By David Owen
July 10 – Belgium will try to keep the Adidas flag flying at Russia 2018 in St Petersburg tonight.
A victory for their opponents, France, would guarantee an all-Nike match-up in Sunday’s final in Moscow – a remarkable denouement for the US brand, several of whose ten teams began the tournament sluggishly.
Defeat for Belgium would mean a first World Cup final with no Adidas teams since 1994, when the competition was staged in the United States and Brazil beat Italy in a penalty shoot-out.
The other two Russia 2018 semi-finalists, Croatia and England, are both supplied, like France, by Nike.
Russia 2018 has been a duopoly between Adidas and Nike since last Friday, when Puma’s last survivor, Uruguay, were eliminated by France.
Treating matches decided by penalty shoot-outs as draws, Nike sides have now won eighteen and drawn eight of thirty-nine World Cup matches. Adidas’s initially larger contingent have won nineteen and drawn ten of forty-seven.
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