The impressive French took on Germany in the first game of the Quarter Finals in the 2014 World Cup.
With Germany seeking their fourth consecutive semi-final appearance and France looking to continue their impressive form, the stage seemed set for an electrifying game of football. With the likes of Paul Pogba and Toni Kroos lining up in midfield was sure to be an intense battle of the youngsters and the two Kamikaze goalkeepers in Hugo Lloris and Manuel Neuer were named to start in between the sticks for their respective sides.
Disappointingly, the game started out slow with Germany having the majority of possession trying to feel their way into the opposition box, but the French back line stood strong for the first ten minutes. The breakthrough came in the 13th minute when Kroos was fouled 40 yards out by a reckless challenge from France’s Paul Pogba. The technician Toni Kroos, stood over the subsequent free-kick and delivered a wonderful ball into the box where Mats Hummels shrugged off Raphaël Varane to nod it into the top corner, giving Germany the lead.
The remainder of the half was rather disappointing with France attemtping to take the game to Germany but really failing to create any clear-cut chances. The highlight of the half for the French came when Griezmann ran in behind the German backline and found a pinpoint pass to Valbuena who struck the ball with his left, forcing a wonderful save from Neuer who managed to palm it hard enough to deter Karim Benzema from getting an easy tap-in.
HALF TIME: GERMANY 1-0 FRANCE
As the second half commences the French look to find an equalizer and are creating the majority of the chances, but still failing to find the crucial final ball. On the 69th minute Chelsea’s own André Schürrle entered the game replacing German legend Miroslave Klose.
The game began to open up ant there were chances at either side, forcing a wonderful save from Lloris from a Schürrle shot and an equally stunning block from Dortmund’s Hummels. Perhaps Chelsea’s André Schürlle should have found the net, but he is still coming off of illness and just could not find the deadly finishing we know he possesses.
As the game began to wind down, the French were beginning to look desperate. They brought on Olivier Giroud and began to send long balls into the box in hopes of finding the net. The final chance for France fell to Karim Benzema in the 94th minute where he struck the ball from an unlikely angle but forced an incredible one-handed save from Manuel Neuer. The final whistle was blown and the German bench stormed on to the field in celebration.
FINAL SCORE: GERMANY 1-0 FRANCE
There it is, Mats Hummels’ header in the 13th minute was enough to book Germany a spot in their fourth consecutive Semi Final against either Brazil or Colombia.
This game will not go down as a classic, but it was a fantastic spectacle nonetheless.