Kylian Mbappe's response to Belgium players being angry about France's tactics

Tyler Owen
July 16, 2018

His knowledge of the game, so eloquently expressed as a pundit on Sky Sports, helped Belgium qualify for the World Cup unbeaten and win all five of their matches in Russian Federation - until the semi-final.

"Thierry, if you want to come back to France tomorrow, several trains are leaving Brussels Midi station", the rail company quipped shortly after Didier Deschamps' side had booked their place in the final.

Les Bleus are headed to the World Cup final.

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

Like Deschamps, England coach Gareth Southgate has built his team around young players. The opposite happened. France retreated and held out for the win.

France's brilliance on the midfield during the semi-final game should have resulted in more goals but Giroud was constantly misfiring, with no goals to show with six shots on the night. "The Euros were at home, but here we can still feel the support of the French people", said Deschamps, who praised the commitment of his players.

This after a single goal gave them a win over a disappointing Belgium in a scrappy match unlike all those the two teams had played so far in the competition.

"We can play in different ways, in different styles".

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He then predicted WikiLeaks would release a tranche of documents related to the Clinton Foundation in October. It contains no allegations that United States citizens committed a crime, he said.

Twelve years after one of soccer's most infamous moments, Samuel Umtiti used his head to score from a corner kick in the 51st minute and earn France a 1-0 victory over Belgium on Tuesday in the first of the all-European semifinals.

That included the Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi, and Paul Pogba, who sacrificed themselves in the defense side to hold Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne at bay.

Aside from being the match victor, Umtiti had a tight partnership with Raphael Varane in central defence.

On Saturday they will set about securing third place, which would be the country's best ever World Cup placing. His first touch was after 10 seconds and, after receiving the ball on the right wing, he sped past Jan Vertonghen and then Mousa Dembele in a thrilling run.

"We did what we had to do", said De Bruyne.

It's good the French make lots of Champagne, because with the trophy-winning potential of its team that will play in the World Cup final on Sunday, they could be bathing in the stuff for years to come.

"It was very hard to accept what happened two years ago, and we do not want it to happen again".

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