Belgium star Hazard: I used to support France growing up

Belgium star Hazard: I used to support France growing up

Belgium star Hazard: I used to support France growing up

Clearly, the World Cup semifinal set for Tuesday and for St. Petersburg Stadium and for a nosy global television audience has gone misplaced, for it really ought to take place in somebody's backyard near the French-Belgian border, perhaps within driving distance of Lille.

"Vive la France! Vive la Republique!" Griezmann shouted as Umtiti conducted his post-match interview. The winners of each semifinal will meet in the World Cup 2018 championship game, set to kick off on Sunday, July 15.

The match was a fascinating tactical battle, with France content to surrender possession and looking to use Kylian Mbappe's pace to hurt Belgium on the counter-attack.

"But he did know that, from the time he was joining the management team and becoming assistant to Martinez, that this could happen". The lows have been so low that there were also group stage exits in 2002 and 2010 and a Zinédine Zidane moment of madness with a head butt in that 2006 final.

Defender Umtiti headed home a corner from Antoine Griezmann in the 51st minute to settle the all-European tie, booking Les Bleus a trip to Moscow and a clash against either Croatia or England. They are used to being in big games so I don't want any of my players to be frustrated or disappointed.

Up in the corporate seats, president Macron reacted to the goal by shaking the hand of King Philippe of Belgium as Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino watched on between them.

After winning back-to-back penalty shootouts to reach their second-ever (1998) World Cup semifinal, Croatia's tank will be closer to empty than any of the four sides still competing in Russian Federation, but Modric believes they can dig deep once more and qualify for the final.

Lloris' full-length dive kept out a first-time strike from Tottenham colleague Toby Alderweireld, while Courtois reacted quickly to block Benjamin Pavard's attempt from a tight angle at the other end. Varane, in particular, was outstanding.

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Once in front, France had even more space to exploit Mbappe's pace, but it was a majestic piece of skill that almost created a second with a backheel that again freed Giroud only for Mousa Dembele to block.

They are trained by Didier Deschamps, who won the Cup in 1998 as a player and is now trying to do the same as a coach. The spread had France at -130, while Belgium was at +110.

The substitute offered a threat from Belgium's right wing too, with one teasing cross from the flank seeing Fellaini narrowly miss the target with a header as he looked to make amends for his part in the opener. 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. The French team has one star on their jerseys to commemorate their World Cup victory in 1998.

Belgium is the team France has met the most over its history and we have to go back to 1904 for the first match.

"With my brothers, we have always been more supporters of France than Belgium because we grew up with '98", said the Chelsea man, who hails from the French-speaking area of Belgium.

Each of these services has a free trial period, allowing you to watch at no charge for roughly one week.

But with their King Philippe watching from the stands, there was to be no coronation.

Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and France are about to get that chance.

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