Belgium players would have been thinking of how they would overcome Spain in the UEFA Nations League final after taking a two-goal lead into the interval but World champions, France, had other ideas.

They stormed back in the second half with three goals to claim the final ticket and condemn the Red Devils to another tournament where they have gone so far but not actually claim the title.

The two semifinals have been thrilling end-to-end games and the final should be an attacking spectacle. ?

In a game that was a story of two halves, Belgium were the superior side in the first half and could have taken a lead as early as the fifth minute when Hugo Lloris produced an amazing save from a Kevin De Bruyne goal-bound shot.

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Kylian Mbappe had a shot saved in the 23rd minute as the end-to-end action continued. Yannick Carrasco gave the No.1 ranked FIFA team the lead in the 37th minute when he dropped a shoulder and deceived Lloris with his low shot.

Romelu Lukaku scored the second on the dot of half time when he swept a high finish past Lloris for a supposedly comfortable 2-0 first half lead.

Second half

The second half saw a more coordinated and energetic French team, who swarmed the Belgians and deployed the speed of Mbappe.

But Belgium manager Roberto Martinez will believe his defenders should have done better for France’s first goal through Karim Benzema. The Real Madrid should have had no hope of getting off his shot while surrounded by three defenders but he somehow found the gap to get France back in the game.

A lapse in concentration by Youri Tielemans handed France their equaliser from the penalty spot.

Tielemans lost the ball and when he was given a second chance to clear, he went through Antoine Griezmann. VAR sent referee Daniel Siebert to the monitor and he gave the penalty. Mbappe stepped up and smashed past Thibaut Courtois.

Belgium then thought they had won it through Lukaku on 88 minutes when he got on the end of a cross from Carrasco but VAR adjudged the Chelsea man to have strayed a bit offside.

Two minutes later, the two French full backs combined to give the World Champions the lead for the first time. France swept forward through Griezmann, who passed on to Benjamin Pavard.

His cross was not well cut out by the Belgian defenders and it fell invitingly to Theo Hernandez who drove his shot across Courtois, who got fingertips to the shot but could not stop it.

France have done it and have the opportunity to win a first UEFA Nations League title on Sunday when they come up against Spain in the final at the San Siro.


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