Euro 2024, Football

Euro 2024 – France vs Belgium: Super sub Kolo Muani helps France get through to quarter-final

After a late comeback, France defeated Belgium 1-0 to secure their spot in the Euro 2024 quarterfinals.

Randel Kolo Muani, who scored in the 85th minute to seal the win and divert the ball past custodian Koen Casteels and defender Jan Vertonghen, was France’s hero as the match headed into extra time.

Throughout the majority of the match, France maintained possession of the ball and came closest to breaking the tie after halftime through Marcus Thuram and Aurelien Tchouameni. Kylian Mbappe also posed a threat with some impressive footwork, but his finishing was off-color as France found it difficult to put Casteels to the test.

Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne both forced strong stops from goalkeeper Mike Maignan late in the game, giving Belgium a chance to win it themselves, but the clumsy final moment pushed France to the next round.

The team led by Didier Deschamps will play the victor of Portugal vs. Slovenia on Monday night in the quarterfinals on Friday in Hamburg (8 p.m. kickoff).

France boss Didier Deschamps:

“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.”

Belgium captain Kevin De Bruyne:

“We did everything to try to win. We were five minutes from extra-time.

“We had chances, not so many. Then they score and there isn’t enough time to react.

“We were defending pretty well but then there’s a deflection. It’s a shame but that’s football… I had that chance towards the end but couldn’t score. The keeper did well. The team really did everything we could do.”


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