Germany advances to fourth consecutive Cup semifinals

  • Article by: STEVE DOUGLAS , Associated Press
  • Updated: July 4, 2014 - 11:26 PM

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 on Friday and become the first team to reach four consecutive 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.

It was Hummels’ second goal of the tournament, and only the third that Lloris had allowed through five World Cup games.

Criticized for poor defending in earlier matches, Germany selected a more robust lineup and restricted a flat French team to only a handful of clear-cut opportunities.

“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 after the final whistle, the Germans soberly saluted all corners of the Maracana Stadium.

One job done, nothing more.

“We defended well today. I think we deserve to carry on,” said Hummels, who blocked two good chances for France striker Karim Benzema.

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