France's Fabrice Jeannet held his nerve to edge his country past Germany and into the final of the men's team epee.
Jeannet entered the last bout against Sven Schmid with a comfortable four-point lead, but was made to sweat when the Germans pulled level at 43-43.
An error from Jeannet gave Schmid match point, but the Frenchman bounced back to set up a final against Hungary.
"At 43-44 I just knew that it was not possible to miss the final. I could not let down my team-mates," said Jeannet.
"I did not look at the scoreboard," said Schmid after his narrow failure.
"When you start looking at the scoreboard against the world champion then you are in trouble. I just wanted to focus on fencing each point as it came."
Hungary booked their place in the gold-medal match by beating Russia 34-26.