-place finish of 1986.

Mbappe, Hazard and Neymar were identified as the most likely targets and after his performance in the World Cup semi-final, the exceptional French youngster seems like the ideal fit for Ronaldo's shoes. It allows the country to be more ambitious and believe in its own talent.

"There is still one more step to take, but we are proud of what we have done".

Martinez didn't talk about the end of an era, but he was already looking to the future after the match. We've never been in such a situation, and that's why we need our team spirit more than ever against France. "From tournament to tournament, that's the drive and the ambition".

Asked what Macron said, Mbappe replied: "President Macron said that he would see us in the semifinals, and that he was going to come back to see us with the World Cup".

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