Half-time: France 0-0 Belgium It’s on a knife-edge. De Bruyne and, particularly, Hazard has fizzed with menace, while France has been cautious, as expected, but threatened on the counter-attack, where their speed – especially Mbappe – could damage Belgium at any moment.
An intriguing start to the game. Belgium are sitting organised and are countering at pace whenever they get the ball. Hazard has already sent in a dangerous cross from the left wing.
Mbappe goes into Roadrunner mode as Pogba slips a through ball for him. He races past the last defender but Courtois was quick off his line to deny him. Belgium threaten now! De Bruyne gets on to the ball in the attacking third and slips in Hazard down the left. He takes a snapshot but it is just wide of the far post. This has been such an energetic start to the game.
SAVED! Belgium go so close. A corner is not dealt with by the French defence. It falls to Alderweireld inside the box who turns and sends a left-footed shot to the far corner but Lloris dives full length to keep it away. France get a chance for themselves. Griezmann lays off a FK to Pavard on the right who swung in a cross. Giroud tried to glance it to the bottom corner but it went just wide.
SAVE!! Mbappe and Pavard combine brilliantly on the right wing. Mbappe cuts in and plays the right back in down the right wing. He gets into the penalty area and gets a shot away. Only Courtois’ extended leg saved the day for Belgium there. France getting into the game now.
Half-time in what has been an absolutely gripping semifinal where both teams have traded punches without really landing a blow. Belgium have contained France’s threat pretty well so far. But towards the end of the half, France looked a bit more confident. A brilliant second-half awaits us, hopefully.