The referee blows, and France get the first Semi-Final underway!

Before Belgium even manage a touch, Mbappé does well with the ball on the right-side of the pitch, crosses the ball low, but it’s intercepted. Early signs of attacking intent from the French side.

Quick break from Belgium finds Chadli on the wing with plenty of space, but he crosses early, and it’s blocked for a throw in.

Hazard knocks the ball past Pavard, cutting it back on his left foot. It’s put behind by Umtiti, but only just flashes past the post for a corner.

The resultant corner from Chadli is poor, and the ball sails over the heads of everyone in the box and out for a goal kick.

France’s first ‘chance’ since the very start of the game comes from a long ball up to Giroud, who knocks it back down. The ball is chipped over the Belgian defence to Mbappé. Being too far ahead of him, his outstretched boot can only get a slight touch on it, sending it just behind Giroud.

Great feet from Pogba to dance past Dembélé, before passing the ball down the field to a sprinting Mbappé. The pitch being thoroughly watered before kick-off means that it zips across the field, just ahead of the young French striker and into the gloves of Courtois, who comes off his line quickly.

France being sloppy in possession at the back means the ball falls to Kevin de Bruyne just outside the area. He puts a fantastic touch on the volley to send it past the defender to Eden Hazard. Hazard’s low shot flashes just past the far post.

Similarly lax, Alderweireld gives the ball away to Giroud very deep in the half. Giroud crosses it first time to an open, late-arriving Matuidi, but the touch is lose and crosses the byline for a goal kick.

Great strike from Matuidi from outside the area–great technique and power–but the placement is off, right at the goalkeeper, and Courtois collects easily.

Hazard cuts inside on the left-wing, past the makeshift right-back Pavard, and his shot is headed onto the post by Varane. Another corner for Belgium.

A good delivery from a corner finds Fellaini inside the box. His touch kills it dead, laying it back for Alderweireld to strike. He goals for goal with his weak foot, right into the corner, but it’s tipped aside by his club teammate Lloris.

A simple long ball comes to Giroud, but his touch isn’t the required contact, and it sails harmlessly out.

Fellaini wins the ball back high up the pitch, gives the ball too Hazard, who creates some space and plays it out wide to de Bruyne. His whipped crosses is blocked just before Lukaku can tap it in. Yet another corner. Oly a matter of time before a delivery finds itself poked into the back of either net.

Giroud is fouled, resulting in the first free-kick of the game. Has been very open, as well as end-to-end.

Pavard, in acres of space, dinks a ball up to Giroud on the penalty spot. It’s just behind him, so his header sends it wide. Decent effort.

Wicked feet from Hazard to make it past 3 players ear the touchline, but his last touch just sends it over the touchline.

Intricate work from Griezmann and Hernandez on the left side finds him with a little bit of space on the edge of the box. He cuts inside, shifting it nicely to open the shot up, but it’s on his weak foot, and sails comfortably over.

Glorious chance for France goes begging. A beautiful ball over the top from Griezmann finds Mbappé, who cushions a pass on the volley into Giroud in the middle of the box. On the stretch, he hits it wide, and, all told, it’s a poor miss. Probably should’ve anticipated the ball across better, but France are looking creative nonetheless.

Beautiful work at the back from France beats the Belgium press. Griezmann breaks, cutting through the heart of the Belgian midfield, but he delays a pass out to Matuidi, who then becomes offside, so takes the shot on himself. Dragged well wide.

Giroud takes a breather on the touchline after taking a hit, but it’s just that: a breather to recover.

Mbappé slots a ball gently, with the outside of his right boot, through two Belgian defenders to find Pavard, who has an open shot at goal. His shot is decent, but it’s much too low, and Courtois’ ankle denies him. Best chance of the game, and France will be hoping it doesn’t come back to haunt them.

De Bruyne comes in late on Hernández, sticking out a leg to trip him up. An unnecessary foul.

Pogba pulled down by Dembélé, just outside the area. In a dangerous area, but it’ll take a fantastic strike to beat the tall Belgian wall, as well as the equally-huge goalkeeper

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