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Euro 2024 – France 1-0 Belgium: Deschamps’ Team Scrapes into Quarter-Finals

France Edges Belgium 1-0 to Reach Euro 2024 Quarter-Finals

France left it late but managed to secure a place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2024 with a narrow 1-0 win over Belgium. The decisive moment came in the 85th minute when Randal Kolo Muani’s strike deflected off Jan Vertonghen and past goalkeeper Koen Casteels.

Despite dominating possession, France struggled to break through Belgium’s defense. Marcus Thuram and Aurelien Tchouameni came close, while Kylian Mbappe dazzled with his footwork but couldn’t find the back of the net. Belgium had their chances late on, with Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne forcing saves from Mike Maignan before France’s scrappy goal sealed the win.

Didier Deschamps’ side will face the winner of Portugal vs. Slovenia in the quarter-finals in Hamburg on Friday at 8pm.

Joy for France, Despair for Belgium…

France’s victory marks their third consecutive win against Belgium. Excluding penalty shoot-outs, they have lost only one of their last 15 Euros matches, winning eight and drawing six. The team aims to add to their European Championship successes from 1984 and 2000.

Neville: Vertonghen Will Be Devastated by Big Mistake

Sky Sports’ Gary Neville commented on ITV about France’s late winner and Vertonghen’s involvement:

“I think Vertonghen will be really disappointed [with the goal], and not just because it gets credited to him as an own goal. He has got to shift up. Kolo Muani doesn’t do anything amazing. He’s a little bit scruffy on the turn. But he’s got to shift up. Once you’re one or two yards off, that’s not unlucky, it falls into the category of poor defending and he knows that, he’s an experienced player. I’ve been there. I would class that from a defender with big experience as a big mistake. He’ll recognize that. He’ll be devastated because what he’ll also be thinking is ‘will it be the last time I’m here?’ That’s where it really hits home for players.”

Deschamps: Savour the Moment

France boss Didier Deschamps said:

“It’s beautiful, we played a big game, it was tight but we enjoyed possession and we had more opportunities. We have to savour it, it’s quite an achievement. We’re in the quarter-finals, they’re going home. We made a lot of progress and our opponents were obviously cautious, even if they’re an attacking team on paper. We did everything we could to create chances, and we created more than them, but we played the waiting game and didn’t fall into their trap. I liked that, but obviously you can’t win through possession alone. I’d like us to create more chances but we’re into the quarter-finals and that’s what counts. Let’s not play down that moment.”

Credit: Sky Sports

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