FIFA World Cup 2018: Umtiti on scoresheet as France defeat Belgium by 1-0, progress to final

11 July 2018, 07:45 AM
FIFA World Cup 2018: Umtiti on scoresheet as France defeat Belgium by 1-0, progress to final
FIFA World Cup 2018: Umtiti on scoresheet as France defeat Belgium by 1-0, progress to final

Tournament favourites France have reached the FIFA World Cup 2018 final for the first time since 2006 with a 1-0 win over dark horses Belgium in a semifinal match that attracted presidents, royalty and rock stars on Wednesday at St Petersburg, Russia.

Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti's towering header from the near post in the 51st minute was the only goal of the match in which the Les Bleus overcame the challenge of giant killers Belgium.

Umtiti rose brilliantly to head in Antoine Griezmann's corner, for his first goal of the tournament and what could be one of the most important goals in French football history.

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Didier Deschamps' side were dominated by the Red Devils for large periods of the game, but emerged victorious to reach their third final, having been beaten by Italy on penalties in 2006.

At the full time whistle, the French substitutes ran on the pitch to celebrate with the players, while manager Deschamps was mobbed by his staff before dancing around in a circle.

France, the 1998 champions and runners-up in ‘06, will play the winner of Croatia vs England in Sunday’s final at Moscow. 

England play Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in the second semi-final on Wednesday and the final takes places at the same venue on Sunday.

First Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 01:45 AM
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