France win Nations League semi-final against Belgium
World champions France beat Belgium 3-2 at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, on Thursday, October 7, in the second Nations League semi-final. The victors knew they would be up against Spain in Sunday’s final, after they had disposed of Italy on Wednesday 6.
Belgium looked dead certs for the final after going two goals in front, but then the most remarkable turnaround by the French saw them win the match.
Yannick Carrasco opened the scoring for the Belgians on 37 minutes, when he cut in from the left, wrong-footed Hugo Lloris, and fired home. Only four minutes later they doubled their lead thanks to a thunderbolt into the roof of the French goal from Romelu Lukaku, his 68th goal for his country.
At this point, Roberto Martinez‘s were sailing, but whatever Didier Deschamps told his players during the break, it worked. On the hour mark, Karim Benzema lowered the deficit, collecting Kylian Mbappe’s perfectly weighted pass and placing it beyond Thibaut Courtois.
Kylian Mbape once again proved his worth to ‘Les Bleus’
Youri Tielemans’ trip on Antoine Griezmann gave the French the opportunity to level, and it was Mbappe who calmly slotted the penalty home after 69 minutes, and now the crowd had a real game on their hands.
Lukaku had a goal ruled out by VAT with three minutes on the clock, after putting a low cross from Carrasco into the net, while Paul Pogba curled a sublime 30-yard free-kick onto the crossbar.
With the match heading for stalemate, up popped Theo Hernandez, the AC Milan fullback, sending the French fans wild as he finished a run from outside the box with a shot into the top corner, to make it 3-2.
This Belgium team, although ranked No1 for more than three years are the only top-ranked Fifa team to never win a major trophy. Time is surely running out for many of the players in a team that was labelled the ‘Golden Generation’ not long ago.
France will now meet Spain in Milan’s San Siro stadium on Sunday, October 10 to compete for the Nations League trophy.
🎥 | Theo Hernandez’s winner for France against Belgium pic.twitter.com/k7Qjc0dH9b
— Milan Eye (@MilanEye) October 7, 2021
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