France tops Belgium 1-0 to advance to World Cup Final

Jordan Henderson England World Cup

Jordan Henderson England World Cup

Both players are too slow, and too easily caught on the turn, to be the spine of this Belgium side when Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe are the opponents.

France would however march on, progressing to the final for a chance at repeating its 1998 title-winning heroics.

"We're not scared of anyone", Pavard said.

France have no such selection issues and are nearly certain to stick with Stuttgart's Benjamin Pavard at right back after a string of impressive displays from the 22-year-old have made him one of the tournament's stand-out defenders.

France is into the World Cup final after a tense 1-0 win over Belgium in an electric semi-final clash in St Petersburg.

Samuel Umtiti eventually broke the deadlock for Les Bleus five minutes into the second stanza with a glancing header at the near post following a corner, 1-0.

Up in the corporate seats, French President Emmanuel Macron reacted to the goal by shaking the hand of King Philippe of Belgium as Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino watched on between them. Varane, in particular, was outstanding.

"I do not want to denigrate the Belgium team of the time, there were very good players, but at that time, it was France".

'They are a great side and have a fantastic generation of players.

Both sides know what is like to turn results around during the current World Cup campaign. However, things will be far more complicated for France this time around.

And Mbappe was at his best again tonight as he set up what was nearly a sensational goal.

At 19, Mbappe wasn't even born when France won the World Cup for the first and only time with a squad that is just as diverse as the one Deschamps is leading 20 years later.

Kompany looked shaken by Brazil's speed in the second half of the quarter-final, which will give Mbappe confidence. Belgium winger Nacer Chadli has said Spanish coach Roberto Martinez deserved credit for the team's success at the 2018 World Cup. Constant drives from deep and always being involved in the attack, Hazard earned 111.5 points against Tunisia followed by 74.5 points in the round of 16, which goes a way to highlight the winger's ability to affect a game, and therefore he easily walks into this team after a stellar tournament so far. The loser faces Belgium in Saturday's third-place match.

Along with the French and Gabonese presidents and the king and queen of Belgium, there was rock "n" roll royalty watching the game.

Rock superstar Jagger seemed to not be getting much satisfaction when the camera panned into the stands at St. Petersburg Stadium, located on the city's Krestovsky Island, tucked away under a dark cap. The former Everton boss used a four-man back line against Brazil after using a three-man defense for the previous four matches.

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