France entered the finals of the FIFA World Cup 2018 after defeating Belgium, by a solitary goal to book their place in the final.

Samuel Umtiti’s 51st-minute header sent France into the World Cup final with a ruthless 1-0 win over Belgium in an absorbing first semi-final on Tuesday.

Didier Deschamps’ side will face England or Croatia in Moscow on Sunday as the French look to lift the trophy for the second time following their triumph on home soil in 1998.

In an enthralling, albeit highly tactical rather than incident-packed match, it was once again a set-piece that proved decisive with Umtiti’s near-post header from an Antoine Griezmann corner settling matters.

Having gained the lead, France showed the defensive nous to nullify the threat from Belgium’s Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne, closing out the game for a win that sent them to their second straight major tournament final, following their loss to Portugal in Euro 2016.

France can begin to prepare for the final at the Luzhniki Stadium, eager to avoid a repeat of 2006 when they were beaten by Italy on penalties in Berlin and the pain of the loss to Portugal on home soil in 2016.

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