- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 10, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) – France advances to World Cup final, beats Belgium 1-0. 

Paris erupted in firecrackers, flares and shouts and tears of joy on the news.

Red smoke rose up from flares fired by fans on the Right Bank esplanade outside City Hall, where crowds watched a broadcast of the 1-0 victory over Belgium on huge screens Tuesday night. 

Fans poured onto streets around the city, from the chic Champs-Elysees to working-class neighborhoods on the edge of town. Firecrackers popped in quick succession, punctuated by car horns and football chants and “On est en finale!” or “we’re in the final!” 

France will face the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal between England and Croatia in the World Cup decider in Moscow on Sunday. The French public, celebrities and politicians have rallied around the national team as it advanced.

Samuel Umititi scored the only goal in the semifinal with a header in the 51st minute at the St. Petersburg stadium in Russia.

Umititi says “We worked really hard together, and it’s me that scored but we all delivered a big game.”

His live TV interview was interrupted by teammate Antoine Griezmann, who saluted to the camera and said: “Vive la France! Vive la Republique!” 

 


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