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Samuel Umtiti’s deflected header on 51 minutes separated the sides, as Les Bleus reached their third World Cup final.
The game sparkled with pieces of individual brilliance but uncharacteristically, De Bruyne did not have his usual impact, despite his best efforts.
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The playmaker tried valiantly to produce a moment of magic for his side, delivering dangerous crosses and attempting his trademark through-balls, and had chances in the second half to level.
Ten minutes after the opener, he sliced a volley into the arms of Hugo Lloris before blazing over with 15 minutes of normal time remaining.
Belgium pressed to find an equaliser but it proved elusive and France hung on to claim the first final spot. Mendy and co. await the result of Wednesday’s other last four clash between England and Croatia (7pm UK time) to discover their opponents.
Kompany and De Bruyne will face their fellow defeated semi-finalists in Saturday’s third-place play-off (3pm UK time).
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