Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Kylian Mbappe unleashed a time-wasting masterpiece during France's semifinal win

Kylian Mbappe unleashed a time-wasting masterpiece during France's semifinal win

Hazard moved to Lille when he was 14 and he and his brothers used to admire the French 1998 World Cup winning side.

But Belgium gradually grew into the game, retaining more possession as Eden Hazard began to cause problems with his runs and incisive movements on the left side. "At the time, there wasn't the jersey of Belgium, that's why we wore the one of France".

And yet, this France was unrecognizable from the French sides they had grown up watching at previous World Cups.

Though a very different player from the elegant Frenchman, the powerfully built Lukaku showed a touch of Henry in his intelligent dummy that allowed the ball to run through to Nacer Chadli to score Belgium's victor in the thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 win over Japan in the last 16.

As the left-sided player in Belgium's three-man defence, Jan Vertonghen is likely to find himself as the man tasked with stopping French teenager Kylian Mbappe. "I was injured several times and that was not easy".

"The feeling after scoring that goal was unbelievable, but then so was the feeling after the match against Brazil".

This time, they had to get past a five-time world champion, which gives them much more credit to feel that this time is the time. "But there haven't been one or two secrets to make it work, it's been common sense", he said.

Only time will tell if their burgeoning partnership will come to the fore against Belgium's brilliant attacking trio of Hazard, De Bruyne and Lukaku.

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Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is a ideal for me, and City's performances last season were outstanding. It's suggested the Algeria worldwide is undergoing a medical with the Premier League champions.

Eden Hazard pushing for an equaliser.

"He plays an extremely important role for Martinez", Pfaff said.

"I would be proud to show Titi that he chose the wrong camp", Giroud said yesterday, referring to Henry by his nickname. "That's the quality that he has". Chadli could play as a right wing-back for Belgium in the absence of the suspended Thomas Meunier, with Thomas Vermaelen possibly starting. In fact, Antoine Griezmann served a timely reminder of why he was so pivotal to this French team with a virtuoso display against Uruguay.

However, they say they will have no objection if the Centre Court crowd want to take sneak peeks of the action from Moscow on their phones. When I was playing against Monaco, he had played only about 10 matches.

France have no such selection issues and are nearly certain to stick with Stuttgart's Benjamin Pavard at right back after a string of impressive displays from the 22-year-old have made him one of the tournament's stand-out defenders.

Samuel Umtiti celebrated France's 1-0 lead. They last reached the final game in 2006 where they lost to Italy on penalties. Both networks have seen strong ratings for this year's tournament, with Fox building its numbers that peaked with a tournament-high 6.32 million tuning in for the Croatia-Russia quarterfinal Saturday - the best men's soccer number on an American network since the 2014 World Cup final.

With a berth in the final against the victor of Wednesday's other semifinal between Croatia and England awaiting, France is now the firm favorite to lift the Jules Rimet trophy on Sunday. With the sides hard to separate on paper, how they handle the pressure, and perhaps those little nuggets of inside knowledge, could make all the difference.

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