In Brief

Videos: French fans celebrate reaching the World Cup final

Samuel Umtiti’s 51st-minute header secured a 1-0 victory over Belgium

France 1 Belgium 0

France will play Croatia or England in Sunday’s World Cup final after a hard-fought victory against Belgium.

Didier Deschamps’ side secured their place in the showpiece thanks to a winning goal from defender Samuel Umtiti. The Barcelona star got across Marouane Fellaini at the front post to head home Antoine Griezmann’s corner after 51 minutes.

Belgium were seeking their first ever appearance in a World Cup final but will have to settle for the third/fourth-place play-off on Saturday. It was also Belgium’s first defeat since September 2016.

Roberto Martinez’s Red Devils battled well and had plenty of possession but they could not break through a strong French defence marshalled by the excellent Raphaël Varane.

Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe also starred for Les Bleus, who will now play in their third World Cup final.

Martinez said: “It was a dead ball situation which was the difference. It was a close game and it was very tight and it was going to be decided by that bit of luck in front of goal. The attitude of the players was brilliant and we couldn’t ask for anymore.

“We have to understand one team wins and the other loses, and we did what we could. We have one game left and I want to ensure we finish the tournament on a high because these players don't deserve to leave here with a bad taste.”

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