But with their King Philippe watching from the stands, there was to be no coronation.
France and Belgium are seen as the strongest teams left in the competition, which means the victor of Tuesday's match will head into the final as favourites to be crowned world champions.
'Every team plays with its strengths, our strength is playing football, and their strength is in defending and counter-attacks with (Kylian) Mbappe who is very fast, ' he continued.
"We're going into a semi-final but it just seems like it's the next step on the journey", he said. "But after five minutes, I understood why the coach asked us to do that, that's why I say that it's all thanks to the coach; it was he who created this plan and knew how to implement it".
France was relentless on the attack in its 4-3 win against Argentina, but it has now revealed a grit in wins against Uruguay and Belgium that many were not sure existed. We don't have the resources, the infrastructure, the money that other countries have.
"In the beginning of the match I was a bit surprised by such recommendations, and I thought to myself: if we defended against Brazil with only two players, things might get complicated".
France coach Didier Deschamps has recalled Blaise Matuidi in the only change to his lineup for the World Cup semifinal against Belgium at St. Petersburg Stadium.
However, Umtiti popped up with the game's telling moment early in the second half, nodding the ball home to score his third global goal.
It had been suggested that France needed to step up a level in quality if they were to get past the Belgians and they did just that.
"He played man-to-man against Kolarov and devoured him, defensively and offensively, " Wilmots told the Associated Press in an interview before the World Cup.
"This is the only one [picture] going", he said.
"It's a group of people who share a vision of making Belgian football proud and achieving something important and these players have done that". It allows the country to be more ambitious and believe in its own talent.
"Kevin De Bruyne is a modern playmaker in the fact that he goes even quicker than what you can see, " Martinez said.
"As it happens in any big tournament, you need to look at the younger generations and try to become stronger", he said. "From tournament to tournament, that's the drive and the ambition".
RTBF is airing the World Cup in Belgium, where the main supermarket chain there, Delhaize, is closing an hour early tonight so its employees can watch the 8 PM game.
However, Sarkisian also reportedly showed signs of being intoxicated during a game and at a team meeting. In a statement Monday, Sarkisian said he's disappointed by the decision but will respect it and move on.
Porte has moved up to 14th, 51 seconds off the lead and four seconds ahead of defending champion Chris Froome who rose to 18th. BMC Racing were four seconds quicker than their nearest rivals, Team Sky, in the stage three team time trial.
On Sunday he moves on to Helsinki to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for long-awaited talks on neutral territory. Trump is scheduled to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II later this month.
Real paid tribute to Ronaldo in a lengthy statement on their website and said the player had asked to be transferred. I can only give thanks to all of them for the love and affection that I have received.
Momentum for change, said Ashok Row Kavi, a prominent LGBT rights activist, was now virtually "unstoppable". When the supreme court overturned the ruling, they could hardly go back into the closet, he said.
Elon Musk posted video and photos from inside the cave in Thailand where four boys and their soccer coach remain trapped. Onlookers cheered, "Hooyah moo pa!" - a reference to the name of the boys' soccer team, Moo Pa, or Wild Boars.
The interior ministry has placed their names on the Exit Control List , which bars individuals from leaving the country. Sharif along with Maryam had gone to London last month to see his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
The Trump administration on Tuesday announced a package of tariffs targeting Chinese exports valued roughly at $200 billion. The tariffs could take effect after public consultations end on August 30, according to a statement from the U.S.
I feel like my stomach isn't the same, my waist isn't the same. "She didn't get those from me, I thank her dad for those". According to WWD , Kylie Cosmetics is projected to rake in $1 billion in lifetime sales by 2022.
Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is a ideal for me, and City's performances last season were outstanding. With two years remaining on his current contract, Leicester have opted to no longer stand in his way.
Harry and Meghan due in Dublin for two-day visit
The Book of Kells is one of Ireland's greatest cultural treasures, and is on display at Trinity College in the heart of Dublin . The newly married couple will first meet our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar before heading to a garden party at the British Embassy.
Thailand cave rescue: Rescued boys are 'happy and well'
The search and rescue operation has involved dozens of global experts and rescuers, including a U.S. military team. The four boys rescued Sunday were receiving medical treatment at a hospital in Chiang Rai, around 35 miles away.