Late own goal sends France to the quarters

France secured a place in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals following a 1-0 victory against Belgium, decided by an 85th-minute own goal from Jan Vertonghen. The match at Dusseldorf Arena remained scoreless until substitute Randal Kolo Muani’s shot deflected off Vertonghen into the net.

France dominated possession and created multiple opportunities throughout the game. However, they struggled to convert chances, with 19 total shots but only two on target. Captain Kylian Mbappe had several attempts that missed the mark. France has yet to score from open play in the tournament.

Belgium’s most notable opportunity came late in the match when Kevin De Bruyne’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Mike Maignan. Romelu Lukaku also had a low shot stopped in the second half.

The result means France will face either Portugal or Slovenia in the quarter-finals. Manager Didier Deschamps’ team progresses despite their ongoing offensive challenges.

For Belgium, this tournament exit prompts questions about the future of their national team. Several key players, including De Bruyne and Lukaku, are now in their 30s. Belgium’s cautious approach throughout Euro 2024 yielded limited attacking opportunities.

As the tournament progresses, France will aim to improve their goal-scoring efficiency. Meanwhile, Belgium will assess their performance and consider potential changes to their squad and strategy for future competitions.

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