On the brink of their first ever World Cup final, Belgium were knocked out of the 2018 World Cup in the semi-final against France on Tuesday night.
The only goal of the game in Saint Petersburg came courtesy of a second-half header from Samuel Umtiti. After it, Didier Deschamps men were happy to sit deep and rely on the pace of Kylian Mbappe to hit Belgium on the break. The tactic worked, making it difficult for the Red Devils to break France down.
Speaking after the game, Thibaut Courtois and Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard made their frustration known, criticising the French style of play.
“France played anti-football,” Courtois said, per Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. “I’ve not yet experienced a striker (Olivier Giroud) playing so far from goal.
“It’s their right to play like that, because they know we’re having a difficult time dealing with it, but it is not nice to see. This team was no better than us.
“France defended well, but that is it. Details have decided the game. Actually, I would have preferred Brazil to go through instead of France.”
“I’d rather lose with this Belgium team than win with this France team,” Hazard added.
France will now head to Moscow, where they will contest the World Cup final on Sunday against the winners of England and Croatia’s semi-final. Belgium will remain in Saint Petersburg to play the third-place play-off on Saturday.