Belgium lacked magic in World Cup semi-final defeat to France, says Roberto Martinez | Football News


Belgium’s golden generation will play for bronze in Saturday’s play-off

Last Updated: 10/07/18 10:31pm

Roberto Martinez attributed Belgium’s inability to “create a little bit of magic” to their World Cup semi-final defeat to France.

Samuel Umtiti’s second-half header edged a tight contest in Saint Petersburg in France’s favour, meaning it will be bronze at best for Belgium’s golden generation at Russia 2018.

“It was a very tight game, there were not many big moments that were going to decide the game,” Belgium head coach Martinez told FIFA.com.

“The difference between the defeat and winning was down to one dead-ball situation, that’s how close the game was.

“We have to give a lot of credit to the way France defended, even having certain attacking players defending very deep and giving us a lot of respect in that way.

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“We couldn’t find the little bit of magic in front of goal or a little bit of luck at times.

“But if you’re going to lose a game, I’m so proud of the players – you lose with a lot of effort, giving everything you’ve got, driving until the last second.

Samuel Umtiti headed France into the World Cup final

Samuel Umtiti headed France into the World Cup final

“You have to accept it, congratulate France and wish them well for the final.”

Belgium will remain in Saint Petersburg for Saturday’s play-off against the losers on Wednesday’s semi-final between England and Croatia.

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