Germany scooped the first vacant semi-final spot at the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ following a 1-0 victory over France at the Estadio do Maracanã on Friday in a titanic battle between two European giants. Les Bleus looked the brightest of the two sides in the early exchanges but found themselves trailing in the 13th minute of the game. Toni Kroos whipped in a seemingly harmless ball from a free kick and Mats Hummels outmuscled Raphael Verane to send his header past Hugo Lloris.
Joachim Löw’s troops continued to cause trouble for the French defence. In the 24th minute Miroslav Klose went down in the area but the referee wasn’t interested. In the 34th minute Antoine Griezmann outmaneuvered the offside trap and sent the ball across to Mathieu Valbuena who forced a shot but it was brilliantly saved by Manuel Neuer.
The Germans had it all easy in the dying minutes of the first stanza as France kept coming with half cooked chances which all came to nothing. The Frenchmen picked themselves up in the second stanza and looked like scoring every time they pushed forward. Verane came close in the 60th minute but his header was easily dealt with by Neuer.
Karim Benzema had his attempt blocked by the German defence in the 76th minute putting to waste his delightful first touch and composure making room for the shot. Substitute Andre Schurlle came close to putting the game to bed in the 81st minute but Lloris was alert to the danger. France failed to force the match into extra time in the dying minutes of the game as the Mannschaft kept pushing them back into their own half.
In the end, Hummels’ goal proved decisive as the Germans secured a semi-final spot at the expense of their neighbours.