With World Cup title, France could launch a dynasty

2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: France vs Belgium

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.

Samuel Umtiti headed France into the World Cup final as Belgium's "Golden Generation" came up just short in Saint Petersburg. Samuel Umtiti's flawless header in the 51st minute of the match made him the hero of the day and led the team to a victory against Belgium.

Les Bleus left their heart out on the pitch to keep their goal unbeaten as most of their footballers played a specific defensive job in the game.

2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: France vs Belgium

While there were questions asked after a far-from-inspiring start, which included a controversial win over Australia and narrowly beating Peru, France still expectedly secured a knockout round spot early from a first round group where they were heavy favorites. "If we'd scored, France would have opened up, but we didn't, and it came down to a corner kick", he lamented.

"It's their right to play like that, because they know we're having a hard time dealing with it, but it is not nice to see", the Chelsea keeper is quoted as saying by Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

"We feel we've given our all and we need to focus on the positives", continued the Manchester City midfielder, reflecting Belgium's admirable ability to deal with defeat and to put things into perspective.

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Samuel Umtiti's second-half header edged a tight contest in Saint Petersburg in France's favour, meaning it will be bronze at best for Belgium's golden generation at Russian Federation 2018.

The loss saw Belgium miss out on reaching a first World Cup final, but they can still better their fourth-place finish of 1986. He was part of Belgium's coaching staff at three World Cups, including 1986, when they finished fourth.

"It brings back excellent memories, but that was in the final, this is the semifinal".

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Courtois, speaking in defeat, tried to pay tribute to the style of the French but accepted the more attractive style of play was not rewarded with the win. "I really hope to do it in the final". 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.

With Ngolo Kante marshalling the effort, France were on De Bruyne and Hazard like a flash, snuffing out the slightest opportunity for them to probe the French defence.

It was very different from the 3-2 Round-of-16 win against Japan, when even at 2-0 down, you knew it was not game over.

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