Umtiti heads France into the Final

27-year-old looks like a man on a mission to bring the WC trophy for the first time in the country’s history

27-year-old looks like a man on a mission to bring the WC trophy for the first time in the country’s history

The game will feature plenty of talented attackers and has the potential to be one of the most exciting games of the competition.

France will face either Croatia or England in Sunday's championship game at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

The team continued playing its passing game while France sat deep, wary of the Belgian pace that has destroyed many an opponent.

The irony that a player who scored 51 goals in 123 global appearances and helped France become world and European champions is now plotting to stop them reaching the final in Russian Federation is not lost on the current French team.

There's always been a degree of friendly tension between the two, with France regarding Belgium, and its French-speaking Wallonia region, as something of a poor cousin, while the Belgians often dismiss France as patronizing and faux-superior.

"Against Uruguay (in the quarter-finals) they scored with a free-kick and a goalkeeping error". Croatia, who boast Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic in a strong midfield, emerged through extra-time and spot-kicks against Denmark before going through the same ordeal again against Russian Federation in Saturday's quarter-final.

Speaking to the BBC after the defeat, boss Roberto Martinez was slightly more pragmatic about the exit and focused on his side finishing with a flourish in Saturday's third-placed play-off.

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Belgium will depend upon Martinez's match awareness, Henry's experience as a French legend and the ability of their players to overcome a strong French side in the first semi-final. "They played a great game against Brazil with a specific game plan", said the 49-year-old Deschamps. Samuel Umtiti headed in a corner swung in by Antoine Griezmann in the 51st-minute to give France the lead.

France's record global goalscorer Thierry Henry will be presented with an awkward situation when his nation takes on neighbours Belgium, his current employers, in Tuesday's highly anticipated FIFA World Cup semi-final.

Mbappe starred as France beat Belgium 1-0 in Wednesday's World Cup semi-final, booking a spot against either England or Croatia, creating a great chance for Olivier Giroud with a wonderful backheel pass.

The European heavyweights went blow-for-blow in a largely tactical game, but it was Les Bleus who captialised on their chances to book their 2018 World Cup final berth.

The Chelsea star interchanged positions with Kevin de Bruyne in the opening minutes and the French backline scrambled to negotiate the incoming raids.

France reached the quarterfinals at the 2014 World Cup and was knocked out in the group stage at the 2010 World Cup. Hazard again went close in the 19th minute but his drive, heading for the top left corner was diverted over by Raphael Varane's head. Lukaku had just 22 touches of the ball. Belgium brought on the likes of Dries Mertens and loaded the box. The Red Devils have equaled their best World Cup in history - they also reached the semi-finals in Mexico 1986 - but now the team wants more.

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