Hazard's willingness and ability to carry the ball under pressure, jinking past helpless defenders, was in evidence as Belgium claimed their greatest-ever World Cup scalp by beating Brazil in the quarter-finals.
There was still time for Umtiti to miskick and nearly let in Romelu Lukaku, but somehow the teams went into the break tied at 0-0. "It's going to be a man's match and we will have to step up".
'The game was very close, very tight and it was going to be decided by the one who could find the final touch in the box or get a bit of luck on goal.
But Belgians will now wonder if they have seen the best chance for this talented generation of players to win a major global title.
In a World Cup which has not exactly witnessed the most free-flowing of games, France hold the edge in this regard with Belgium preferring to play an expansive style.
Final: France 1, Belgium 0.
France also boasts a talented squad. Defeated Uruguay in the quarterfinals, 2-0. Having won all their group games decisively, Belgium have remained unbeaten in the World Cup thus far.
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"The frustration is there because we didn't lose to a team who are better than us, we lost to a team who play nothing, just defend".
"I'm pleased for him", said France Manager Didier Deschamps, who once was Henry's teammate for France, if you can follow along, please. I'm very proud of them.
Oddsmakers widely consider France the favorite in the matchup.
"A Duel Between Friends" declared France's Journal du Dimanche newspaper on Sunday, with a cartoon on the front page taken from the comic book "Asterix in Belgium", when the plucky Gauls encounter a rival tribe from across the border. In the end France were just too savvy for Belgium. The highs have been so giddily high as to include a World Cup triumph on home soil and a Zinédine Zidane master class to reach the 2006 final. BBC Sports' Mark Lawrenson predicted a 2-0 win for the French. It gave France a 52 percent chance of winning and Belgium a 48 percent chance.
There will be a "hunger to win" and a desire to show Henry that he picked the wrong side, France forward Olivier Giroud said. The Guardian's Martin Laurence seemingly went against the grain, however, and predicted a 2-1 win for Belgium.
Once ahead, France locked down, robbing the Red Devils' star names of space to pick through in the final third, grinding down the clock - while looking to strike on the counter - until their place in the Moscow finale was confirmed.
While Lloris made a tremendous diving save from Spurs teammate Jan Vertonghen to keep France level in the first half, and also an excellent block from Axel Witsel in the second, Lukaku had a awful evening leading the line, as he struggled to gain any change from the French centre-back pairing of Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane, who dominated the bulky Belgian all evening.
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