Belgium denied by 'small margins' in France defeat, says Martinez

Belgium denied by 'small margins' in France defeat, says Martinez

France's record global goalscorer Thierry Henry will be presented with an awkward situation when his nation takes on neighbours Belgium, his current employers, in Tuesday's highly anticipated FIFA World Cup semi-final.

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Saint Petersburg: France reached the World Cup final on Tuesday after a second-half header from Samuel Umtiti gave team a 1-0 win over Belgium.

There's a tendency to view Didier Deschamps as an overly conservative coach, one who keeps his immensely talented players reined in too much. Hindustan Times delivers the news across all social media platforms, on the web, and at your doorstep. France have been the stand-out side of the tournament so far and will be hot favourites to win the trophy, regardless of their opponent.

Henry, unlike Deschamps and other former French internationals, was not asked to be part of the France coaching set-up - Belgium, and Martinez, came to him first.

Belgium faced a heart-stopping moment of uncertainty in the first knockout round against Japan, when Martinez's decision to rest players in their final group match against England nearly backfired spectacularly.

FW, Kevin De Bruyne, 6 - Offered a few glimpses of his talent but drifted out of the game and didn't create anything for a long time.

What: France will play Belgium in the semifinals at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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"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.

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"But he did know that, from the time he was joining the management team and becoming assistant to Martinez, that could happen".

Defender Samuel Umtiti's goal from a corner sends France through to the World Cup final.

Belgium is now ranked No. 3 in the world by Federation Internationale de Football Association, while France is ranked No. 7. "The game was, as you can imagine, very close, very tight, and it was going to be decided (on) maybe the one that it could find that final touch in the box". The Rolling Stones frontman is a big soccer fan, having attended the World Cup final in Brazil in 2014 as well as many England games.

"We will need to anticipate (Mbappe) and be well-positioned".

"All the players think that our manager is a step ahead tactically, and I think that our hunger for victory will be greater than theirs".

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