France vs Germany World Cup 2014 reaction: Germany looked like champions
A disappointing game showed Germany's other side
Saturday 05 July 2014
After all the commotion in the build-up, and all the talk of the controversy of 1982, it simply ended up being rather comfortable for Germany. The question is now whether the 1-0 win over France can set up the future; whether it can mean a first trophy since 1996 and long-awaited first World Cup since 1990.
Although Jogi Loew’s team were still far from their best, it was difficult not to think this was a significant step-up in terms of assurance - especially since they now play a more frantic Brazil. Germany looked more like champions than at any previous point in the tournament, even more so than during the 4-0 win over Portugal. In that opening game, everything went their way. Here, Germany stood their ground and displayed an impressive level of control.
Once Mats Hummels had hit the only goal with that plundered header from Toni Kroos’s perfect cross, it was as if they knew precisely how to manage the situation, especially in that stifling heat.
Germany sat back, conserved energy and held France off. Almost nothing happened, which was exactly how Loew would have wanted it. The manager did insist the conditions played their part in what was probably the most disappointing contest of the World Cup so far. A game that promised so much was so prosaic.
“It is certainly not easy for us Europeans to start playing at 1pm. It was extremely hot. You can hardly breathe, hardly move. We are not used to that. The next match will be at 5pm and the sun will not be heating up the stadium so much. It is difficult to play at peak level. After three or four sprints you get tired. But we managed it pretty well.”
The same was true of the contest as a whole. Germany got a handle on the match that may well see them get their hands on the World Cup itself.
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