Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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France reach Nations League final after stunning comeback against Belgium

Theo Fernandez late strike completed a stunning comeback for France to defeat Belgium 3-2 in a rip-roaring semifinal of the UEFA Nations League on Thursday at the Allianz Stadium, Turin.

France fell behind after 37 minutes, with Atlético Madrid fullback Yannick Carrasco firing a low strike to Hugo Lloris’ left and into the back of the net.

Belgium’s lead was quickly doubled when Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku turned his defender superbly before rifling the ball home into the top right hand corner.

But it proved to be a game of two halves as Les Bleus got one back with less than half an hour to play through Karim Benzema, who finished brilliantly past Thibaut Courtois after a magnificent pirouette.

And just seven minutes later, the French were level, this time courtesy of a brilliantly dispatched Kylian Mbappé penalty after Antoine Griezmann was upended in the box by Youri Tielemens.

Belgium thought they had staved off the comeback and won the tie after Lukaku turned in a teasing cross from the left, only for VAR to overturn the goal for offside.

And in a night full of drama, the French served a late treat when Theo Hernández netted the winner in the 91st minute to secure France a place in the final of the UEFA Nations League against Spain on Sunday.

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