Umtiti header sends streetwise France into World Cup final

Thierry Henry

Now, with well-orchestrated teamwork, the "golden generation" is determined to fight for the championship. If their was any executions on the day - it would be by the hands of the Red Devils.

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.

In the quarterfinals, Belgium stunned Brazil on the back of an attack whose reputation was years in the making. This allowed De Bruyne to dominate the number ten zone (by dropping into it, rather than hover there, which is easier to mark) and Lukaku to arc into the centre-forward spaces left when De Bruyne vacated (and pulled centre-backs with him).

After a cagey opening, Paul Pogba's ball over the top nearly created an opportunity in the box for Mbappe before the same combination a few minutes later saw Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois forced to race out and smother a throughball before Mbappe could get on the end of it.

France will counter with an extremely talented lineup including emerging 19 year-old star Kylian Mbappe leading the way.

The substitute offered a threat from Belgium's right wing too, with one teasing cross from the flank seeing Fellaini narrowly miss the target with a header as he looked to make amends for his part in the opener.

'I think the attitude and commitment of the players was magnificent.

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With so many technically skilled players on both sides, expect a physical match.

"We've strived to be as good as we could be at worldwide level and it's taken us two years to get there". Sign up for our month-long newsletter. Zidane was sent off in what was his final match.

"I feel an enormous amount of pride", Umtiti told Fox Sports after the match. As for France, they will meet either Croatia or England in Monday morning's (Singapore time) in Moscow. The French won that game 4-2. This means that the club will have at least one representative in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.

He is now trying to minimise potential distractions as his young team prepare to take the next step in their bid to repeat their World Cup triumph at home 52 years ago. The Guardian's Martin Laurence seemingly went against the grain, however, and predicted a 2-1 win for Belgium.

In our more comprehensive guide for how to watch the World Cup 2018 for free, we covered all of the strategies for live streaming games.

Federation Internationale de Football Association world ranking: 3. If there is a blot on their campaign, it has to be how Romelu Lukaku failed to make any dents on France given his hot scoring form in the group stage.

Once in front, France had even more space to exploit Mbappe's pace, but it was a majestic piece of skill that almost created a second with a backheel that again freed Giroud only for Mousa Dembele to block.

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