FRANCE EDGE BELGIUM TO REACH FINAL OF WORLDCUP
France now have the opportunity to win their second World Cup, as they go into their third ever final since 2006,and theyt look like they should be anyone’s first choice for victory regardless of who they play. They were that good last night, very difficult to break down. They reduced Belgium’s previous confidence and verve to rubble. Roberto Martinez has undeniably made this tournament a success, but they couldn’t even make a dent on France. Didier Deschamps’s side were that good, that solid. Running away 1-0 winners
It is not just how they have gradually grown into this tournament, but how they have clearly grown since the pain of Euro 2016 disappointment
The conspicuously joyous celebrations on the final whistle hinted at a team who felt liberated.
They now have the ultimate opportunity to make up for that frustrated lost final against Portugal, by winning football’s greatest prize and proving themselves the greatest international side on the planet, At least for 4 years.
It would be hard to dispute it on last night’s evidence.
France did not just step up, but steel up. An attack as creative and exhilarating as Belgium’s could barely fashion an opening in that defence – let alone a proper chance – after Toby Alderweireld’s 21st-minute shot from a set-piece. Even then, Lloris just illustrated he had elevated his level, too. He offered another fine save to go with that from Martin Caceres’ header in the quarter-final. It was further evidence of just how difficult it was for Belgium. Even when they finally got through France, another obstacle just appeared. Then there was how they increasingly suffocated the spark of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne as the game went on, suffocating the match as a contest, too. They started the match in a manner that suggested it would set fire, only for France to reduce them to a flicker.
This, for all of Deschamps’s flaws, was down to one of his undeniable strengths as a manager. He deserves huge credit for that. He has instilled this side with a solidity way beyond Brazil or any of the other favourites, and it may yet proving the winning of this World Cup. That may not be ironic, but actually be inevitable: a tournament so open could yet be closed out by the one side fully capable of closing out a game.
Samuel Umtiti rising above every Belgian to Nod in the solitary Goal was just a testament of the collective team’s desire to rise above any challenge in the tournament. So Now either England or Croatia await. None of these two Sides will make France worry to much but having come so close to glory once and had it snatched away at the death, you bet those French players will rather die than let any team take their shine again