France reach World Cup final with win vs Belgium
France is back in the World Cup final atfer 2006 with a 1-0 win over Belgium in a semifinal match Samuel Umtiti's header in the 51st minute was the only goal in a tense match at St. Petersburg.
France, the 1998 champions and runners-up in '06, will play either Croatia or England in Sunday's final at Moscow. England and Croatia will meet Wednesday in Moscow in the second semifinal.
France edged Belgium in St Petersburg to reach their third World Cup final in 20 years as Belgium's 24-game unbeaten streak came to an end.
Belgium came into the game as the tournament's top scorers, boasting a 100 per cent record after five games in Russia. Head coach Roberto Martinez was forced to make changes from their quarter-final win over Brazil, with Tottenham's Mousa Dembele a surprise pick to replace the suspended Thomas Meunier.
Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli were rewarded for impressive performances in Belgium's win over Brazil with starting berths on Tuesday night.
PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi was restored to the France midfield.
Belgium began the brighter of the two sides in what was a cagey opening 15 minutes.
France found themselves camped in their own half as Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne enjoying plenty of touches of the ball.
France President Emmanuel Macron and King Philippe of Belgium shook hands in the VIP section before the match. Mick Jagger was also on the official list of guests.
Umtiti has been given the official man of the match award, presumably because his goal edged ahead of other contenders, most notably Varane, Matuidi, Kanté and Mbappé.