Team spirit can carry Belgium to World Cup final, says Martinez

11 July, 2018, 08:47 | Author: Irvin Gilbert
  • FRA VS BEL

A slick Belgium side boasting the talents of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku are the only team to have won all their matches in Russian Federation and are the top scorers, with 14 goals.

France will now advance to Sunday's World Cup final where they will face the victor of Wednesday's semifinal match between England and Croatia.

For France, who have reached this stage five times before, a win will take them to their third World Cup final - they lost to Germany in 2006 after a World Cup win at home eight years before that.

Both Deschamps and Henry were both Les Bleus players when the French side won its first and only World Cup title in 1998.

Fubo TV also offers three days of auto recording and 30 hours of Cloud DVR service in case you can't watch the France Belgium game immediately.

For all its possession, Belgium - the top scorers in this competition - were unable to break a robust French defense and will rue not capitalizing on its dominant first-half display. There was less at stake the last time these 2 went head-to-head at the World Cup, a 4-2 victory for France in the 3rd place match in 1986.

Mbappe was lethal in France's 4-3 Round of 16 win over Argentina, using his pace to devastating effect, but Martinez said his side would not make the mistake of focusing exclusively on one player.

Henry has been able to gel well with the Belgian stars and the rapport he shares with them was evident when Vincent Kompany lifted him following their win over Brazil in the quarter-final.

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But their secret weapon could be on the sidelines in the shape of one of France's greatest players of all time, Thierry Henry, who is now assistant to head coach Roberto Martinez. That was a breakthrough for France with the clock reading 51 minutes.

Meanwhile, France coach Didier Deschamps is confident he has prepared his players for any tactical surprises his opposite number Martinez might spring.

France and Belgium will meet Tuesday in St. Petersburg, after both teams booked their spots among the most talented in the 2018 staging of the soccer World Cup.

Whether he plays an attacking role or more defensively, De Bruyne is instrumental in directing Belgium with his awareness and swift passes.

"When he plays in that forward role, when he plays a bit more in the final third his play, his performance, is very, very attractive and maybe then it gets a bigger recognition, " Martinez said. That's their right. They know when an opponent plays very deep, that's where we have problems.

That stayed the case until France took the lead with a thunderous header from Barcelona centre-back, Samuel Umtiti.

"Perhaps he will sing the Marseillaise (before the game), which I find normal", De Bruyne said. The France starlet's low cross found Olivier Giroud in space on the left side of the Belgian box.

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