Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

France beat Belgium's 'golden generation' to reach World Cup final

France beat Belgium's 'golden generation' to reach World Cup final

French striker Olivier Giroud has now played almost eight hours of football (464 minutes) at the 2018 World Cup without managing a single shot on target.

CBC's Matt Galloway was the moderator of one such sparring match Tuesday in the Metro Morning studios.

This fixture is one of the matches that could easily have been the "Final" of this 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation. Both teams have had opportunities. "We worked hard defensively, we needed to take advantage a bit more in the counter-attacks but congratulations to my players and my staff", he said.

After having something of an off day against Uruguay in the quarter-finals, Mbappe looked much more like the dazzling forward who ran Argentina ragged a few days earlier.

France have a plenty of attacking talent too, with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe (pictured top, left and right) particularly impressing in roles behind Giroud, who has offered his side a muscular presence they lacked when Deschamps opted for Ousmane Dembele in their unconvincing opening win over Australia.

Beaten finalists at Euro 2016 on home soil, France will aim to go one better in Russian Federation and emulate the successful squad of 1998 which included Didier Deschamps, who could emulate Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer by winning the World Cup as both a player and manager. Sports Illustrated's Planet Fútbol predicted a 2-1 win for France.

Henry is now an assistant to Belgium coach Robert Martinez, and will be helping his adopted nation to reach their first World Cup final. Leading the scoring in this tournament with 14 goals, many thought this could be their year. Individual skills are always shown, but team play is the characteristic of the French play.

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"Yeah good for him", Debregeas snapped back. "Enemy, my god, so arrogant", he said.

When do Belgium and France play?

Oleffe said he plans to watch the game at home with his girlfriend, who happens to be French.

When asked to make a prediction, Debregeas confidently called for a 1-0 victory for France. "Probably", he said. "I have made sure my players are prepared for any scenario at the beginning of the match and during the match if it changes".

Soccer's World Cup notches up the intensity even more today when France and Belgium meet in the first semifinal match.

The match, which took place in the suburbs of Brussels, saw Belgium, in red, draw with France, in white, three-all.

Roberto Martinez's surprise 4-3-3 was just insane enough to confuse the Brazil defence throughout the first half of their quarter-final, which puts them in a strong position to do something similar on the counter-attack against France - particularly through the middle.

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