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Author Topic: For Germany, the time has come for Low to end a tournament on a high.  (Read 46 times)
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« on: July 04, 2014, 07:24:34 pm »

The 6ft 3in Dortmund centre-back bullied highly-rated 21-year-old defender Raphael Varane, forcing him aside as he rose on the edge of the six yard box to divert the ball past a helpless Hugo Lloris.

It was a goal that seemed to symbolise the traditional German will to win, the sheer belief in their status as a team that belongs at the business end of tournaments.

Step aside France, Germany are on their way through to the semi finals.

But the French have their own belief, a conviction that on their day they have the ability to vanquish the very best.

And as the half wore on, Les Bleus began to get in behind the German defence and looked dangerous down the left, where Thomas Muller – getting forward in possession to support Miroslav Klose – was sometimes leaving space to exploit.

France were perhaps lucky not to concede a penalty 10 minutes after going behind. Klose went down in the box, under pressure from right back Mathieu Debuchy, who appeared to have a hold of the German’s shirt. His tumble was perhaps too dramatic, though, and Debuchy went unpunished.

Perhaps the best chance before half time fell to France, when the dangerous-looking Mathieu Valbuena forced Manuel Neuer to make a good save to his left from a shot driven across goal.

The ball fell to Karim Benzema on the edge of the six yard box, but the striker – with three goals in the tournament to his name – couldn’t adjust his feet in time to get a clean effort at goal and it was deflected over by Hummels.

With the break looming, Benzema created another chance, cutting in from the left after controlling a long Pogba pass, only to fire directly at the imposing Neuer.

Then French appeals for a penalty, from a Benzema header that hit a leaping Hummels in his stomach, were rightly waved away as Joachim Low’s team went in 1-0 to the good.

France started the second half with a positive attitude, and were rewarded with a Brazil 2014 World Cup jersey free kick from a similar position to the one that led to Germany’s opening goal.

Left back Patrice Evra found himself totally unmarked in the box as the ball was swung in, but failed usa world cup away jersey to connect as Germany breathed a sigh of relief.

France were certainly full of endeavour in the early stages of the second period, though never quite managed to carve out the kind of clear cut opportunity they needed to draw level.

But while Germany looked reasonably comfortable, their attacking threat had started become to pedestrian and so, on 68 minutes, Low took the World Cup’s joint record goal scorer soccer shoes for sale Klose off, and brought the pacier Andre Schurrle on.

As a statement of intent, it had an immediate effect, as Klose’s fellow World Cup goal scoring machine, Thomas Muller, threatened to double Germany’s advantage.

The Bayern attacker unleashed a fierce right foot shot that argentina 2014 world cup jersey was deflected wide by Mamadou Sakho, although the officials erroneously awarded a goal kick.

That would be Sakho’s last contribution, as he was subbed in favour of Laurent Koscielny, while French coach Didier Deschamps rolled the dice in attack by sending on Loic Remy in place of holding midfielder Yohan Cabaye.

But it was Benzema who again posed a problem for the Germans. The Madrid man wriggled clear of Phillipp Lahm in the box, unleashing a left foot shot, only for that man Hummels to block again.

There was to be no French onslaught, though, as they struggled to build up a head of steam against a German team demonstrating the kind of composure and cool heads they will need to win this World Cup.

And, as French desperation to equalise grew, there was always the risk that Deschamps' side would be exposed in usa 2014 world cup jersey defence.

It should have been two nil to Germany on 81 minutes, when a counter attack caught France short on numbers and Schurrle was presented with a golden chance to score.

The Chelsea man shot tamely, though, and Tottenham ‘keeper Lloris saved with his feet to keep France alive.

There would be one last chance for the French, as Benzema snuck in with seconds remaining, only to shoot from a tight angle and watch Neuer comfortably palm away to secure victory.

For Low it will be his second World Cup semi final as Germany boss, as his nation became the first team to record fourth successive last four appearances.

Typical Germans? Yes, but there was a time when they used to lift the trophy, too. For Germany, the time has come for Low to end a tournament on a high.

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