Saturday, 14 July 2018


belgium played france in the first world cup semi's . although both had reached this stage but both coaches had been criticized for their lack of tactical innovation . both sides had dearth of talents but none had been able to put together a team which can dominate opponents and play some good football . the football in this tournament had been not upto the standard with none of the coaches standing out who looks to have played very good football . france and belgium both started the game with 4-3-3 formation . the game was of two halves and there is nothing such great tactical to talk about this game but still there some thing that i noticed which i want to write . there is nothing great about the tactical side its was a boring game . the game was of two halves with belgium being pressed to do something in the second half because france had taken the lead in the first half .
belgium started the game with dembele in the side drafted in the midfield alongside fellaini and witsel . while matuidi came in place of tolliso . the game started with france sitting back and belgium dominating the ball . there wasnt much in the first half with both the teams sitting back and allowing the centrebacks time and space on the ball and trying to have as many players behind the ball as they can . the centre forwards too from the both sides were trying to press the midfielders instead of trying to press the forwards. the fullbacks were tucked alongside the centrebacks making it a very compact unit . in the first half belgian had a very interesting shape .  belgium didnt had a recognised left back and vertroghen was doubling as a centre back as well as a fullback . they had hazaed on that side and fellaini was given the lisence to venture forward of the three midfielders . the intresting fact that the fullbacks didnt had a direct number against them . this fact was not noticed by either of the coaches and neither of the wide players were trying to track run from the fullbacks . neither of the coaches tried to overload the flanks and try to work the ball . there were one good chances from the either sides and it was because for belgian fellaini dropped in to the zone and they could work the ball to hazard and he had a good shot . france created the other chance when mbappe and pavard combined well on the right side to create a chance for pavard who's shot was saved by courtouis . the half ended goalless and neither of the coaches showed any great ingenuity in their tactical approach . belgian just couldnt bring lukaku in the game and they failed to build the offense around him . there were some mistkaes which i will talk later. 
in the second half france took the lead early through umtiti and since the current offense was not working for belgium they had to make the change . dembele was replaced by mertens who drafted wide . the shape change bought de bruyne in the centre of the attack while hazard too who was playing from the wide left seems to have come alongside de bruyne . fellaini continued to be operating from the wide left coming inside when the ball is on the rightside . his aerial powress created a chance for belgium . here is where i think that the belgium coach was wrong first off he was allowing hazard to come very deep . now you dont your best players too much deep as it takes that much effort to get near the goal and that many players to beat . hazard should had  been told to remain upfield and the ball worked to him . secondly i dont know as to why fellaini was replaced and his physical presence  had earlier created a  chance for belgium and had he been on the field then his aerial powress would had made some difference . most importantly martinez failed to realised that without a proper left fullback belgiums offense was not able to stetch the french defense on the left side because once fellaini and hazard come inside there was nobody who would be there who would make deeper runs or cross from wider positions . martinez should had addressed these problems earlier and should had make the necessary substitutions earlier . most importantly  belgium just didnt showed that much of a heart to equalize and at times when there was necessity of calm they seem to hurrying things . balls were crossed without having a proper target in mind . hazard made the things about himself and martinez should had asked him to get others more on the ball . there were some mistakes which could had changed the game . one of them is when de bruyne had worked the ball in the box and he had lukaku on the six yard line he made a low cross while he should had made the aerial cross he crossed low and the ball just couldnt reach lukaku . this are several small things that belgiums missed into the game and they missed the final .