Theo Hernandez completed the turnaround as France went from 2-0 down to beat Belgium 3-2 in a thriller, so Les Bleus face Spain in the Nations League Final and Italy take on Romelu Lukaku for third place.

Milan’s Theo Hernandez was in the starting XI with Lucas, the first brothers to start for France in over 90 years.

Just four minutes in, Hugo Lloris had to make a truly extraordinary reaction save on Kevin De Bruyne’s deflected strike from nine yards.

After a few dangerous Kylian Mbappé counter-attacks, Belgium began to take control and Yannick Carrasco saw his low drive take a slight deflection into the near bottom corner. France felt that there was a foul in the build-up, but VAR and the referee waved play on.

The Red Devils doubled their lead with ex-Inter hitman Romelu Lukaku, who burst away from Lucas Hernandez down the right and hit an extraordinary strike from the tightest of angles into the roof of the net with his right boot. Once again, Lloris could have done better.

France began to get back into it after the break, but Antoine Griezmann prodded wide from six yards on an Mbappé roll across from the right. The goal had been coming and it arrived when Mbappé rolled across, Karim Benzema gathered with his back to goal, turned on the spot to drill in from 12 yards.

Belgium had fallen asleep in this second half and were penalised when Youri Tielemans went through the back of Griezmann for a penalty, which Mbappé converted with pure power and precision into the top corner.

This woke the Belgians up and Lloris flew to fingertip a De Bruyne rocket over the bar, while Thibaut Courtois parried Paul Pogba’s strike and Mbappé fired wide after a give-and-go with Benzema.

Moments after that miss, Belgium had the ball in the net with Lukaku, but he was marginally offside on the Carrasco cross from the left.

A few minutes after that, with extra time looming, Pogba’s splendid free kick bounced off the crossbar.

Mere seconds later, France did complete the turnaround with Milan star Theo Hernandez, who was ready on the rebound on a poor Toby Alderweireld clearance and smashed it left-footed into the far bottom corner from just inside the box.

Belgium 2-3 France

Carrasco 37 (B), Lukaku 40 (B), Benzema 62 (F), Mbappé pen 69 (F), Theo Hernandez 90 (F)

Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen; Castagne (Batshuayi 92), Witsel, Tielemans (Vanaken 70), Carrasco; De Bruyne, Lukaku, E Hazard (Trossard 74)

France: Lloris; Koundé, Varane, L Hernandez; Pavard (Dubois 92), Pogba, Rabiot (Tchouameni 75), Theo Hernandez; Griezmann; Benzema (Veretout 96), Mbappé

Ref: Siebert (GER)

10 thought on “Nations League | Belgium 2-3 France: Theo Hernandez completes comeback”
  1. Belgium – promise so much and then stumble. However, when considering their size and their league they overachieve.

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