France reach World Cup final as Samuel Umtiti goal beats Belgium
France 1 - 0 Belgium

France reach World Cup final as Samuel Umtiti goal beats Belgium

10/07/2018

France will play in the World Cup final for the first time since 2006 after beating Belgium 1-0 thanks to a goal from Samuel Umtiti in St Petersburg on Tuesday evening.

Kylian Mbappe surged forward inside the first 10 seconds and crossed low for Antoine Griezmann, but the forward failed to get on the end of it and Belgium cleared.

Belgium threatened down the flanks and Eden Hazard put in a dangerous cross which was turned behind by Umtiti -- though the resulting corner was wasted by Nacer Chadli, playing in an unfamiliar right-back role.

After a cagey opening, Paul Pogba's ball over the top almost created an opportunity in the box for Mbappe before the same combination a few minutes later saw Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois forced to race out and smother a throughball before Mbappe could get on the end of it.

France were careless in possession and Belgium almost went ahead as Kevin De Bruyne chipped a pass to Hazard who blasted a low shot just past the post.

An even match then saw Blaise Matuidi fire in a shot on 18 minutes but Courtois was grateful that it was straight at him. 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 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.

Umtiti was the next France player to save a certain goal as De Bruyne's cross squeezed through and the defender hacked clear from inside his own six-yard box with Belgium players lining up to slot it into the net.

France still threatened at the other end though. On 30 minutes, Olivier Giroud tried a header that flew wide of the post before Griezmann opened up some space and blasted the ball well over the bar.

Giroud then had another great chance as Mbappe cushioned a long ball across the area, only for the striker to fluff his shot under pressure from Alderweireld.

After Belgium's early pressure, it was France pushing harder as half-time approached. Benjamin Pavard was slipped through by a fine Mbappe ball, but Courtois stuck out a leg and deflected his shot wide.

There was still time for Umtiti to miskick and almost let in Romelu Lukaku, but somehow the teams went into the break tied at 0-0.

Lukaku had the first chance of the second half as 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 as 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 the striker's effort was well blocked by Mousa Dembele. It was one of Dembele's last acts as Dries Mertens came on for the midfielder as Belgium chased an equaliser. Mertens almost 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.

Fellaini's header whistled past the post before Giroud skied another effort.

France sat back and looked to use the pace Mbappe on the counter attack but were almost caught out as Hazard forced a wonderful tackle from Varane and Lloris had to beat away a vicious shot on the followup from Witsel.

Matuidi suffered a head injury after a collision with Hazard and had to be withdrawn, before De Bruyne's stunning pass floated just too long for Lukaku to put a finishing touch to.

Six minutes of injury time provided Belgium with hope but France ran the clock down and almost made it 2-0 as Griezmann and then Corentin Tolisso's shots were well saved by Courtois. In the end, Umtiti's goal was enough to secure a place in the Moscow final and a meeting with either England or Croatia on Sunday.

Related news

Controversy and class help France beat Croatia in remarkable World Cup final

Controversy and class help France beat Croatia in remarkable World Cup final

France won their second World Cup on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Croatia, with Didier Deschamps becoming the third person to win the trophy as a player and a manager.

Belgium claim third place in World Cup with victory over England

Belgium claim third place in World Cup with victory over England

Thomas Meunier scored in the opening minutes and Eden Hazard added a goal late as Belgium defeated England 2-0 in the World Cup's third-place game in St. Petersburg.

Croatia beat England in extra time to reach World Cup final after Mandzukic goal

Croatia beat England in extra time to reach World Cup final after Mandzukic goal

Croatia will take on France in the World Cup final -- their first ever appearance in one -- after beating England 2-1 in extra time in Moscow thanks to a Mario Mandzukic goal.

Croatia oust Russia in another shootout to reach World Cup semifinals

Croatia oust Russia in another shootout to reach World Cup semifinals

Croatia won a second consecutive penalty shootout 4-3 to advance to the World Cup semifinals, ending the tournament for hosts Russia, who had equalised late in extra time.

England reach World Cup semifinal thanks to Harry Maguire and Dele Alli

England reach World Cup semifinal thanks to Harry Maguire and Dele Alli

England have reached their first World Cup semifinal since 1990 after goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli secured a 2-0 victory over Sweden in Samara.

De Bruyne fires Belgium past Brazil and into semi-finals

De Bruyne fires Belgium past Brazil and into semi-finals

Belgium blew away Brazil to claim a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup, with an own goal from Fernandinho and a strike from Kevin De Bruyne giving them a 2-1 win.

France beat Uruguay to reach World Cup semis as Varane, Griezmann strike

France beat Uruguay to reach World Cup semis as Varane, Griezmann strike

France reached the World Cup semifinals after a relatively straightforward win over Uruguay courtesy of goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.

England eliminate Colombia on penalties, reach first quarterfinal since 2006

England eliminate Colombia on penalties, reach first quarterfinal since 2006

England advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Colombia on a dramatic evening in Moscow on Tuesday.

RELATED NEWS

Controversy and class help France beat Croatia in remarkable World Cup final
France 4 - 2 Croatia

Controversy and class help France beat Croatia in remarkable World Cup final

France won their second World Cup on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Croatia, with Didier Deschamps becoming the third person to win the trophy as a player and a manager.

Belgium claim third place in World Cup with victory over England
Belgium 2 - 0 England

Belgium claim third place in World Cup with victory over England

Thomas Meunier scored in the opening minutes and Eden Hazard added a goal late as Belgium defeated England 2-0 in the World Cup's third-place game in St. Petersburg.

Croatia beat England in extra time to reach World Cup final after Mandzukic goal
Croatia 2 - 1 (AET) England

Croatia beat England in extra time to reach World Cup final after Mandzukic goal

Croatia will take on France in the World Cup final -- their first ever appearance in one -- after beating England 2-1 in extra time in Moscow thanks to a Mario Mandzukic goal.

Croatia oust Russia in another shootout to reach World Cup semifinals
Russia 2 - 2 (3-4 a.p.) Croatia

Croatia oust Russia in another shootout to reach World Cup semifinals

Croatia won a second consecutive penalty shootout 4-3 to advance to the World Cup semifinals, ending the tournament for hosts Russia, who had equalised late in extra time.

England reach World Cup semifinal thanks to Harry Maguire and Dele Alli
Sweeden 0 - 2 England

England reach World Cup semifinal thanks to Harry Maguire and Dele Alli

England have reached their first World Cup semifinal since 1990 after goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli secured a 2-0 victory over Sweden in Samara.

De Bruyne fires Belgium past Brazil and into semi-finals
Brazil 1 - 2 Belgium

De Bruyne fires Belgium past Brazil and into semi-finals

Belgium blew away Brazil to claim a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup, with an own goal from Fernandinho and a strike from Kevin De Bruyne giving them a 2-1 win.

France beat Uruguay to reach World Cup semis as Varane, Griezmann strike
Uruguay 0 - 2 France

France beat Uruguay to reach World Cup semis as Varane, Griezmann strike

France reached the World Cup semifinals after a relatively straightforward win over Uruguay courtesy of goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.

England eliminate Colombia on penalties, reach first quarterfinal since 2006
Colombia 1 - 1 (3-4 a.p.) England

England eliminate Colombia on penalties, reach first quarterfinal since 2006

England advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Colombia on a dramatic evening in Moscow on Tuesday.

DERBY OF THE WEEK
Tottenham Hotspur - Chelsea
Derby of the week
17:30
24/11/2018
Derby of the week
W 2.60    
   W 2.62
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
12-11-2018 13:30 and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores