France coach Didier Deschamps hopes that his side will seize their chance of redemption in the World Cup final. He admitted that he still has not moved on from the defeat in the Euro 2016 final.
Barcelona player Samuel Umtiti headed in the only goal in a 1-0 semi-final win over Belgium. This resulted in the Red Devils ‘golden generation’ slumping to a bitter defeat.
Les Bleus own talented young squad are aiming to avenge their defeat on home soil to Portugal two years ago.
“Finals have to be won because we have still not got over the one we lost two years ago,” said Deschamps.
“It is something exceptional. I am very happy for my players. They are young but they have character, a (winning) mentality.”
This year’s World Cup has witnessed plenty of set-piece goals. A corner proved to be decisive when Umtiti timed his run perfectly. He met Antoine Griezmann’s delivery six minutes into the second half.
“The difference sadly is a set play in a very close and tight game,” lamented Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.
“If you are going to have to lose such a match, which is bearable, it is the manner in which our players lost, pushing for everything, trying everything until the final whistle.”
Aside from being the match winner, Umtiti had a tight partnership with Raphael Varane in central defence. Even captain Hugo Lloris made important saves at key moments in the match.
Meanwhile, PSG teenager Kylian Mbappe was France’s biggest threat of the night. However, Olivier Giroud had a forgettable day as the focal point of Deschamps’s attack.
Giroud has not scored in eight games is not panicking just yet.
“I’m not missing too much,” insisted Giroud.
“I would have liked to help the team, make the breakthrough tonight.
“That was not the case but, once again, I am confident in my chances to score in the final and help bring back the World Cup. I really hope to do it in the final.”