France 1-0 Belgium: Vertonghen Own Goal Sends France to Quarters

French football player Jules Koundé holding the Player of the Match trophy after Euro 2024 match.

Date: July 2, 2024
Venue: Dusseldorf Arena, Germany

A dramatic late own goal by Belgium’s Jan Vertonghen ensured France’s progression to the Euro 2024 quarter-finals, where they will face Portugal. In a match characterized by missed opportunities and tense moments, France edged out Belgium 1-0 at the Dusseldorf Arena.

Match Overview

The clash between these two European giants was anticipated to be a thrilling encounter, but it lacked the expected quality and excitement for long periods. France, the 2018 World Cup champions, were dominant in possession yet inefficient in front of goal. Belgium, meanwhile, struggled to create clear-cut chances and ultimately paid the price for their cautious approach.

Key Moments

First Half

12′: France’s first real chance came when Antoine Griezmann’s low strike from distance was comfortably saved by Belgium’s goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois.
28′: Kylian Mbappe, after a brilliant solo run, missed a golden opportunity, curling his shot over the bar.
38′: Belgium’s defensive organization frustrated the French attackers, with Lukaku and De Bruyne isolated up front.

Second Half

57′: Mbappe once again found himself in a promising position but failed to find the target, highlighting France’s ongoing issues with finishing.
71′: Belgium’s best chance came when Kevin de Bruyne burst through the middle, only to see his powerful shot saved by Mike Maignan.
85′: The decisive moment occurred when Randal Kolo Muani’s shot deflected off Jan Vertonghen and into the net, sealing France’s place in the last eight.

Final Minutes

90+3′: France held on during the final minutes, with a solid defensive display ensuring no late drama from Belgium.

Tactical Analysis


Didier Deschamps’ side controlled the tempo of the game with 60% possession but managed just two shots on target from 19 attempts. The French midfield, led by Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante, dominated the park’s center, but their forwards, including Mbappe and Griezmann, were uncharacteristically wasteful. France’s resilience paid off despite their struggles, and their defense remained solid when it mattered most.


Roberto Martinez’s Belgium was too conservative, with their ‘golden generation’ failing to make a significant impact. Their lack of creativity in midfield and Romelu Lukaku’s isolation were evident as they struggled to break down France’s defense. Kevin de Bruyne’s late effort was their only clear chance, and with this defeat, questions loom over the future of Belgium’s veteran stars.

Post-Match Reactions

Didier Deschamps, France Manager

“We knew it would be a tough match, but the most important thing is that we are through. We need to be more clinical in the next game, but for now, we celebrate this victory.”

Roberto Martinez, Belgium Manager

“It’s a tough defeat. We had our chances, but you have to take them at this level. We will reflect on this and come back stronger.”

France will face Portugal in the quarter-finals, a match that promises to be a stern test for Deschamps’ side. They will need to address their issues before reaching their goal to continue their journey in Euro 2024.

Also Read: England beat Slovakia to Enter Euro 2024 Quarter-Finals