World Cup 2014 LIVE: Day 23 as it happened including reaction to France 0 Germany 1 and Brazil 2 Colombia 1 - Live coverage - The Independent

World Cup 2014 LIVE: Day 23 as it happened including reaction to France 0 Germany 1 and Brazil 2 Colombia 1

Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of what was day 23 of the FIFA World Cup. Samuel Stevens and Sam Dymond were the men on hand with all the action from Brazil including the tournament’s first two quarter-finals that saw Germany edge out France before the hosts kicked their way past Colombia.

  • Les Bleus moon is rising!


    When France take on Germany tonight in Rio de Janeiro, it will offer Didier Deschamps' side the chance to continue their remarkable recovery after the disastrous campaign in South Africa four years ago.

    We shouldn't be surprised, however, for the French are renowned for yo-yoing between tournaments.

    Germany, on the other hand, are still waiting for their first World Cup triumph since 1990. While English hearts may bleed, the Germans are struggling to handle the ever-widening void.

    After part one of tonight's footballing blockbuster, attention then turns to Fortaleza as hosts Brazil try to continue on their route to the final against surprise-package Colombia.

    We'll be bringing you all the thrills and spills right until 11pm!
    7/4/2014 10:54:05 AM

  • Germany's weaknesses are there for all to see. While they are an attacking threat worthy of testing any backline in world football, their defence leaves a lot to be desired. 

    Ahead of tonight's clash with France, Jack Pitt-Brooke has analysed their defensive frailties and wonders whether Joachim Low's risky strategy could end up costing the Germans dearly.

    There remains a persistent fragility about Germany, a worry that they are beatable, and that some of their problems are entirely of Joachim Low’s own design.

    This Germany side play a remarkably assertive, proactive, front-foot brand of football, certainly compared to what they produced four years ago. The back four play high up the pitch, even with Per Mertesacker, not exactly quick on the turn, at centre-back.
    7/4/2014 11:28:39 AM

  • Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari appears to have conceded that this summer's hosts will have to grind their way to the final of the World Cup.

    Despite the heavy burden of expectation emphasising the 'Brazilian way', the former Chelsea manager is desperate to win the tournament for the second time of his career.


    Speaking before the draw was made in December, he remarked: “I have been criticised for saying this; but if you can’t play beautifully and win, you have to play the other way. You have to play ugly. It is great if you can play beautifully and win but if you play beautifully and lose, well, that’s horrible. People who want me to do that are idiots.

    This evening, they face Colombia, a team who are regarded in South America much as the Europeans regard Ireland – good for an after-match party but unlikely to linger too long in a tournament. Colombia are coming to the Castelao in better form than Brazil and in James Rodriguez they have a better striker.
    7/4/2014 11:44:11 AM
  • Rafa Benitez's World Cup column


    So it is developing into a World Cup about individuals. Lionel Messi and Neymar are taking the weight and the responsibility, and have put their countries a couple of games away from a final. 

    It will not be easy for the Belgium players who will be trying to deal with Messi in their quarter-final tomorrow because Axel Witsel, Marouane Fellaini, Vincent Kompany and Daniel van Buyten are tall players and it will be hard for them, with that physique, trying to halt him. 

    Messi will not cope with their physicality but players built like that will find it difficult to stop him and all his mobility.

    There is a problem with Argentina, though. There is too much dependency on Messi and it is very risky. When you are managing a player as good as that, of course you do things to get the best out of him. But you can never know that he will always be able to do things. If there was a player who we knew would be able to reach the level every time he walks over the line on to the field then he would be a very special one. 

    He doesn’t exist and that kind of certainty doesn’t exist. It’s why we love football. Things are unpredictable. Problems and challenges are created for us to cope with. What I am trying to say is that some of the other players in the Argentina team – who have not been playing with pace or continuity – must correct that and show the level.
    7/4/2014 12:10:53 PM

  • Mark Lawrenson has landed himself in hot water after suggesting Switzerland's Josip Drmic 'should have put a skirt on' after missing an effort against Argentina last week.

    Tom Sheen writes that the BBC received 172 complaints from members of the public after the pundit's ill-advised comments.

    OfCom, who receieved just six complaints, are still deciding whether or not to investigate. The BBC, on the other hand, released the following statement.

    We acknowledge that the remark by commentator Mark Lawrenson about Switzerland's Josip Drmic was inappropriate and we apologise for any offence caused by it.
    7/4/2014 12:23:36 PM
  • Algeria set to donate $9m prize money to Gaza?


    First the Palestinian flag was draped from the team bus during the team's triumphant open-top bus tour of the capital, now it has been claimed that the Algerian national football team are to donate their entire World Cup prize fund to the embattled people of Gaza.

    According to quotes attributed to Algeria’s star striker Islam Slimani, Adam Withnall writes that the team will give up all of the estimated $9 million (£5.25 million) they received as valiant losers in the round of 16. 

    They need it more than us.
    7/4/2014 12:57:47 PM

  • Germany head coach Joachim Low has said that England will never be successful on the international stage as long as foreign footballers dominate the Premier League. 

    According to Sam Wallace, Low espoused unprompted on the level of young English players in the Premier League, citing it as a problem for Roy Hodgson. Asked about the strong numbers of German players in the Bundesliga, Low said that he also benefited from his players playing abroad.

    I believe we have a good blend. These players have a lot of experience in tough competitions. I’m not unhappy if players are abroad. We can benefit from Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil having different influences and cultures and coaches. 

    They benefit personally as well and it helps players to mature. If other countries like England have a problem, their league has a disadvantage because of a higher percentage of foreigners so it becomes difficult for the national coach to get things moving.
    7/4/2014 1:17:26 PM

  • What's your favourite World Cup quarter-final match? There's quite a few to pick from...

    This year's tournament has thrown up some quite brilliant contests in the last eight. Two European powerhouses in France and Germany will go head-to-head, while the best two players of the tournament so far, James Rodriguez and Neymar, are pitted against each other.

    That's just on Friday. Saturday the tournament's true underdogs Costa Rica will look to upset the Netherlands while Lionel Messi will look to take one more step to true greatness against the dark horses, Belgium.

    7/4/2014 1:53:39 PM





  • 7/4/2014 2:21:57 PM
  • Despite being thousands of miles from North London, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been spotted out for dinner in Brazil in his Gooners training tracksuit...

    7/4/2014 2:42:06 PM
  • BREAKING TEAM NEWS!


    Didier Deschamps has once again consigned Olivier Giroud to the French bench, preferring Real Madrid star Karim Benzema in attack, while Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann will provide support.

    Germany, on the other hand, start with Miroslav Klose up front with Philipp Lahm protecting the back four. Per Mertesacker and Mario Gotze are sacrificed.

    France: Hugo Lloris (c), Mathieu Debuchy, Patrice Evra, Raphael Varane, Mamadou Sakho, Yohan Cabaye, Mathieu Valbuena, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba.

    Germany: Manuel Neuer, Benedikt Howedes, Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil, Miroslav Klose, Thomas Muller, Philipp Lahm (c), Toni Kroos, Jerome Boateng.
    7/4/2014 2:49:20 PM
  • Build up pictures...




    7/4/2014 3:13:52 PM
  • While not a dream replacement for Thierry Henry and Clarence Seedorf, Ruud Gullit will do nicely. He knows how to work the camera.

    He was, of course, the manager who tried to axe Alan Shearer at Newcastle United too...


    7/4/2014 3:38:45 PM
  • TEN MINUTES TO GO!

    7/4/2014 3:51:55 PM
  • OFF WE GO! The festival of colour hurtles into the quarter-finals with Germany kicking us off at the Maracana. With a slight delay, because of Fifa's anti-racism plans, we will finally learn who will be the first country into the next round. Game on!

    7/4/2014 4:03:06 PM
  • 3 mins: In our quick-fire poll, a whopping 73% of you think Germany will prevail this afternoon against the French! On the pitch, Mamadou Sakho has just been called into action by a testing Thomas Muller cross. Nothing else of note has happened though. France struggling to get possession. 
    7/4/2014 4:06:23 PM
  • 7 mins: Nifty play down the left wing from Mathieu Valbuena gives him the time to scoop a tidy cross straight into the path of Karim Benzema. The Real Madrid striker's side-footed effort, though, glides wide of Manuel Neuer's net. Decent move, that!
    7/4/2014 4:11:44 PM
  • Damn you, Roy!


    7/4/2014 4:12:34 PM
  • 10 mins: Out of nowhere, Antoine Griezman finds space behind the German backline and tries to find Karim Benzema in the middle of the box but the defence recovers. Where did that come from?!
    7/4/2014 4:15:01 PM
  • GOOOAAAALLLL! France 0 - GERMANY 1 - Mats Hummels, 12 mins!

    Hummels pummels it in!

    First blood to the Germans! This all European quarter-final has got off to a flier courtesy of Mats Hummel's looping header. A delicious ball from Toni Kroos was just begging to be notched in and the Borussia Dortmund was never going to disappoint!

    7/4/2014 4:15:44 PM
  • It's turns out my Hummels gag wasn't as clever as I first thought...




    7/4/2014 4:26:22 PM
  • 22 mins: The ten minutes since Mats Hummels' fine goal have allowed France to settle down. Other than some very tidy approach play from the Germans and a supposed dive from Miroslav Klose, it's been a quiet affair. 
    7/4/2014 4:27:39 PM
  • 27 mins: The response to Germany's opening goal in Berlin...

    7/4/2014 4:31:33 PM
  • 32 mins: Just a few minutes after a laughable penalty appeal by Miroslav Klose and now Thomas Muller is apparently brought down by Mathieu Debuchy in the area. No penalty. Rightfully so. 
    7/4/2014 4:37:10 PM
  • 33 mins: Great stop from Manuel Neuer!

    Menacing play from Antoine Griezman down the right flank leads to Mathieu Valbuena getting the chance to volley a powerful effort towards goal. The Bayern Munich keeper, however, is up to the task. Brilliant stop from a quality keeper. France need more opportunities like that!
    7/4/2014 4:39:32 PM
  • 36 mins: There's a confusing stoppage in play here as the players decide to have an impromptu cooling break. The referee, unaware of what is happening, then asks the German players where the ball went out of play. Quality fair play, there! 
    7/4/2014 4:42:57 PM

  • 41 mins:
    Decent penalty shout from for the French!

    Karim Benzema heads the ball into the hips of Mats Hummels and the Dortmund defender and it appears to make a slight contact with his arms. Would have been harsh, but they have been given. The referee, sporting a marvellous comb-over, was having none of it.
    7/4/2014 4:47:03 PM
  • HALF TIME - France 0-1 Germany.
    7/4/2014 4:48:23 PM
  • Jack Pitt-Brooke's half-time thoughts are in...

    Didier Deschamps will be furious that they conceded such a soft goal having been impressive in much of their build-up play so far. The match has mainly been even, France’s slightly more rudimentary attacking approach nearly paying off, Karim Benzema fashioning a few half-chances, but they are behind because Raphael Varane could not live with Mats Hummels in the box as his opposite number ran onto Toni Kroos’ long deep free-kick. This changes the game and Germany, in their 4-2-3-1 system, should be well equipped to keep the ball and stay ahead for the rest of the match.
    7/4/2014 4:54:33 PM
  • Did enjoy this...


    7/4/2014 5:03:13 PM
  • 7/4/2014 5:03:28 PM
  • WE'RE UNDER WAY! France get us started for what is sure to be a compelling forty-five minutes of World Cup chaos. A huge 75% of The Independent readers think Germany will come out on top. Let's see!
    7/4/2014 5:05:07 PM
  • 47 mins: Mathieu Valbuena skips into space down the German left, twice in just a matter of seconds, but sees both of his low crosses walloped clear by the German defence. Decent start from the French. Didier Deschamps will have demanded them do better than the first period.
    7/4/2014 5:09:51 PM
  • 50 mins: Here's that comb-over from referee Nestor Pitana, as promised.

    7/4/2014 5:13:47 PM
  • 54 mins: Antoine Griezman gallops through the German midfield with alarming success but is hauled to the deck by Sami Khedira. Cynical tackle, rightfully cautioned. Fantastic stuff from Griezman. France appear to be waking up.
    7/4/2014 5:15:43 PM
  • 59 mins: Yohan Cabaye's ball from deep lands perfectly onto Raphael Varane's head but Manuel Neuer makes it look easy. There's not much of a threat being posed by Germany at the moment as their European rivals push them back. It will be interesting to see how this one develops. 
    7/4/2014 5:21:41 PM
  • 63 mins: Paul the octopus, sadly departed from us, has a replacement. Or three of them, if you like.

    7/4/2014 5:23:47 PM
  • 67 mins: The Brazilians in the stadium are getting restless. This has been a regular feature of this World Cup. If the match looks in threat of stalling, they start to boo with discontent. The Europeans are beginning to drown them out. 

    In other news, Miroslav Klose leaves the field of play for Andre Schurrle. The record will have to wait for another day.
    7/4/2014 5:28:57 PM
  • 69 mins: Mamadou Sakho, Liverpool's quivering centre-back, loses possession in the heart of his own half and Thomas Muller is given the ball on the right wing. Glancing the ball powerfully across goal, he is bitterly unlucky not to make the net ripple. Even though it appeared to take a deflection, the linesman's flag is unmoved. 
    7/4/2014 5:30:55 PM
  • 74 mins: Thomas Muller is proving to be quite the menace now. Forcing the French into an awkward game of pinball in their own box, the Bayern Munich man could get a second. As it stands one goal is the difference. 

    7/4/2014 5:35:28 PM
  • 75 mins: Marvellous chance for France!

    Karim Benzema stops the ball from running through to Mathieu Valbuena and, while he did well to get a shot away, you get the impression that his teammate could have done better. Another good, firm stop from Manuel Neuer. Allez le Bleus rings around the Maracana! Not long to go now.
    7/4/2014 5:37:43 PM
  • TEN MINUTES TO GO. Can France pull Germany back?
    7/4/2014 5:40:30 PM
  • 81 mins: Mathieu Valbuena's swinging ball cannons off Mats Hummels and for a corner. The French kick comes to nothing, though, and the Germans break with frightening speed. Eventually falling to Andre Schurrle, the Chelsea man forces an excellent point-blank save from Hugo Lloris. It's going to be a dramatic finish here! Germany look dangerous on the break. 

    7/4/2014 5:43:11 PM
  • 86 mins: Germany are draining all of the life out of this game and trying to stop France from doing their thing. Didier Deschamps' men need to get up the pitch quickly. The Germans, on the other hand, need to stand tall.

    Mexico thought they were safe in this position, against the Netherlands, a few days ago...
    7/4/2014 5:47:43 PM
  • FOUR MINUTES ADDED TIME. France on the verge. Germany eyeing the semi-finals.
    7/4/2014 5:50:38 PM
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