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France beat Belgium 1-0 to reach World Cup 2018 final

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SAINT PETERSBURG — Samuel Umtiti’s headed goal in the 51st minute helped France beat Belgium 1-0 and book a place in the World Cup final in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.

France’s own supremely talented young squad will face England or Croatia in Moscow on Sunday as the French look to lift the trophy for the second time following their triumph on home soil in 1998.

In an enthralling tactical match on Tuesday, Belgium took early control of midfield with France content to sit deep and eliminate the threat of counter-attacks from Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne.

But it was by no means a purely negative approach as the French offered their own danger on the break, perfectly illustrated when Paul Pogba’s delivery sent Kylian Mbappe racing towards goal and Belgium were thankful their keeper Thibaut Courtois was alert to snuff out the danger.

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France were thankful for fine saves from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris either side of half-time. Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne warned Kylian Mbappe was ready to take the world by storm on the eve of the game and the most expensive teenager in the history of football showed why inside the first 60 seconds.

He skipped past Jan Vertonghen with ease and only a last-ditch tackle by Vincent Kompany prevented Griezmann from latching onto his cross. Thibaut Courtois rushed from his goal just in time to save Vertonghen again from Mbappe’s pace on 12 minutes, but it was Belgium who started the better in possession.

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SAFF Championship : Nepal crash out after 3-0 defeat against Maldives

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KATHMANDU — Maldives has defeated Nepal 3-0 and entered final of the SAFF Championship held at Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Wednesday.

Maldivian defender Akram Abdul Ghanee scored the first goal against Nepal at the ninth minute utilizing a free-kick allotted for Maldives for the foul committed my Bimal Gharti Magar.

With this win, Maldives have booked their place in the final of the championship for the fifth time.

The game was briefly stopped after 27 minutes on the clock due to thunderstorm. Upon resumption of the game, Nepal boasted a huge possession with the ball but lacked the finishing touch in front of opposition goal.

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Maldives doubled the score with Ibrahim Waheed Hassan’s scored second goal at the 84th minute by shooting the ball from the center of the box.

Then Waheed Hassan scored the third goal against Nepal at the 87th minute capitalizing on the pass given by Abdulla Asadhulla.

The next edition of the SAFF Championship would be held in Pakistan.

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