France edge past Belgium after late deflection seals Euro 2024 progression

It took until their 66th shot and the 84th minute and 36th second of their fourth game but France at last scored a goal from open play at this European Championship finals tournament. Or maybe they didn’t?

When at last it came, Randal Kolo Muani’s late strike was scuffed and needed a deflection off a defender’s knee to beat Koen Casteels, the winner in Düsseldorf another one that might ultimately not go down as a goal of their own, awarded to poor Jan Vertonghen instead. Either way, it was enough to take them through to a 1-0 win against Belgium. And that, it is tempting to conclude, is the perfect portrait of this team.

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