Belgium lost their lead after the break
- Title : Belgium lost their lead after the break
France followed Spain into the Nations League final. The Equipe Tricolore won the semi-final against Belgium 3-2 after a spectacular race to catch up late.
Both national coaches had sent their first line-up into the race, the pace was correspondingly high in the initial phase - and accordingly the first chance of the game was spectacular. After an unfortunate defensive action by Koundé, De Bruyne came from close range to the conclusion and hammered on the near corner, Lloris prevented the early Belgian lead with a sensational save (4th).
Belgian double strike before the break
In the aftermath, too, things went up and down, both teams taking turns firing in the direction of the opposing goal. From the middle of the second round, however, the pace gradually decreased and the tactical component came to the fore. The French, who competed for the first time with the brothers Theo and Lucas Hernandez, showed some technically attractive combinations, the offensive trio Griezmann / Mbappé / Benzema frequently changed positions.
Belgium was more determined, however, which had a little more ball security and occasionally attracted - and took the lead in exactly this way: De Bruyne shifted to the right to Carrasco, who pulled into the middle and Lloris completely with a shot that was still slightly deflected into the near corner caught on the wrong foot (37th). France was now noticeably on the ropes and conceded the second goal immediately afterwards: After another De Bruyne pass, Lukaku passed Lucas Hernandez far too easily and then hammered the ball from an acute angle over Lloris under the crossbar (41.). Hazard could even have scored the third goal before the break, but this time Lloris was there (45th).
France as transformed - double blow to equalize
The half-time break was good for France, the world champion came out of the locker room as if transformed - and came to a double blow against too passive Belgians: After Griezmann had already missed a huge chance (58th), Benzema showed his whole class and scored surrounded by four Belgians from the turn to the connection (62nd), only a little later the German referee Daniel Siebert imposed a penalty after VAR intervention for a foul by Tielemans on Griezmann - Mbappé converted to 2-2 (69th).
Spectacular final phase: Theo Hernandez concludes
The final phase was then again really spectacular: Both teams played to win and wanted to force a decision before extra time. Lloris against De Bruyne on the one hand (73rd) and Courtois against substitute Tchouameni on the other (77th) showed outstanding saves, Mbappé shot just wide to the left (86th), a Lukaku goal was denied by the VAR for offside ( 87th), Pogba flicked a free kick to the crossbar (90th).
The crowning glory of the wild ups and downs was to follow: At the end of regular time, Pavard pushed forward again over the right, Alderweireld fended off his cross at Theo Hernandez's feet - and the Milan player hammered the ball from around 15 Meters into the long corner (90th). His first international goal was synonymous with the final point - and the final for the French.