FIFA WORLD CUP, France made it to the World Cup Final.
The crowd wearing blue and chanting Antoinne Griezmann’s name walked to the metro station in a disciplined march as France made it to the World Cup final after 12 years.
The little genius from Paris lighted up the Saint Petersburg Arena on Tuesday night with deft touches, silky flicks and passes that bore the mark of highest intelligence to oust Belgium in the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday night.
Right after changeover, Griezmann floated a vicious inswinging corner that Samuel Umtiti attacked and buried into the net with a bullet header, holding off Maorouanne Fellaini’s physical challenge. It prolonged Belgium’s stay in the erstwhile Russian capital for the third-place playoff.
Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne faded out after the first quarter, testing the skills of France captain Hugo Lloris who made two decent saves as is his wont.
Since the early own-goal failed to arrive, as it did the other night, the Belgians’ tactical acumen floundered in the midfield that Ngolo Kante, Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi turned into a Paris runway. Griezmann showed the latest patterns to the Belgians, leaving them awe-struck.
The South Americans have taken the atmosphere home with them. What’s left is a disciplined walk down the strand to the terraces, waving the flag once in a while.
The madness, the singing, the chanting or the energy was missing from the build-up to the game that rarely reached the dizzy heights of a World Cup semifinal.
Reaching ignition point more than once, the first half really didn’t catch fire. France obviously had the momentum after the initial rush by Hazard and De Bruyne, keeping left back Benjamin Pavard pretty busy.
The easiest opportunity fell to Olivier Giroud after a lovely one-touch build-up orchestrated by Griezmann’s quick thinking. His razor-sharp pass picked out Kylian Mbappe whose prompting asked for a simple tap-in. Giroud skewed the effort.>