Belgium denied by 'small margins' in France defeat, says Martinez

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From a Belgium corner, Toby Alderweireld tested Lloris with a smart shot on the turn but as the half progressed France began to create more.

Six minutes of injury time provided Belgium with hope but France ran the clock down and nearly made it 2-0 as Griezmann and then Corentin Tolisso's shots were well saved by Courtois.

France booked their place in the semi-final with a comfortable 2-0 win over Uruguay, while Belgium's route here saw them defeat five-time winners Brazil in the quarters.

"They played on the counter-attack with (Kylian) Mbappe, who is very quick".

Belgium's assistant coach since 2016, Henry has played a crucial role in helping Belgium's so-called "golden generation" reach their potential and mount a serious bid to take the World Cup home to Brussels.

"We had more chances today, we had more control of the match, " Kompany said.

"When you go to a club overseas and play one from your own country, you are part of the enemy team", Deschamps said. After all the back-and-forth play during the game, it can seem cruel that a simple set piece would be the decider, but give France credit.

Asked what Macron said, Mbappe replied: "President Macron said that he would see us in the semifinals, and that he was going to come back to see us with the World Cup". The Red Devils and Les Bleus are competing for a spot in the World Cup final, and both teams are bringing world-class attacking talent to the match.

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Romelu Lukaku failed to find his range in spite of good efforts by Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Fellaini, while Moussa Dembele, Nacer Chadli and Axel Witsel just ran around.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez looks dejected after the match.

Belgium threatened down the flanks and Eden Hazard put in a unsafe cross which was turned behind by Umtiti - though the resulting corner was wasted by Nacer Chadli, playing in an unfamiliar right-back role.

Belgium had won all five matches in Russian Federation coming into their meeting with the French, and had scored 14 goals in the process. The French will be hopeful of winning their second World Cup.

Post scoring the goal, France had largely wasted time while Belgium made a few chances but failed. I thought it was wonderful how he did it, how he worked it out and how the players did it.

France keeper Hugo Lloris, a Golden Glove candidate in Russian Federation, had nothing but positive things to say about the Belgium squad.

There is no question we are about to witness a very open game. We could've come to this stage and froze and not dealt with what France have done in the past.

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