FIFA World Cup 2018 has become a game of twists and turns. Day 25 was another eventful day when two prolific teams played against each other to win a spot in the final. The young and skilled France defeated the golden generation of Belgium in a 1-0 match to reach the final. The European neighbours had come a long way but only one could make its place in the final.
This time, it’s France. Les Bleus have established their proficiency in the game and have a chance of winning the finals against England or Croatia. Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ has had a wonderful journey but suffered a heartbreak in the semi-finals after losing to Les Bleus.
France vs Belgium semi-finals: Belgians largely kept the ball to themselves from the beginning but that did not help them in scoring a goal. France, on the other hand, were on the lookout for the ball in the midst of Belgian possession. The first half ended goalless and in what appeared to be a melee, Belgium’s attempts were advantageous for French who were quick enough to realise the situation.
Kylian Mbappe, who had instilled a fear among the opponents owing to his previous performance was ready to take on the game. He skipped past with ease but last moment tackles by Vincent Kompany and Thibaut Courtois prevented him from scoring. Breaking Mbappe’s pace could’ve been a big advantage for Belgium if they had attacked better.
Belgians cut a poor figure with their deflected kicks. Even after showing defending skills and saving the ball, Belgians could not equalise the only lucky goal by Samuel Umtiti whose timed corner put France in the lead at the 51st minute.
This was Belgium’s second semi-final show and in the previous edition of the World Cup, they had lost in the quarterfinals round. Defeating Brazil came as a major breakthrough for them and the world was highly optimistic of its presence in the finals but the vibes ended soon after the team’s distracted game against France.
France also found a great cooperation from Hugo Lloris who helped Belgium stick to their score of null. Fine saves by goalkeepers from both the sides ensured that the scores did not elevate further. The tournament has put goalkeepers in the limelight, who with their efforts ensured many goalless first halves throughout the tournament. Qualified for the finals, France will take on England or Croatia in the final match scheduled on Sunday, July 15 in Moscow.