Umtiti puts France in front

27-year-old looks like a man on a mission to bring the WC trophy for the first time in the country’s history

27-year-old looks like a man on a mission to bring the WC trophy for the first time in the country’s history

France and Belgium are seen as the strongest teams left in the competition, which means the victor of Tuesday's match will head into the final as favourites to be crowned world champions. The match kicks-off at 20:00 hrs (BST) at Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg.

Once in front, France had even more space to exploit Mbappe's pace, but it was a majestic piece of skill that almost created a second with a backheel that again freed Giroud only for Mousa Dembele to block.

Umtiti was the next France player to save a certain goal as De Bruyne's cross squeezed through and the defender hacked clear from inside his own six-yard box with Belgium players lining up to slot it into the net.

Confidence is sky-high after they beat Brazil in the quarterfinals but they will come up against formidable opponents in France as they try to reach their first World Cup final.

"I think it's too early to make any sort of assessment on the tournament", said Martinez, who extended his contract through to 2020 shortly before the World Cup. He said after that match that there he was disappointed that they were done in by a set-piece. "We were all happy, all hugging", Mbappe said.

It is quite obvious that Martinez will use Chadli to mitigate any threat posed by him and hence it might prove to be a hard game for Mbappe and France.

Former French football legend Thierry Henry must have had mixed emotions as the nation of his birth reached the World Cup final and the country he helps coach was eliminated.

Hence, France shouldn't be over-reliant on Mbappe in the semi finals.

Thai military diver dies as window for cave rescue narrows
It is the first message from the coach, whose role in the team's predicament has split Thai social media. Ukrainian diver who participated in the search for children trapped in the cave of Thailand.

Follow Al Jazeera's coverage of the World Cup 2018 here.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez looks dejected after the match. The PSG right-back received his second yellow card against Brazil.

The Belgians have won all five of their matches in Russian Federation, scoring 14 goals and leaving Brazil and Japan by the wayside.

51st minute: Goal. France.

Both sides know what is like to turn results around during the current World Cup campaign.

"It was a very tight game".

Belgian citizen Gregory Oleffe says Belgium is statistically a better team than France.

With Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar no longer in Russia, Hazard and France forward Kylian Mbappe have taken over as the stars of the World Cup and there was a buzz every time either got the ball. I thought it was fantastic how he did it, how he worked it out and how the players did it. We could've come to this stage and froze and not dealt with what France have done in the past.

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