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RUSSIA 2018 :FRANCE AND BELGIUM FACE OFF IN THE FIRST SEMI FINALS

France and Belgium will clash in the first semi- finals of the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday.

Kickoff is 18:00 GMT at the  Krestovsky Stadium in Russia.

Both sides dealt with South American opponents at the quarter finals ahead of their big clash in Russia. France beat Uruguay 2-0 before Belgium saw off Brazil 2-1 later on in the same day.

France dispose off Uruguay

France had the two goals scored by Raphael Varane and Antoinne Griezmann. Varane connected his head to a free kick by Griezmann in the first half after both sides were struggling to find the net.

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Uruguay returned in the second session to look for an equalizer but that was not to be. Goalkeeper Muslera gifted the second goal to Griezmann when he feebly punched the ball into his net from a harmless shot.

Uruguay suffered as a result of their star striker Edson Cavani who missed the game because of injury. The PSG attacker had scored two goals for his side against Portugal in the Round of 16.

The last 10 minutes of the game saw Uruguay pressing for at least a goal but French goalkeeper and captain, Hugo Lloris was up to the task as he save most of the sticky situations that would have changed their situation.

 

Belgium Resist Brazil’s Attack

Many football pundits had tipped Brazil to go ahaead of Belgium prior to the Quarter Finals meeting in Kazan.

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But Javier Martinez who handles the Belgian side had other ideas. He surprisingly included Maurone Fellani and Nacer Chadli in his starting line. The duo had scored for Belgium in the difficult game against Japan and so got the nod ahead of Dres Martins and Yannick Carrasco.

The Begian defence held their lines tight but the most credit would go to goalkeeper Thibout Coutois who was really unsung to prevent Brazil from getting a goal.

Brazil’s Fernandinho was forced to score an own goal as he tried to head away a corner thereby misdoing that to his the ball in his own post.

Brazil pressed for the equalizer in the second half but that could not bear any fruit. During one of such attacks, Lukaku intercepted a pass and then after going past two players he passed unto Kelvin De Bruyne who slotted home at the expense of goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

Meanwhile Brazil managed to pull one back from substitute Augusto Renato but that was not enough to ensure their passage into the next round.

France and Belgium have played each other twice at the World Cup.

The first time was back in the opening round in 1938, when the French recorded a 3-1 win.

And it would be 48 years when the teams would meet again, albeit in less significant circumstances.

Goals from Jean-Marc Ferreri, Jean-Pierre Papin, Bernard Genghini and Manuel Amoros (pen) helped Les Bleus to a 4-2 extra time win in the 1986 third/fourth place play-off.

 

Head to Head Comparison
France and Belgium are very familiar foes, having played each other a staggering 73 times.

And it’s the Belgians who have the better head to head record, having won 30 to the French’s 24 and 19 games ending in a draw.

But in competitive games, France have won 5 with Belgium winning 3 and 3 draws.

The last match between the two teams took place in 2015 with Belgium running out 4-3 winners with two Marouane Fellaini goals in an exciting friendly in Paris.

 

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