2014 FIFA World Cup: Germany vs France - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/ Dattaraj Thaly
On a steamy hot day in Rio, Germany beat France by 1-0, courtesy a wonderfully guided header of Mats Hummels. The Germans managed to dominate majority of the game and France were resigned to only couple of clear chances. Manuel Neuer did enough to deny any dangers posed by the French. Germany progress to the semi-final while France make the long journey back home.
FULL TIME: Germany 1-0 France
90+4'- BENZEMAAAA.....SAVED BY NEUER..94TH MINUTE!
Benzema was through on goal on the left for France as a ball is played in to him. He takes a touch that slightly makes the angel tougher but his powerful shot is blocked by Neuer who just stuck out his arm. What a chance for France to take this into extra time.
90+2'- Pogba gives away a free-kick. That is not what you want to do while chasing a game in the dying minutes. Poor from France.
90'+1 - Kramer comes on for Kroos.
90'- 4 MINUTES ADDED ON!
89'- Evra playing a long ball from the back. Benzema exhibits lovely control to chest it down just outside the edge of the box. He plays it Giroud but the ref blows his whistle to penalize Benzema for a foul.
87'- GERMANY CAN'T KILL THE GAME!
Muller got past Evra and cut back the ball to Schurrle who was motoring towards the goal and was unmarked. But his shot went straight into the defender. Germany should have put this game to bed.
85'- The commentator reminds the French fans their team did not score at this venue against Ecuador in the group stage as well. Not the kind of statistic you want to hear when you team is crashing out of the World Cup.
84'- Deschamps makes his last change. His final roll of thee dice is Giroud in place of Valbuena.
83'- Ozil has been taken off for Gotze by Joachim Low.
81'- LLORIS KEEPS FRANCE ALIVE!
Ozil had acres of space on the left. He slowed himself down so his teammates to arrive. He cut the ball across the goal to Muller who completely missed his shot. The ball rolled on to the unmarked Schurrle whose shot from inside the box was saved by the outstretched legs of Lloris.
79'- Schweinsteiger takes a yellow card for his team. He fouled Griezmann who was setting up a counter-attack for France. He was past Schweinsteiger who decided to stick his leg out and commit the foul.
76'- Remy's long cross from the right is above the defender near the far post and falls at the feet of Matuidi who takes a touch to steady himself and fires the shot. Neuer pulls off an unorthodox save to deny the Frenchman.
75'- Hummels with a terrific block to deny Benzema a certain equalizer. The striker had beaten Lahm easily with a fake and was about to take the shot as the Hummel's block came in.
73'- Griezmann with a glorious cross-field ball that lands perfectly at the feet of Valbuena. The midfielder's curling effort was well wide in the end.
72'- Changes galore. Loic Remy comes on for France replacing Cabaye.
70'- France make their first substitution. Sakho is replaced by Laurent Koscielny.
69'- First substitution for Germany: Miroslav Klose off. Andre Schurrle on.
68'- Sakho's miss pass hands Germany the possession in midfield. The ball is played out to Muller on the tight who runs at Sakho and fires in a shot that just goes inches wide off the far post. Muller thinks there is a deflection and si furious at not being given a corner.
65'- Only 25 minutes remain. Les Blues have to change their set up here. Maybe make use of their substitutes.
64'- France take a short corner. Valbuena fires his a cross towards the far post that is taken down by Benzema but the ref blows his whistle to penalize the forward for a foul.
62'- Matuidi sets up Evra on the overlap. The left back tried to deliver a cross but Lahm deflected it for a corner.
60'- Ball comes in from France and Varane is there to head it. His effort was on target but Neuer made an easy save at a comfortable height. The ball was moving towards the top corner of the German goal.
59'- Griezmann's lovely touch set up Matuidi who set on a bursting run and cut back a low cross. Schweinsteiger came back sliding in to intercept the ball and perform his defensive duty.
57'- Evra and Sakho try to combine down the left for France. But the left-back can't keep the ball in play.
55'- Kroos tries his luck from distance. But he can't catch the shot cleanly and the ball rolls into the hands of Lloris.
54'- France hit Germany on the break with Griezmann bombing forward through the middle with the ball. Khedira brings him down and earns a yellow.
52' - Pogba's lovely long ball into Griezmann is perfect. But the winger could not take it cleanly. Pogba's ball was over the German defense. Great opportunity missed.
51'- Klose finds Ozil open on the left whose cross is cleared by Cabaye over the byline for a corner.
50'- Patrice Evra was alone and open as he came to meet the ball. He missed his header but there was no flag raised. He looked off-side as there was not a single German player close to him.
49'- Free-kick to France as Valbuena is fouled by Schweinsteiger. The free-kick is in an identical position as the one that gave Germany their lead.
48'- Klose clipped the ball over for Muller to chase but Lloris was quick out of the blocks to collect the ball.
46'- Pogba feeds the ball to Valbuena on the overlap. The cross comes in from Valbuena. Hummels easily clears it away.
46'- Here we go for the second half..
Players make their way out to the middle for the second half. Will Germany hold on? or Will France get back into this game? You don't have to wait long to find out.
France have 45 minutes to win this or take it to extra-time. There are no second chances in the World Cup. As things stand, it's Au Revoir to Les Blues.
On a steamy hot day in Rio, the players go into the break with Germany leading France by 1-0, courtesy a wonderfully guided headed of Mats Hummels. The Germans have managed to dominate this game and France have been resigned to only couple of clear chances. Manuel Neuer has done enough to deny any dangers posed by the French.
HALF TIME: Germany 1-0 France
45'- 1 MINUTE OF ADDED TIME
43'- Pogba finds Benzema who had pulled himself wide on the left. On receiving the ball, the forward cuts in running across two defenders and fires in his shot. He hit it well, but the ball went straight into the hands of Neuer, who managed to collect it without moving.
41'- Evra puts in a cross from the left, his first today, Benzema heads in into Hummels and appeals for a handball. The ref does not give anything. The replay shows it was the correct call as the ball hit the stomach of Hummels.
40'- Germany have deserved this lead. They have dominated the proceedings right from the first minute. They have set the tempo for this game.
37'- Khedira comes running onto the pitch. Play resumes...
35'- Ball hits Khedira is his face. He goes down and there is a brief stoppage in play. Low and Deschamps use it to bark instructions into the ears of their players. Now Khedira leaves the field to come back on.
34'- Cabaye plays in a lovely ball into Griezmann, who crosses the ball on the turn. The ball is met by Valbuena whose shot is saved by Neuer. The ball falls to Benzema, his shot is blocked by the defender.
32'- Schweinsteiger plays a long angled ball into Muller who runs to meet it with Debauchy. Muller goes down and wants a penalty. Not given.
30'- Ozil's free-kick is back-heeled by Howedes over the cross bar. The ref wrongly grants Germany a corner as he thought the last touch came off Sakho.
29'- Germany have a free-kick. Ozil to take it.
28'- Long hopefully ball in from Valbuena from the right. Lahm is ice cool as he cushions his header into Neuer's hands. Benzema was ready to pounce on a mistake but the experienced Bayern Munich defender executed his header to perfection.
26'- Matuidi puts a ball over the German defense for Griezmann who can't get there ahead of Neuer despite his best effort.
24'- Ball comes in from the right, Klose attempts to reach it and goes down in the box appealing for a penalty. Replay shows he was not entirely wrong. There was a bit of shirt-pulling from Debauchy there.
23'- Ozil is dispossesses by Cabaye who tries to quickly releases the ball but the defender cuts it out.
22'- Varane plays in a ball from the back to Benzema who despite the close attention of his marker does will to control the ball. The ref's assistant calls for off-side.
20'- We have hit the 20 minute minute mark in this great battle at the Maracana. Germany have dominated France and have deserved their goal.
18' - Lahm attempts a long diagonal ball for Muller from left to right. Debauchy cuts it out with a charging header.
16'- Didier Deschamps has never lost a World Cup game as a player or coach. His team will now have to come from behind to preserve that record.
14'- France try to reply immediately as they get forward. Paul Pogba gets his cross in but the Hummels, the man of the moment clears it out.
12'- GOAL! HUMMELS
Kroos' ball off a free-kick is delightfully deflected in by Hummels with his head as he came in from the right.. That's his second goal of the World Cup. Both with headers. Kroos gets an assist against his name.
11'- Paul Pogba fouls Kroos on the left. There was not much in that. Free-kick to Germany. Kroos to take it.
11' - A ball is played into Griezmann, who appears off-side but the assistant does not raise his flag. Griezmann cuts the ball for Benzema but the ball is cleared by the defense.
10'- Lahm plays it to Muller who sets up Ozil who was gliding down the left. Ozil clipped cross is dealt with by Varane.
8'- France finally seeing more of the ball after early German domination.
7'- Valbuena gets to the byline, turns and chips in a ball for Bennzema, who strikes a low volley to the near post. Just wide but Neuer had it covered.
6'- Cabaye launches a ball from deep to the only man forward - Debauchy. But Boateng clears .
5'- Muller is fouled by Evra who sticks a leg out as the German gets past him. Ref blows his whistle.
4'- Lahm and Muller try to combine on the right for Germany. Muller's cut back is intercepted. Back-pass to Lloris is cleared easily by him.
3'- Ozils wins a throw-in for Germany, deep inside the French half on the left off Debauchy.
2'- Muller comes running in against Sakho from the right and attempts to cross the ball, which is blocked.
2'- Germany have let in 3 goals in this tournament while French defense has been breached just on 2 occasions.
1'- Germany will get us started in their traditional white strip with a dash of yellow, red and black. Here we go...
The two captains have exchanged pleasantries and the real battle begins now.
Time for the national anthems of the two countries.
Hugo Lloris and Phillip Lahm read out the FIFA anti-discrimination statement.
Players make their way out to the center. What a blockbuster of a contest we have ahead of us. This has all the makings of a modern day classic..
So the big news from so far is that Germany have relegated Per Mertesacker to the bench. Also, World Cup record goal-scorer Miroslav Klose is starting. Whereas, France have a relatively unchanged line-up except that Giroud starts on the bench and Griezmann takes his place.
We have the team line-ups for the big match:
Germany: Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Hummels, Howedes; Schweinsteiger, Khedira; Müller, Kroos, Ozil; Klose
France: Lloris; Debuchy, Varane, Sakho, Evra; Cabaye, Matuidi; Valbuena, Pogba, Griezmann; Benzema
Welcome to our live coverage of the first quarter-final of the 2014 World Cup between France and Germany at the iconic Maracana in Rio De Janeiro.
The two giants of world football have taken almost identical paths to the quarters. Both have not lost a single game and concluded the group stages with 2 wins and 1 draw.
Despite being overwhelming favorites, they needed extra time to see off weaker opposition in the Round of 16. Germany beat Algeria 2-1 while France got past Switzerland 2-0.
Germany are facing plenty of injury worries ahead of this match. As per their head coach, no fewer than 7 players are suffering mild flue. Mats Hummels will take his place in the back 4, which is good news.
France don`t have any injury worries but they will hope for Benzema to find his scoring boots after a lacklustre performance in the last 2 games. Thomas Muller, Germany`s leading scorer at the tournament will be the biggest threat to Neuer`s goal.
The French defence has conceded fewer goals than the German back four. France have also scored more goals than Germany so far. Both teams are evenly matched.
Apart from being the biggest match of this stage, it could also turn out to be the best game of the World Cup so far.