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A closer look at France's World Cup victory

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France beat Belgium 1-0 to reach World Cup final - as it happened

© Adrian Dennis, AFP | France's forward Kylian Mbappé (R) celebrates at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between France and Belgium at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 10, 2018.

Video by Selina SYKES , François WIBAUX

Text by Tom WHEELDON

Latest update : 2018-07-11

France beat Belgium 1-0 in Tuesday night's semi-final, with a thanks to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’s heroics and centre-back Samuel Umtiti's 51st-minute header. Follow FRANCE 24's liveblog for game coverage.

Didier Deschamps' team pulled off a remarkable victory over the Belgium team that felled the great favourites Brazil. The grit and commitment with which Samuel Umtiti claimed the ball as he headed the winning goal into the net exemplified the tough, disciplined approach with which Les Bleus prevailed.

They started off the tournament unconvincingly, slogging their way through group stage games that should have been easy. The 4-3 thriller over Argentina was Mbappé's moment, and the entire French team basked in the glow of his talismanic performance. Their 2-0 victory over Uruguay was a quieter affair. They played coolly, clinically, competently, but without a gritty, passionate drive.

But that latter quality showed itself in abundance on Tuesday night. Les Bleus' deep-lying approach absorbed whatever the Belgians threw at them, including the deft passes and runs of De Bruyne, Hazard and Lukaku, the jewels in the crown of Belgium's 'Golden Generation'.

Click on the player below to see how the match unfolded.

Date created : 2018-07-10

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