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Hummel stars as Germany beats France

Sunday, July 06, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO - Mats Hummels has headed the winner as Germany beat old rivals France 1-0 to advance to the World Cup semi-finals for a record fourth straight time.

Borussia Dortmund defender Hummels rose to head home Toni Kroos's free-kick after 13 minutes to settle a cagey encounter at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium.

Joachim Loew's side will now play the winner of Friday's second quarter-final between Brazil or Colombia in next Tuesday's semi-final in Belo Horizonte.

France had entered the match quietly confident of avenging semi-final defeats against Germany in 1982 and 1986.

But they were left to rue a lacklustre first half performance which saw Germany dominate in sweltering conditions.

France rallied in the second half and Hummels saved Germany with a desperate late block of a Karim Benzema shot shortly before Manuel Neuer parried a firm strike from Blaise Matuidi.

Andre Schuerrle should have sealed victory in the closing minutes, but with the goal gaping, struck his shot from Mesut Ozil's low cross directly at Hugo Lloris in the French goal.

There was still time for Neuer to save Germany at the death, pulling off a brilliant block from Benzema just seconds from the final whistle.

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