Germany Blanks France, 1-0

France comes out flat against experienced German team
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 4, 2014 1:30 PM CDT
Germany Blanks France, 1-0
France's Karim Benzema sits on the pitch after the World Cup quarterfinal soccer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. France lost 0-1.   (Francois Xavier Marit)

It just wouldn't be the World Cup without Germany in the semifinals. Harnessing all their big-game experience, the Germans delivered a performance of maturity and efficiency to hold off France 1-0 today and become the first team to reach four straight semifinals in the sport's marquee tournament. Defender Mats Hummels scored the winning goal in the 13th minute, outmuscling his marker at a free kick to glance a header in off the underside of the crossbar. Criticized for poor defending in earlier matches, Germany selected a more robust lineup and restricted a flat France team to only a handful of clear-cut opportunities in muggy conditions.

"There was not much in it," France coach Didier Deschamps said. But, "we don't have the international experience Germany has." While France's young players slumped to the ground and some shed tears after the final whistle, the Germans soberly saluted all corners of the Maracana Stadium. One job done, nothing more. And next up for Germany is a meeting with host nation Brazil, which beat Colombia 2-1 later Friday. It will be Germany's 13th appearance in the semifinals in 20 editions of the World Cup. "We defended well today," said Hummels. "I think we deserve to carry on." Click for more. (More 2014 World Cup stories.)

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