Germany beat France 1-0 and secured itself a place in World Cup history on Friday, by qualifying for the semifinals for the fourth straight tournament.
A goal from Mats Hummels in the 13th minute was enough to seal the contest at the iconic Maracana Stadium and the Germans will now face the winner of Friday’s other quarterfinal between host nation Brazil and in-form Colombia, in Fortaleza.
Hummels made no mistake with his close-range header from a Bastian Schweinsteiger free kick that clipped off the underside of the crossbar and beat French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
No other nation has shown the level of historic World Cup consistency as that managed by Germany, and it swept to yet another last-four place here. While France fought hard to overcome the deficit it was unable to breach Germany’s non-nonsense and ever-present defensive wall.
German sub Andre Schurrle missed two clear chances to ice the game in the final 10 minutes, but in the end it mattered little as Joachim Loew’s side kept on rolling.
Karim Benzema had one final chance to equalize for France, with only a minute to go in stoppage time, but his fierce left-footed strike was comfortably parried by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Germany is not the flashiest team in this tournament but it is undeniably one of the best, and now sits two more wins away from the title.