Fiji Time: 1:48 AM on Wednesday 25 May

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Germany faces rejuvenated France

Afp
Saturday, July 05, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO - Under-fire Germany face rejuvenated France in today's World Cup quarter-final at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracana stadium in a mouth-watering clash of two European powerhouses.

This represents an acid test for Germany coach Joachim Loew with his side heavily criticised for below-par performances at Brazil 2014.

A place in Wednesday's semi-final against either Brazil or Colombia in Belo Horizonte is at stake.

"Didier Deschamps has turned France around since 2010 and we're looking forward to another classic," said Loew, who took charge after the 2006 World Cup.

Their 4-0 hammering of Portugal in their opening group match confirmed their status amongst the world's elite, but a series of unimpressive performances have seen Loew's Germans receive heavy criticism.

Having been held to a 2-2 draw by Ghana, then grinding out a 1-0 win over the USA in their final group match, poor finishing saw Germany labour to a 2-1 extra-time win over Algeria in Monday's last 16 clash.

Former captains Michael Ballack, Oliver Kahn and Lothar Matthaeus have all questioned Loew's selections with playmaker Mesut Ozil struggling and centre-backs Jerome Boateng and Benedikt Hoewedes being played out of position as wing-backs.

"That was the worst performance for years," Ballack reflected after the Algeria match, while Kahn was equally unimpressed: "This line-up isn't working any more".

Loew has a contract with the German FA (DFB) until June 2016, but a quarter-final exit will put him under pressure to resign despite steering his side to the semi-finals of the last three major tournaments.

In contrast, France have risen steadily under their coach Deschamps and are unrecognisable from their chaotic 2010 campaign in South Africa.

With Karim Benzema in top form, France are dreaming of their first World Cup title since their 1998 triumph on home soil, but their focus is solely on Germany.

"Everyone can dream, including me, but I'm a pragmatist and a realist, Friday is the only thing that counts," said Deschamps.








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.62720.6082
JPY 52.762849.7628
GBP 0.32870.3207
EUR 0.42520.4132
NZD 0.71200.6790
AUD 0.66320.6382
USD 0.47920.4622

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 24th May 2016

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Son crushed to death, parents seek answers
  2. Ryan gutted
  3. Ryan: Statue for Kolinisau
  4. RIO 2016 Code hopper has work cut out
  5. Man pleads not guilty to keeping brothel
  6. June camp for Fiji 7s
  7. SOLDEPA: State fails to consult
  8. Growers fund belongs to growers: Chaudhry
  9. Jasa crowned DHL Impact Player
  10. 36 face probe

Top Stories this Week

  1. Top bet Wednesday (18 May)
  2. Hayne Plane call up excites Fijian fans Wednesday (18 May)
  3. Woman fronts court over FNPF cheques Thursday (19 May)
  4. A costly 'blunder' Saturday (21 May)
  5. Where to after Rio Thursday (19 May)
  6. Son crushed to death, parents seek answers Tuesday (24 May)
  7. 7s taboo Friday (20 May)
  8. Hayne's Rio barrier Monday (23 May)
  9. Senior citizen's alleged murder angers police Saturday (21 May)
  10. Ryan eyes Olympics gold Saturday (21 May)