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France Edges Past Belgium with Late Own-Goal, Advances to Quarter-Finals

In a dramatic turn of events, France secured their spot in the quarter-finals with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Belgium, courtesy of a late own-goal from Jan Vertonghen. Despite a lack of conventional flair, Les Bleus capitalized on their opportunities, with Kolo Muani's deflected strike in the 85th minute proving decisive.

The second half saw chances aplenty, with Tchouameni's early effort saved by Casteels setting the tone. Thuram, Griezmann, Saliba, and Mbappe all came close but were repeatedly thwarted by Belgium's resilient defense and goalkeeper. Meanwhile, Belgium's Lukaku and De Bruyne tested Maignan, yet failed to breach France's determined backline.

The defeat marks a disappointing end for the Red Devils, who exit the tournament earlier than anticipated for the second consecutive time. France now looks ahead to the quarter-finals, where they await either Portugal or Slovenia. To progress further, Les Bleus will need to elevate their performance significantly to avoid another tightly contested encounter.

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