Belgium still have one more game to negotiate before departing Russian Federation.
"That's football!" goes the saying, one that reflects the resigned air of Belgium's Red Devils after France had ended their hopes of glory at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.
The Belgians had a first-half corner and the ball found its way to Toby Alderweireld just inside the box after a touch from Marouane Fellaini.
It's not yet clear what role Kevin De Bruyne will play for Belgium in the World Cup semifinal against France. France's performance wasn't pretty at the times but the fact is they got the job done.More news: The incident in Salisbury ended well
But Eden Hazard score seconds later and two late goals from Nabil Fekir and Dimitri Payet could not change the fate of the game for the 1998 World Champions.
Waiting for either Croatia or England to face in the final, the French should still ensure that they are on point and stay focused to win the World Cup. He smiles, mixes English with Spanish to say hello to the different journalists working at the base camp and shows no sign of being under pressure.
"We want to finish on a high, and these players deserve to finish on a high".
Three of the five goals Belgium conceded were from dead-ball situations, but Martinez refused to admit that failure to prepare for defending set pieces was his team's undoing in Russian Federation. The difference between winning and losing came down to one dead-ball situation.More news: The rules really need to change, says Kevin Anderson
Ultimately this game, like most of the knockout matches, was always going to be defined and decided by the small margins, and it's ironic in a way that a game with some of Europe's best creative talent was decided by a defender with a headed goal off a set-piece.
Thibaut Courtois rushed from his goal just in time to save Vertonghen again from Mbappe's pace on 12 minutes, but it was Belgium who started the better in possession.
Hazard was a fraction wide of squeezing in shot across goal into the far corner in the 15th minute and moments later only a goal-saving header from Pogba denied the Chelsea forward the opener. Samuel Umtiti's flawless header in the 51st minute of the match made him the hero of the day and led the team to a victory against Belgium.More news: Woman survives seven days on radiator water after California crash
From dreaming of a first World Cup final, Belgium will now has to be content with a playoff for third place, but Martinez said he was proud of his players and would do all he could to get them ready for their final match of the tournament.