France will meet Spain in the Nations League Final after Les Blues came back from a 2-0 deficit to upset Belgium 3-2 in a thrilling football match. For the first time in almost 90 years brothers, Theo Hernandez and Lucas were named in the starting XI.
On Kevin De Bruyne’s deflected drive from nine yards, just four minutes in Hugo Lloris had to make an incredible reaction stop. After a few dangerous Kylian Mbappé counter-attacks Belgium began to gain control, and Yannick Carrasco’s low shot took a small deflection into the near bottom corner. Despite France’s claims of a foul in the build-up VAR and the referee waved play on.
With ex-Inter striker Romelu Lukaku bursting away from Lucas Hernandez down the right flank and hitting an amazing strike from the tightest of angles into the roof of the net with his right boot, the Red Devils increased their lead. Lloris could have done a better job yet again.
France began to claw their way back into the game after the first half, but Antoine Griezmann poked wide from six yards on a Mbappé cross from the right. Mbappé rolled across, Karim Benzema gathered with his back to goal, spun on the spot to drill in from 12 yards, and the goal was scored.
Youri Tielemans went through the back of Griezmann for a penalty, which Mbappé converted with absolute force and precision into the top corner. Lloris leapt to fingertip a De Bruyne rocket over the bar, After a give-and-go with Benzema, while Thibaut Courtois parried Paul Pogba’s attempt and Mbappé shot wide.
Belgium got the ball in the net with Lukaku moments after that error, but he was just offside on the Carrasco cross from the left. Pogba’s superb free-kick crashed off the crossbar a few minutes later, with extra-time looming.
Only seconds later, Milan star Theo Hernandez pounced on a poor Toby Alderweireld clearance and hammered it left-footed into the far bottom corner from just inside the box, completing the turnaround for France. Watch football highlights of the Nations League match between France and Belgium.
Belgium 2 – 3 France
Goals: Carrasco 1 – 0 37, 2 – 0 Lukaku 40, 2 – 1 Benzema 62, 2 – 2 Mbappe 69, 2 – 3 Hernandez 90
Belgium: Courtois, Vertonghen, Denayer, Alderweireld, Carrasco, Tielemans, Witsel, Castagne, Hazard, Lukaku, De Bruyne
Substitutions: Batshuayi, Trossard, Vanaken
France: Lloris, Kounde, Varane, Hernandez, Pavard, Pogba, Rabiot, Theo, Griezmann, Benzema, Mbappe
Substitutions: Veretout, Dubois, Tchouameni
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