The victor of France vs Belgium will take on the victor of tomorrow’s England vs Croatia game.
Long considered the a lesser footballing nation than its neighbor the Netherlands – whose orange-clad teams have reached three World Cup finals and lost them all – this Belgium team has at least dispelled the Dutch shadow.
Samuel Umtiti celebrated France’s 1-0 lead.
I don’t expect either side to sit back and play negative. “I think his heart will be divided tomorrow, because above all he is French and he experienced some great times with the France team”.
“In the beginning of the match I was a bit surprised by such recommendations, and I thought to myself: if we defended against Brazil with only two players, things might get complicated”.
Thousands of delirious French fans celebrated the victory on the Champs-Elysees avenue and at a giant screen viewing area at the town hall in Paris, letting off smoke flares and waving flags. It arrived at this point the tournament with an impressive 2-0 victory over Uruguay in the quarterfinals.
Belgium’s golden generation has come up short at a major tournament.
Eden Hazard has slammed France for their supposed negative tactics during their World Cup semi final win over Belgium.
In a tournament dominated by goals from set pieces, France’s goal came off a corner when Griezmann curled in the ball from the right and Umtiti got in front of tall Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini to knock in his header at the near post. “Probably”, he said. “I have made sure my players are prepared for any scenario at the beginning of the match and during the match if it changes”. Of course, there are no guarantees in the World Cup, especially in 2018.
A Umtiti header found the back of the net on a corner kick 51 minutes in for the match’s lone goal, and he and his fellow defenders kept Belgium from threatening much.
Manager Gareth Southgate said his inexperienced side must look to perform at their “regular level” despite the pressure.
“It wasn’t about having a good tournament and coming “top four” – it was about trying to win it”. Both teams have the strength, speed and determination to be a FIFA World Champion, but only one can take a giant step forward to the finals. However, Deschamps confidently said that everyone would be available for the semi-final. “We weren’t in control two years ago against Argentina”.
Consequently they will be looking to find Mario Mandzukic’s head at every opportunity, which plays into England’s hands.
Croatia defender Dejan Lovren believes his exhausted team are ready to seize the opportunity of a lifetime.
This is the second time the Red Devils have reached the semifinals since 1986. From the beginning I have said that everybody had to keep calm.
“What we didn’t have was worldwide experience, the know-how of winning a World Cup, the know-how of being a footballer expected to perform in front of the world, and knowing how you feel in those moments”.