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FIFA World Cup 2018: Belgium’s Roberto Martinez disappointed after loss against France

Samuel Umtiti’s 51st-minute header sent an impressive France into the FIFA World Cup 2018 final with a 1-0 win over Belgium in an absorbing first semi-final on Tuesday.

football Updated: Jul 11, 2018 02:00 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Saint Petersburg
FIFA World Cup 2018,Roberto Martinez,Belgium
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez gives instructions to his team during their FIFA World Cup 2018 match against France.(REUTERS)

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez bemoaned the goal his team conceded from a corner to lose a tight FIFA World Cup 2018 semi-final to France in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.

French centre-back Samuel Umtiti nodded home at the near post six minutes into the second half to give his side a 1-0 win and a place in their third World Cup final, where they will play England or Croatia.

“The difference sadly is a set play in a very close and tight game,” said Spaniard Martinez.

READ | Samuel Umtiti’s goal helps France edge past Belgium to enter third final

“I couldn’t ask more of the players’ attitude. 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 till the final whistle.

“We have to get rid of this feeling and finish on a high as that is nothing more than the players deserve, not to leave with a sour taste. Disappointed, of course, you can’t be anything else.”

Belgium’s ‘golden generation’, led by Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany, have still failed to reach a major tournament final despite boasting one of the best teams in the world.

First Published: Jul 11, 2018 02:00 IST