Belgium's golden generation falls short at another major tournament

Belgium's golden generation falls short at another major tournament

Belgium's golden generation falls short at another major tournament

Didier Deschamp's men overcame a gifted Belgian team, dubbed the "golden generation" for the talents at its disposal.

France sat back and looked to use the pace Mbappe on the counter attack but were nearly caught out as Hazard forced a wonderful tackle from Varane and Lloris had to beat away a vicious shot on the followup from Witsel.

One of the keys to Belgium's players joining Henry in potentially claiming that rarefied status of being World Cup winners will be the performance of Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne against Les Bleus.

They came from every continent, but the two semifinals will see four European countries fight for bragging rights and more importantly a place in Sunday's World Cup final.

"The game was very close, very tight", Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said following the match.

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"Against Uruguay (in the quarter-finals) they scored with a free-kick and a goalkeeping error".

Belgium faced a heart-stopping moment of uncertainty in the first knockout round against Japan, when Martinez's decision to rest players in their final group match against England nearly backfired spectacularly.

In the 19th minute, Hazard's shot from the left of the box was headed away by Raphael Varane, who had his back to the goal.

When and what time is the semi-final match between France vs Belgium? I have not yet experienced that a striker plays so far from goal.

Deschamps-coached France started to settle down as the game progressed, and in the 34th minute, had the best chance yet to take the lead. After knocking favourites Brazil out of the tournament with an impressive display, they went into the semi-final full of confidence, but couldn't find a way past a stubborn French team.

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Tuesday's clash in St Petersburg has all the makings of a classic, with fans and viewers likely to be treated to the sight of two wonderfully attacking teams going toe-to-toe.

Matuidi suffered a head injury after a collision with Hazard and had to be withdrawn, before De Bruyne's stunning pass floated just too long for Lukaku to put a finishing touch to.

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.

Antoine Griezmann has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 20 competitive games for France (12 goals, eight assists).

"Finals have to be won because we have still not got over the one we lost two years ago", said Deschamps.

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"For sure, I would rather him being with us and giving me the advice, but you can't be jealous, and it is not shocking me at all", said French forward Olivier Giroud, about Henry, reported Reuters. "He's a player with high-quality runs, a big motor, but also quality crosses and assists".

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