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Belgium's Courtois blasts France victory as 'shame for football'

Belgium's Courtois blasts France victory as 'shame for football'

It was neither Kylian Mbappe nor Antoine Griezmann.

Samuel Umtiti's 51st minute header gave France the win on Tuesday night and Deschamps said he had already seen scenes of celebration which reminded him of his success as a player when France last won the World Cup in 1998, reports Xinhua news agency. Umtiti's victor, was the 6th headed goal in the knockout stages.

If it was Raphael Varane against Uruguay in the quarterfinal, it was the turn of his central defensive partner Umtiti in the next round. "There were not many big moments that were going to decide the game and it came down to one dead-ball situation", said Martinez of the 51st-minute goal that separated the sides.

The bitter defeat as Belgium fell short of their first World Cup final appearance is tempered by the fact that influential squad members will likely still be around in two years' time for the European Championship, where they will have another realistic chance at a major title.

As France look to make amends for losing to Portugal on home soil two years ago, the presence of Varane could make the difference.

Kompany, an injury-prone 32-year-old who may well have played his last World Cup in Russian Federation, believes that, despite the loss, the class of 2018 has done his nation a favor.

They did came close once or twice.

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Up in the corporate seats, French President Emmanuel Macron reacted to the goal by shaking the hand of King Philippe of Belgium as Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino watched on between them.

With Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard in fantastic form creating chances for themselves and Romelu Lukaku up front, Vincent Kompany fit again at the heart of the defense and Thibaut Courtois standing tall in goal, these Red Devils racked up more goals than any other team in the World Cup.

The trend of headed goals continued in Russian Federation as Umtiti's was a record 26th.

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During the match-up, it was obvious that the French defence was up to task as they constantly stifled any attempt by the Belgians to play the ball to Lukaku. Despite enjoying 64% possession, Belgium could only fashion nine shots on target, which was 10 fewer than their opponents. "They succeeded once and that was enough". Although the St Petersburg Stadium wasn't as lively as it had been when a Latin American team was one of the contestants, it is not an exaggeration to presume that fans enjoyed the action in the middle. This is where I believe Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, got it wrong.

Frankly, it was a talented team playing boring football.

A bit harsh given defending is an essential part of the game, and had Belgium scored first, they would have also resorted to the same tactic to keep out France. "Today, a corner. It's a shame for football that Belgium didn't win today". An early goal for all the pressure they cranked up might have set up the match nicely for Belgium. Lloris was once again alert to fist away Axel Witsel's shot in the second half. "There has been a lot of change between both competitions [the Euros and World Cup] but for the players who were involved, yes, we can use our experience to show the right way to the young lads".