Thanks to a famous race to catch up, world champion France made it into the final of the Nations League.
In the remake of the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, coach Didier Deschamps’ team defeated Belgium 3: 2 (0: 2) after a two-goal deficit in Turin.
In the final in Milan’s San Siro on Sunday (8:45 p.m.) Spain is waiting, which European champions Italy defeated 2-1 on Wednesday. Italy and Belgium play out third place beforehand (3:00 p.m.).
Theo Hernandez (90.), brother of Bayern Munich’s Lucas Hernandez, scored the decisive goal. Yannick Ferreira Carrasco (37th) and Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku (40th) had put the Red Devils in the lead shortly before the break. Karim Benzema (62nd) and Kylian Mbappé (69th) equalized with a penalty kick.
The four teams had won their preliminary group groups in the A-League last year. We are looking for the successor of the premier winner Portugal in Italy. The German team had missed the semi-finals as second in their group – after a memorable 6-0 swat against Spain.
The Hernández brothers make history
Something memorable had happened in Turin before the kick-off. France coach Deschamps offered the Hernández brothers Theo and Lucas in the starting line-up. Two brothers from the start had last played in the Equipe Tricolore in 1974 in a friendly against Romania.
Right at the start, Belgium gave away the huge opportunity to take the lead. The former Wolfsburg Kevin de Bruyne failed because of France’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who hurried the ball past the post (4th). After half an hour, Belgium became more dominant, also because France withdrew.
Carrasco rewarded the Belgians for increasing the pace with his hard shot to take the lead. Then Lukaku followed up with great preparatory work by de Bruyne.
After the break, France pressed. Benzema with a powerful shot and Mbappé, who remained ice cold from the point, ensured the deserved equalization. Shortly before the final whistle, Mbappé missed the chance for the winning goal gossamerly.
In return, Lukakus’ alleged goal was withdrawn because of an offside position after video evidence. Then Theo Hernandez struck.
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