A goal in the 12 minute of the first half, was good enough for the Germans to hang on an beat the French by slim 1-0 margin.
Byline: Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
RIO DE JANEIRO– Center back Mats Hummels pin point header was the goal that would see the Eagles to the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup on Friday.
“Mats was sensational today,” Germany Coach Joachim Low told FIFA.com. “The way he goes into tackles and wins them and the way he’s always in the right place is hugely impressive. On top of that he scored and he’s always a threat at set-pieces too.”
Midfielder Toni Kroos delivered a cross from set piece right outside the penalty box. The ball floated into the heart of the penalty box, and Hummels was running to the ball with a French defender guarding him closely. Step by step the defender followed him, and with the defender grabbing his jersey to contain his movement, Hummels made contact with the ball and sent it high into the upper right hand corner of the goal, to give Germany a 1-0 at the 12 minute. That early goal would eventually prove to be the game winner.
The explosive Germany offensive disappeared for the rest of the game. As the French offensive took control of the game and forced the Eagles to react to their every move. Forcing German goalie Manuel Neuer to make five saves to keep the narrow 1-0 lead for his team.
the one of 13 shots France would take for the rest of the game against the Eagles, came at the 33 minute when midfielder Mathieu Valbunea took a low shot from the right hand side, inside the penalty box. His shoot seemed destined to enter the goal, but Neuer was there to get a deflection on the ball. The ball hit Bleus forward Karim Benzema, he could not react quick enough to hit the ball into an open net, and Hummels was there to deflect the shot to save the 1-0 lead.
Another dangerous moment for the Germans happened at 60 minute, Bleus defender Raphael Varane received a cross into the box, he head the ball towards the nets, but Neuer stopped the tying goal.
Even in the final minute of the match France had another chance to tie the game, Benzema took a shot from the left hand side of the box, but Neuer again got his hands on the ball and saved the day for the Germans and conserve the 1-0 lead at the 90 minute.
“We’re playing the type of football that will give us the chance to win,” Hummels told FIFA.com after the match. “We’re defending well, with passion and that needs to be intensified with every coming match. France are a top team and today was tough – it certainly wasn’t a walk on the park. That said, I think we deserved to win.”
Germany advance to the semifinals to take on the host nation Brazil on Tuesday, July 8 at Belo Horizonte. As for the French they will be headed home.
Highlights to this video can be seen on this link http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=intl:1932297, video provided by ESPN FC.