Dhaka, Bangladesh
Courtois blasts France victory

Pogba dedicates France win to Thai boys

Courtois blasts France victory

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said his team's defeat by France in the World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday was a "shame for football", criticising Didier Deschamps's side for a defensive style of play. Centre-back Samuel Umtiti's 51st-minute header from a corner gave France a 1-0 win, as they defended deep to close it out and reach a third World Cup final. "It was a frustrating match. France didn't play at all, they defended with 11 players within 40 metres of their goal," Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois told Belgian TV channel RTBF. "They played on the counter-attack with (Kylian) Mbappe, who is very quick. That's their right. They know when an opponent plays very deep, that's where we have problems. "The frustration is there because we didn't lose to a team who are better than us, we lost to a team who play nothing, just defend. "Against Uruguay (in the quarter-finals) they scored with a free-kick and a goalkeeping error. Today, a corner. It's a shame for football that Belgium didn't win today." France, the 1998 champions, will face either England or Croatia in Sunday's final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. ANOTHER NEWS ADDS: France midfielder Paul Pogba dedicated his side's World Cup 1-0 semi-final win over Belgium to the 12 Thai boys who were rescued from a flooded cave along with their coach on Tuesday. "This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong," Pogba wrote on his official Twitter account after Samuel Umtiti's headed goal put France in Sunday's World Cup final in Moscow, where they will play Croatia or England. The "Wild Boars" soccer team, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach became trapped on June 23 while exploring the cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels. On Wednesday, La Liga said they had invited the boys and their coach to Spain to attend a Spanish top flight game in the future when they have fully recovered from the ordeal. La Liga's president Javier Tebas said: "When the moment is right and everyone is ready I would like to invite the children and their coach to go to a Liga game. "We would like to host them and share with them the happiness of football, hoping that this can go some way to helping them after everything they've been through in the last few weeks." FIFA had invited the boys to Sunday's World Cup final although the world organizing body said that due to medical reasons the boys would not be in a position to travel to the game, although they would invite them to an event in the future.

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