Fans celebrate France's World Cup semi-final win

Getty Images

Getty Images

The match opened up towards the hour-mark as France were finding big spaces left behind by Belgium who were eager to find the equaliser.

Meanwhile, Martinez, who, it should be noted, is on the same staff with Henry, said that when he signed up to succeed Marc Wilmots after Belgium's quarterfinal clunk of Euro 2016, his staff of 12 years lacked only what Henry has brought.

Belgian citizen Gregory Oleffe says Belgium is statistically a better team than France. Even though France has a young team, they also have a very experienced player on the team, the goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris.

A Umtiti header found the back of the net on a corner kick 51 minutes in for the match's lone goal, and he and his fellow defenders kept Belgium from threatening much.

At the final whistle, the France bench erupted onto the field and the players broke into dance. "Of course, it is a hard situation, it really is not easy for him", said Deschamps. In 2006, they were beaten in a penalty shootout by Italy in a World Cup final that was overshadowed by Zidane headbutting opposing player Marco Materazzi in the chest in extra time. Yes I scored the goal but tonight we delivered a huge match. They come in to the match on the back of an impressive, if somewhat nervy, victory over Brazil in the last round and the Spanish boss believes their preparations are starting to pay off.

Asked what Macron, who had been in the stands, said, he replied: "He said he would come back for the final, to see us with the Cup". His two goals against La Albiceleste had the BBC making Pele comparisons.

People cheer and wave French flags as they gather at a fan zone in Paris on July 10, 2018 to watch the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between France and Belgium.

"But he did know that from the time he became an assistant to Martinez. That's the quality that he has".

Beaten finalists at Euro 2016 on home soil, France will aim to go one better in Russian Federation and emulate the successful squad of 1998 which included Didier Deschamps, who could emulate Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer by winning the World Cup as both a player and manager.

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

"Belgium played a great game against Brazil with a specific game plan".

"Will they do something similar for us?"

The Barcelona man's 51st-minute winning header made him the third French defender to score at this tournament.

Previous results: In group play, defeated Australia, 2-1; defeated Peru, 1-0; tied Denmark, 0-0.

"I have three (Belgium) players in Tottenham", Lloris said, "and I get along extremely well with them".

Lloris was strong when called upon in the second half, after Umtiti's header had tilted the scales in France's favor, and Les Bleus will go in search of their second title on Sunday in Moscow against either England or Croatia.

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