Parisians sing 'Ole,Ole' and dance throughout night as France reaches World Cup final
There was dance, music, spectacular fireworks and "Ole, ole, ole" at the the iconic Arc de Triomphe -- all to celebrate the entry of France in FIFA World Cup finals after 12 years.
 
France edged past Belgium 1-0 to book their place in the final of the FIFA World Cup in a rip-roaring semi-final clash in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. And soon after the match got over, people from all age groups thronged the streets of Paris dancing their way to the iconic monument to celebrate the moment together.
 
As the time for the match came close, one could see the cafes near the cobbled street of the city getting filled up with excitement, and soon after, one could hear the sighs and cheers with every goal as the team played on the field.
 
The match began at a breakneck pace with Belgium dominating possession initially as the French sought to catch up. France, which will play the World Cup final for the first time since 2006, will either take on England or Croatia in the summit clash on Sunday.
 
It was a moment for victory for one and all. People got together on the streets cheering with the country's flag, getting to the rooftops, dancing with one another, climbing the street lights, and bursting crackers. They were lighting up the sky with fireworks, and colour smoke bombs -- what was so different about it? They were in the hues of blue, white and red, the same as the colours in the country's flag.
 
Some expressed their excitement by jumping with a cycle, clapping and chanting "Ole, ole, ole". There were some who took out their cars and circled around the city cheering and some getting on bikes with the country's flag to express their happiness about the win.
 
What does "Ole, ole, ole" mean?
 
"It is our way of saying 'yay'," said one football fan, who added: "We all are happy with our country getting into the world cup final after so many years."
 
The stores at the Avenue des Champs Elysees were empty, and cafes were brimming with an infectious excitement. The celebration of the victory moment made tourists become a part of the city as people invited them to join the big party without any hesitation.
 
In terms of security, police officers were employed at every nook and corner of the area. And though they were on duty, they were all smiling and living the moment of the revelry.
 
An officer told IANS that he was not in a position to comment on the security arrangements, but he smiled heart-warmingly when asked about the victory.
 
He said it was a big moment for them, and another officer said they knew it was going to be a long night, but one truly worth it.
 
It was a time when the city made people, who are visiting the city for work or leisure, feel good about being able to soak in the spirit of merrymaking. Even if it meant circling the same area for four hours trying to find a way back to the hotel, and getting lost amid the festivities.
 
But sometimes getting lost is the real way of finding the heart of the city -- and that's what happened.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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    World Cup: France ease past Uruguay 2-0 to book semis berth
    France rode goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann to ease past Uruguay 2-0 in a big-ticket FIFA World Cup last-eight stage clash here on Friday.
     
    Varane (40th) glanced past goalkeeper Fernando Muslera after Griezmann floated a free-kick into the box from the right side. In the second half, Griezmann (61st) made the most of a goalkeeping howler from Muslera to double the advantage as France eased into the semi-finals where they will now take on either Brazil and Belgium.
     
    The South American team was dealt a blow before the match when striker Edinson Cavani was left out of the side, having failed to recover from a calf injury. He was replaced in the starting eleven by Girona forward Cristhian Stuani.
     
    France also made one enforced change to the team that beat Argentina 4-3 in the round of 16, with Bayern Munich's Corentin Tolisso replacing suspended Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi.
     
    Uruguay pushed France onto the back foot early and Stuani shot across the face of goal after receiving the ball on the left.
     
    France started to move the ball with more fluency. Striker Olivier Giroud met right-back Benjamin Pavard's cross from the right at the far post by nodding into the path of Kylian Mbappe, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward sent his looping header over the bar.
     
    Despite dictating possession, France rarely looked like scoring as Giroud, Griezmann and Mbappe struggled to find pockets of space.
     
    France finally broke Uruguay's resistance in the 40th minute after Rodrigo Bentancur hacked down Tolisso. The Juventus midfielder was shown a yellow card for the offense, meaning he will be unavailable in the semi-finals, should Uruguay progress. Griezmann's delivery from the resultant set piece was inch-perfect and Varane rose highest to head the ball into the bottom left corner.
     
    The goal prompted Uruguay to immediately spring to life. The Celeste had their best scoring chance of the half just moments before the interval when Martin Caceres' header forced a superb diving save from goalkeeper Hugo Lorris following Torreira's free-kick. The rebound fell for Diego Godin who fired his shot wide of the left post.
     
    After the break, Uruguay pushed for the equaliser but things got worse on 62 minutes as Griezmann made it 2-0 for France. Muslera failed to parry Griezmann's attempt from range and the ball squirmed through his grasp and over the line.
     
    Stung by the second goal, Uruguay players lost cool when Mbappe fell to the ground after a brief touch from Cristian Rodriguez.
     
    Godin and Paul Pogba then got tangled in the scuffle before the situation was diffused with yellow cards for both Rodriguez and Mbappe.
     
    Afterwards, France continued to keep the possession of the ball, while Uruguay failed to find that final which could give them their first goal. But the reducer dind't arrive as the French outfit controlled the game in the middle by putting two holding midfielders, Steven N'zonzi replacing Tolisso.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Belgium eliminate Brazil with 2-1 victory to enter semis
    Potential dark horse Belgium eliminated five-time world champions Brazil with a 2-1 triumph here on Friday to book their place in the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup only for the second time after a gap of 32 years.
     
    Fernandinho's own goal in the 13th minute and Kevin De Bruyne's 31st-minute strike meant Belgium led 2-0 at the half-time. Renato Augusto (76th minute) revived Brazil's hopes but it was too late as Belgium set up a semi-final with 1998 World Cup winners France, the only pre-tournament favourites to be in the last four.
     
    Roberto Martinez's Belgium orchestrated a counter-attacking game to near perfection as they caught Brazil, who were without their key defensive midfielder Casemiro, napping.
     
    Belgium, who were 0-2 down to Japan in their pre-quarterfinal before winning 3-2, went up 2-0 against Brazil, who were boosted by the return of Marcelo. 
     
    Belgium replaced forward Dries Mertens with Nacer Chadli in order to make their more compact and instead they put attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne near the attackers, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku.
     
    Brazil, playing with a 4-3-3 formation, had a promising start and could have taken the lead in th early seventh minute when a corner from the left saw the ball jump out of Thiago Silva's thigh and kissed the left post. 
     
    After the clearance, Belgium raced off for a counter-attack, with De Bruyne teeing up Hazard on the edge of the Brazil box. Hazard's shot was blocked by goalkeeper Alisson Becker. Chadli's rebound shot went wide of the left post. This action gave a sign of how Belgium were approaching the game.
     
    Another counter-attack led to a corner six minutes later. A corner, whipped by Belgium captain Hazard from the left flew into the Brazilian net off Fernandinho's right arm near the left post, catching Alisson out of position.
     
    Later, Philippe Coutinho and Marcelo tested Belgium goal-keeper Thibaut Courtois with long-range drives but the latter was alert, as Belgium, who played three central defenders in Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany and Toby Alderweireld dealt Brazilian moves with patience and calmness.
     
    The European team doubled their lead in the 31st minute when Lukaku opened up a counter-attack following a corner. After Marouane Fellaini headed away Neymar's corner, Lukaku ran away down the middle of the pitch before rolling a pass right to De Bruyne, who launched a low screamer into the bottom left.
     
    Brazil responded strongly after falling behind 0-2 and had their best chance of the first half six minutes later as Coutinho cut inside from the left, and sent a power curler towards the bottom right but it couldn't beat a diving Courtois.
     
    After the change of ends, Brazil removed off-colour Willian and Gabriel Gesus and brought in attacking players Douglas Costa and Roberto Firmino to infuse more energy. The strategy, coupled with Belgium's thinking of defending the lead meant that the European was forced to defend for the most part of the second half.
     
    Paulinho was not ready to stab home a rebound cross off Costa as Brazil continued their hunt for their opening goal.
     
    Belgium showed that they can also calmly defend and when they opportunity came, they were not behind in launching counter-attacks. They came close to their third goal when Chadli galloped down the left before feeding Hazard, who entered the left-hand side of the box before firing a low shot past the far post in the 63rd minute.
     
    At the other end, 10 minutes later, a flick from right winger Costa was palmed away by Courtois but Neymar grabbed the rebound and employed a drive. But the keeper rose up to keep away the danger.
     
    Augusto then replaced Paulinho in the 73rd minute and three minute later he gave Brazil their opening goal. Coutinho, 30 yards out, down the inside-left channel, spotted Augusto with a looping cross and the substitute midfielder headed it past Courtois into the bottom right corner.
     
    The Brazilian pair worked well a move four minutes later, when Coutinho slipped a pass down the middle of the box for Augusto, who sent a fierce low shot inches wide of the bottom left post.
     
    Belgium now were determined to defend the one-goal lead and put out Lukaku and Chadli and brought in defender Thomas Vermaelen and young midfielder Youri Tielesman to keep the pressing Brazilians' away.
     
    Brazil continued with their momentum and later in the injury time, a Neymar curler to the top right corner was tipped over by Courtois as Belgium hung on to their 2-1 lead.
     
    With Brazil's defeat, the semi-finals will not feature a South American nation after a gap of 12 years as Saturday's quarter-finals match-ups are England vs Sweden and Croatia vs hosts Russia.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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