The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
World Cup Capsules
FORTALEZA, Brazil - Brazil advanced to the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 12 years with a 2-1 win over Colombia on Friday, with goals from defenders Thiago Silva and David Luiz keeping the host country in contention.
Brazil, which had been eliminated in the quarterfinals at the last two World Cups, will next play Germany on Tuesday.
Silva gave Brazil the lead in the seventh minute, scoring with his left knee after a corner from Neymar. Luiz added the second from a free kick in the 69th, sending a swerving long-range shot into the top of the net.
Colombia pulled one back in the 80th when striker James Rodriguez scored his tournament-leading sixth goal from the penalty spot.
Rodriguez tried to control the pace for Colombia, but it was Brazil which created most of the scoring chances. Goalkeeper David Ospina had to make a series of saves in the first half alone. Colombia tried to pressure in the end after Rodriguez's penalty, but Brazil held on with tough defending.
The Brazilian fans in the crowd of 60,342 cheered in relief at the final whistle at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, although there was concern over Neymar's health after the young striker was carried from the field late in the game after a knock to the back.
In another setback for Brazil, Silva received his second yellow card of the tournament in the 64th minute after trying to keep Ospina from putting the ball back in play, and will miss the match against Germany.
Brazil, which hadn't made it to the semis since it won its fifth world title in South Korea and Japan, is trying to become the first host to win the World Cup since France did it in 1998.
GERMANY 1, FRANCE 0
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mats Hummels' first-half header was enough for Germany to beat France and seal a spot in the semifinals for the fourth straight World Cup.
The centre back settled a cagey match in muggy conditions at Maracana Stadium with his 13th-minute goal, meeting a perfectly-placed free kick and glancing a header in off the underside of the crossbar.
Criticized for its poor defending in earlier matches, Germany selected a more robust team and restricted France to only a handful of clear-cut opportunities.
The young French squad were not given many chances to impose the kind of attacking game that made them one of the most exciting lineups in the group stage, although Karim Benzema could have sent the game into extra time with an opportunity in stoppage time. Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer swatted the angled shot away.
"There was not much in it," France coach Didier Deschamps said. "We don't have the international experience Germany has."
Germany captain Philipp Lahm returned to right back in one of a string of tactically astute changes made by coach Joachim Loew following the sloppy second-round win over Algeria, and the reshuffle made a difference.
"We played like a team again," he said
In Loew's eight-year tenure, Germany has reached the last four in every major tournament it has played — but remains without a title since winning the European Championships in 1996.
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