Germany entered the quarterfinal match of the FIFA World Cup against France with the desire to derail La Bleus and send the fellow European country home. Die Manschaft looked to veteran Miroslav Klose to start his first game of the tournament to put early pressure on the French Defense. Germany’s only true striker entered the game in a tie with Brazilian legend Ronaldo for the most career World Cup goals.
With Klose in the line-up to start the match, Germany came out in a 4-2-3-1 line up, moving Thomas Müller and the rest of the attacking Germans behind the striker. On the other side of the pitch, France lined-up in a 4-3-3 formation in hopes of continuing the dominance the team had shown through the tournament. Germany looked to be a threat early on, keeping possession of the ball in the French end for most of the first 10 minutes of the match.
A free kick taken by Toni Kroos in the 13th minute of the match ended with Die Manschaft taking a 1-0 lead off of a well executed header by forward Mats Hummels. The German lead marked the first time in the tournament that France had trailed in a match. It took over 20 minutes for France to have a chance at an equalizer. The attempt failed after a shot was blocked by German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and a rebound put-back deflected by the defense was sent over the goal for a French corner kick.
After the first 45 minutes of the FIFA World Cup quarterfinal, Germany looked primed to derail France and send the European neighbor back home. Germany dominated the possession of the ball in the first half, despite a late flurry of offense by France late into injury time. With one half left, France would have to find a way past the swarming German defense and stop the blitzkrieg attack to have a chance.
France looked much better in the second half of play. La Bleus came out much more aggressive, but could still not find the goal. When the game hit the 80th minute, the German machine turned on the offense and kept constant pressure on the French. The defense the German team faced was one of desperation. France was doing everything possible to keep Germany from taking a 2-0 lead while trying to mount a counter-attack. The France counter was unsuccessful and head coach Didier Deschamps faced his first loss at the World Cup.
There was no career leading goal from Klose. The striker left the game in the second half without netting the goal to send him past Ronaldo for the career lead in tournament goals. If Brazil can defeat the surprising Colombian team, Klose will have a chance to pass the Brazilian legend in front of the Ronaldo faithful. The feat would not make Klose a popular player in country, but the striker would become a national hero at home.
With the 1-0 quarterfinal win, Germany sends France home and Die Manschaft will face the winner of Brazil and Colombia match in the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup. France came close to equalizing the match in the final seconds of extra time, however Neuer made a spectacular left-handed save to seal the Germany victory. The Germans say au revoir to La Bleus and are one step closer to adding another star to the national team jersey.
Read more of Guardian Liberty Voice’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals.
Commentary by Carl Auer
Match Observations by Carl Auer