Didier Deschamps says it was hard to beat the 2018 World Cup most attacking team in quarterfinals.

Samuel Umtiti’s header secured a place for France in the finals after their 1-0 victory over Belgium in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday. “They are young, but they have a good character and a strong mentality,” Deschamps admitted. “It was hard today against a great Belgian team. We had to work a lot defensively and Umtiti’s goal is good for us.” “We could have made more of our counter-attacks at the end of the match.”

Les Bleus will face one of England or Croatia in Moscow on Sunday, but many of the current squad were involved in their Euro 2016 defeat to Portugal in Paris. “The defeat in the final two years ago at home hasn’t disappeared, it’s still there,” Deschamps explained in his post-match press conference at the Saint Petersburg stadium. “Sunday will be a special match. Congratulations to my players and all my coaching staff.”

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