France beat Belgium's 'golden generation' to reach World Cup final

France Belgium graphic

"Vive la France! Vive la Republique!"

When asked to make a prediction, Debregeas confidently called for a 1-0 victory for France. "We worked hard defensively, we needed to take advantage a bit more in the counter-attacks but congratulations to my players and my staff", he said.

The World Cup is now France's to lose. They did what was demanded of them and that proves they're team meant to be in the final four.

France and Belgium went into halftime drawing 0-0 in an entertaining first World Cup semi-final on Tuesday, with both teams creating half chances but neither able to break the deadlock. "It was so painful two years ago we have to savor it".

And the presence of French World Cup victor Thierry Henry on the Belgian coaching staff as one of Martinez's assistants adds extra spice to the occasion.

Olivier Debregeas predicts France will beat Belgium 1-0.

France also have a good record over Belgium at major tournaments as they have won all three previous meetings.

At 21 minutes in Belgium took a corner which fell to Tottenham Hotspur's Toby Alderweireld, who swiftly turned to take his shot leading to a superb save from French keeper and Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris.

King Philippe of Belgium, President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and Belgium Foreign Minister, Didier Reyndersall, were in attendance and enjoying each other's company up in the VIP box.

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"The game was very close, very tight", Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said following the match.

There is no question we are about to witness a very open game.

Belgium are out of the World Cup.

You can stream every World Cup match on fuboTV (Try for free).

Yet while Hazard - Belgium's captain - faded after a strong opening 30 minutes, Mbappe was a constant threat.

Matuidi suffered a head injury after a collision with Hazard and had to be withdrawn, before De Bruyne's stunning pass floated just too long for Lukaku to put a finishing touch to. It's the third time France has reached the final in the last six World Cups.

"It's a pure pleasure to see these players grow", Deschamps said, "and never give up".

Belgium's beaten players did not want to talk about the end of an era _ not with stars like 27-year-old De Bruyne, 26-year-old Courtois and 25-year-old Lukaku in the team and more coming through the youth ranks. The match kicks-off at 20:00 hrs (BST) at Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg. The Rolling Stones frontman is a big soccer fan, having attended the World Cup final in Brazil in 2014 as well as many England games.

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