Belgium coach Martinez laments lack of magic

16 July, 2018, 07:00 | Author: Alyssa Little
  • 2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: France vs Belgium

Whereas France played on the counterattack against Belgium and in their 4-3 last-16 win over Argentina, when they had just 40 and 41 percent of possession respectively, Deschamps' side sought to control the ball in their 2-0 quarter-final victory over Uruguay and enjoyed 58 percent of possession.

"You have to accept it, congratulate France and wish them well for the final".

These were neighbors of contrasting World Cup pedigrees, meeting for a 74th time and the chance to play on the grandest stage of all.

Umtiti got to Griezmann's corner marginally before Fellaini and saw his header flick off the midfielder as it flew into the net.

"I was doing all I could for my team". Didier Deschamps continues to choose him in the front line and the Chelsea striker must repay the trust given to him if he wants to help the team win it all.

The goal capped an impressive display by Umtiti, who helped to shut out the most productive attack in the World Cup with 14 goals, and meant three defenders have now scored on France's route to the final.

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"That little bit of composure in the final third that we usually have...we got into good situations, but not scoring the first goal meant it was hard", said the Belgium coach, who credited the "the way France defended...we couldn't find that magic in front of goal". Making that objective clear, De Bruyne said: "We've got just one wish now: to win a sixth match in Russian Federation so we can go away on holiday even more at peace with ourselves".

Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne warned Kylian Mbappe was ready to take the world by storm on the eve of the game and the most expensive teenager in the history of football showed why inside the first 60 seconds.

Umtiti, and particularly Raphael Varane, were excellent at the back for France. Griezmann had given France an early lead from the penalty spot before Angel Di Maria, who plays his club football in Paris, drilled in from 25 yards. They worked in '98 and we worked today, we reached out target to get to the final.

On Saturday they will set about securing third place, which would be the country's best ever World Cup placing. Lukaku had just 22 touches of the ball.

De Bruyne unusually gave away too many passes as Belgium's midfield become sloppy.

"What we did 20 years ago will always remain, but you have to live in the present, you can't look in the rear-view mirror, you have to move forward", explained Deschamps.

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