Most Read Football

The latest done deals and transfer rumours with Sporting Life
1

The Transfer Market: Live

Keep up with all the latest transfer news reports and rumours along with the details of all the done deals and latest betting odds.

Sporting Life's Chelsea transfer round-up: Will the Blues make January additions?2

Chelsea transfer round-up

It could be a busy end to the transfer window for Chelsea, with numerous players linked with moves involving the Stamford Bridge club.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages3

Paper Talk: Pogba's U-turn

Paul Pogba has made a dramatic U-turn on his Man United contract stance, Bayern want Man City youngster - all in Tuesday's back pages.

Our best bets for Burton v Manchester City4

Expect goals at the Pirelli

With a 9/1 winner in the first-leg, Tom Carnduff is hoping for more profit as Burton take on Manchester City on Wednesday.

Dele Alli receives treatment on the sidelines at Fulham5

Alli out until early March

Tottenham have suffered more injury woe with news that Dele Alli is out until early March with a hamstring injury.

France 1-0 Belgium: Samuel Umtiti header puts his side into World Cup final

Samuel Umtiti gives France he lead against Belgium
Samuel Umtiti gives France he lead against Belgium

Samuel Umtiti’s header proved to be the difference as France beat Belgium 1-0 to book their place in Sunday’s World Cup final against Croatia or England.

Two years after they made the final of Euro 2016 they hosted in France, Les Bleus again made it all the way to the final - and they're now 4/6 favourites to lift the World Cup against England or Croatia in Moscow on Sunday.

There was hardly anything between the two talented sets of players so it was no surprise to see a set piece proving the difference as Umtiti headed in from a 51st-minute corner that eventually proved to be the winner.

Belgium dominated for large spells of the game and Hugo Lloris made a number of saves, including a magnificent flying stop in the first half, while France had their chances mainly on the break on the back of Kylian Mbappe’s extreme pace.

In the mirror of coach Didier Deschamps, France showed great discipline in defence, being happy to sit deep and soak up pressure with Paul Pogba excellent in his defensive work and Raphael Varane foot perfect in the heart of the defence.

Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann both missed chances to settle the game, while Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard prodded and probed but could not find a way through the French defence, which totally shut down Romelu Lukaku.

Thibaut Courtois made a few good saves himself late one, but could not stop Umtiti's near post header, which was the 69th set piece goal scored out a total of 158 in the tournament so far - illustrating how important they've been in Russia.

Opta Stats

  • France have reached their third World Cup final, also doing so in 1998 and 2006. Only Germany (8) and Italy (6) have reached more among European nations.
  • Since reaching their first in 1998, France have now reached more World Cup finals than any other nation (3).
  • This was Belgium’s first defeat of any kind since a friendly defeat against Spain in September 2016.
  • France have beaten Belgium three times in World Cup matches, more than they’ve beaten any other side in the competition.
  • 44% of the goals at the 2018 World Cup have come from set piece situations (69/158, including penalties).
  • Despite having almost two-thirds of the possession in this match (64%), Belgium attempted just nine shots – 10 fewer than France managed (19).
  • Antoine Griezmann has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 20 competitive games for France (12 goals, 8 assists).
  • Antoine Griezmann has been directly involved in 13 of France’s last 20 goals scored in major tournaments (World Cup and EUROs), with nine goals and four assists.
  • Only England’s Harry Kane (6 goals) has been involved in more goals at the 2018 World Cup than France’s Antoine Griezmann (5 – 3 goals, 2 assists).
  • France’s Olivier Giroud has had 13 shots in the 2018 World Cup, but none have been on target. Since 1966, no player has had more attempts in a single tournament without getting one on target.

Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLife

Related World Cup links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

The latest done deals and transfer rumours with Sporting Life
1

The Transfer Market: Live

Keep up with all the latest transfer news reports and rumours along with the details of all the done deals and latest betting odds.

Sporting Life's Chelsea transfer round-up: Will the Blues make January additions?2

Chelsea transfer round-up

It could be a busy end to the transfer window for Chelsea, with numerous players linked with moves involving the Stamford Bridge club.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages3

Paper Talk: Pogba's U-turn

Paul Pogba has made a dramatic U-turn on his Man United contract stance, Bayern want Man City youngster - all in Tuesday's back pages.

Our best bets for Burton v Manchester City4

Expect goals at the Pirelli

With a 9/1 winner in the first-leg, Tom Carnduff is hoping for more profit as Burton take on Manchester City on Wednesday.

Dele Alli receives treatment on the sidelines at Fulham5

Alli out until early March

Tottenham have suffered more injury woe with news that Dele Alli is out until early March with a hamstring injury.

Football Tips

Our best bets for Burton v Manchester City

Expect goals at the Pirelli

With a 9/1 winner in the first-leg, Tom Carnduff is hoping for more profit as Burton take on Manchester City on Wednesday.

Sporting Life Price Boost for January 22, 2019

Sporting Life Price Boost

Sky Bet have enhanced the odds of a treble on Tuesday's football, exclusively for Sporting Life readers.

Aux Ptits Soins streaks clear at Cheltenham

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in January 2019.