On Thursday night, it was decided which country will be Spain’s opponent in the final of the second round of the Football League of Nations, 2020-21. At the standings in Turin, two national teams clashed, closing the last major tournament, the European Championships, with great disappointment, with the Belgians bleeding in the quarter-finals and the French in the eighth-final. Still, it promised to be a treat the current world leader and world champion defending champion battle.
For two players, the meeting was special from the moment of the initial whistle, for the first time in 47 years in the person of Lucas and Theo Hernandez, a pair of brothers entered the field at the same time as the French.
The meeting started with a huge Belgian opportunity in the 4th minute Kevin De Bruyne fired a bouncing ball from 8 meters into the goal, Hugo lloris he slapped him into a corner with huge feat. Two minutes later, a situation came on the other side, Kylian Mbappé played himself clean nicely, but drifted out a bit, his ball back in the corner cleared by Jason Denayer.
In the first 15 minutes, the Belgians controlled the game and were more active, but the French were also threatened. Benjamin Pavard and Mbappé. Then the initial momentum subsided, the teams also defended themselves in a more organized way, one start after the ball was the excitement in the middle of the half. Half an hour later, the audience informed the parties with a whistle concert that there was a lack of quality entertainment, a few moments later the situation was already there. Romelu Lukaku before, but Jules Koundé was able to assemble at the last minute.
Then in the 37th minute, Belgium took the lead.
The French were stuck again, on the left side of the sixteen Yannick Carrasco beat Pavard and then cleverly pulled the shot back into the short bottom corner, Lloris couldn’t even move.
The French didn’t even get up, but they already had two goals. But Bruyne played Lukaku, who turned away from Lucas Hernandez with a cross, then bombarded the sharp top from a sharp angle with elemental force. It was Chelsea’s striker’s 10th goal this NL season. The Belgians led 2-0 after 41 minutes, and with that result, the teams were able to take a break.
For the first time in the second half, the situation before the French Antoine Griezmann after a soft free kick Paul pogba over head gate. A minute later, Lukaku was in danger again, but this time he hit the ball badly from a bite, 10 yards away.
58 minutes into the game, Mbappé’s attack got through on the right, but Griezmann couldn’t handle the ball and his feeble kick wound up in the keeper’s arms.
In the 62nd minute, however, the Gauls made no more mistakes.
Mbappé created the situation again, this time for Karim Benzema, who then turned nicely into the defenders ’grip and shot the long bottom out of the evening, his clubmate Thibaut Courtois stretching in vain.
The Belgians were completely confused, and the trouble was compounded by the fact that minutes later Toby Alderweireld kicked Griezmann inside the penalty area and Daniel Siebert sentenced a penalty with the help of the VAR. Mbappé, who was celebrating his 50th national team, was relentlessly cut in, so a new match could start in the 69th minute, at 2-2.
Of course, the Belgians didn’t forget to play football either, by a few minutes Lloris had to push De Bruyne’s bomb out from under the bar, Jan Vertonghen nodded after the corner. There was also some fireworks in front of the other gate, first blocked by Vertonghen, had to be blocked by mart Courtois.
From the 85th minute onwards came the twists and turns and at the very end the drama: first Mbappé was mistaken by 10 centimeters from 10 meters, then from the counterattack Lukaku was effective, but from ambush.
Two minutes later, Pogba hit the crossbar and the goal post from a free kick, but the sniper was still behind, as France scored the victory with Theo Hernandez’s birthday bomb goal at the very end of the 90th minute.
Didier Deschamps ’team reversed the semi-finals by scoring three goals in the second half and will face Spain in the final. Belgium will be left with a bronze match against the Italians in which they can fight back for the losing European Championship quarterfinals.
LEAGUE OF NATIONS, FINAL
Belgium-France 2-3 (2-0)
Goals: Carrasco (37th), Lukaku (41st) and Benzema (62nd), Mbappé (69th to 11th), T. Hernandez (90th)
Sunday 15.00: Italy-Belgium, Turin
Sunday 20.45: Spain-France, Milan