Germany 1 France 0 – Hummels header sends Germans through to semi-finals
Germany score an early goal and grind out a victory against a toothless French side
July 4th, 2014
Joachim Low’s team are two games away from shaking off the bridesmaid label and becoming world champions after getting the better of France at the Maracana Stadium.
Low decided to opt with Miroslav Klose as the lone striker, while Per Mertesacker dropped to the bench and Germany started the match at a fast tempo which saw Les Bleus on the back foot.
Some careless defending from Paul Pogba led to a German free-kick in the 13th minute and Matt Hummels got the better of Raphael Varane from the set piece to nod the ball past Hugo Lloris.
It was far from the ideal start for a France side who had arguably more of the play for the rest of the first half, with Karim Benzema denied at point-blank range, while Pogba and Blaise Matuidi controlled the midfield area.
However, Germany were able to control the match after the interval, with the tempo of the game noticeable slowing down as France failed to make inroads against an organised defence.
Die Mannschaft actually had chances to score a second goal, with substitute Andre Schurrle particularly culpable after Varane blocked his effort after smart work from Thomas Muller.
Schurrle has previously shot tamely from close range and let Hugo Lloris block his effort although it mattered little as the final whistle went.
Germany will now play Brazil or Colombia in the semi-finals of the World Cup, with France left to reflect on a slow start which ultimately cost them a chance of going any further in the competition.