French football fans celebrate win in WC semi-final at the Champs Elysee

Paris erupted in firecrackers, flares and shouts and tears of joy after France advanced to the World Cup final on Tuesday.

Red smoke rose up from flares fired by fans on the Right Bank esplanade outside City Hall, where crowds watched a broadcast of the 1-0 victory over Belgium on huge screens Tuesday night.

Fans poured onto streets around the city, from the chic Champs-Elysees to working-class neighbourhoods on the edge of town.

Firecrackers popped in quick succession, punctuated by car horns and football chants and "On est en finale!" or "we're in the final!"

Some streets were closed to car traffic to accommodate fans.

Police vans lined the busiest areas in a city still on guard after extremist attacks.

France will face the winner of Wednesday's semifinal between England and Croatia in the World Cup decider in Moscow on Sunday.

The French public, celebrities and politicians have rallied around the national team as it advanced.

Samuel Umititi scored the only goal in the semifinal with a header in the 51st minute at the St. Petersburg stadium in Russia.

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