Belgium 2-3 France: World Champions complete stunning turnaround, Theo Hernandez with a last-minute winner

Karim Benzema and Kylian MBappe of France against Belgium
Karim Benzema and Kylian MBappe of France against Belgium - IMAGO / PanoramiC

World Champions France came from behind to complete a stunning 3-2 comeback against Belgium in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals.

Roberto Martinez’s side put France on the back foot in the first half, with Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku finding the nets.

However, Les Bleus changed gears after the break and Karim Benzema halved the deficit at the hour mark with a brilliant strike. They went on to add two more goals that included a last-minute winner from Theo Hernandez. Didier Deschamps’ side awaits Spain in the Nations League finals on Sunday.

Theo Hernandez’s dream Nations League debut

AC Milan star Theo Hernandez rightfully deserved his first call-up to France senior team months ago after back to back impressive seasons in Serie A. The 24-year-old earned a place in the starting 11 alongside his brother Lucas Hernandez last night in what turned out to be his second appearance for the national team. Theo excelled in the wing-back role as he managed to show his attacking and creative attributes. To cap off his good performance, he netted a stunning goal in the eleventh hour, which ensured France’s place in the finals.

Mbappe ends his scoring drought

Kylian Mbappe put his miserable Euro 2020 campaign behind and shone in France’s victory last night. Building on his impressive form with PSG this season, Mbappe managed to end his six-match goalless run after scoring a penalty in the second half, which meant to be Les Bleus’ equaliser. Throughout the game, the 22-year-old was brimming with confidence and his sheer pace and dribbling skills often caught the Belgians off guard.

Belgium’s wait for the trophy goes on.

Belgium seemed to have a great chance of progressing to the finals for the first time after going 2-0 in the first half. But they failed to capitalise on the lead, allowing France to complete a stunning come-back. Martinez’s so-called golden generation lacked the ambition and intention in the second half, which turned out to be their biggest drawback. Even the Spanish manager admitted that his side lost the plot after the break. The Belgian boss said: “It is the responsibility we feel to our fans and the way this generation wants to bring silverware in such a desperate manner. In the second half, we were a little too emotional, maybe we were thinking a little too much about the final, about qualifying. We didn’t do what we had to do. We let France come back.”