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
    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
    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
    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
    7/4/2014 8:01:49 PM
    SECOND HALF KICK-OFF: Brazil get us going again, having saved their pre-match huddle until a moment before the start of the second half. Jose Pekerman has made a like-for-like change at the break, replacing striker Victor Ibarbo with Adrian Ramos
    7/4/2014 9:05:21 PM
    49 mins: The second half has continued in similar vein to the first with James Rodriguez getting kicked in the ankles as soon as he gets on the ball. This time it's Maicon, giving Fernandinho a break from his duty. It's making for a stop-start beginning to this period of the game.
    7/4/2014 9:10:30 PM
    What's the Portuguese for "Oi ref! Forgotten your cards?"

    He certainly didn't forget his whistle.
    7/4/2014 9:12:04 PM
    54 mins: Mario Yepes is a strapping figure of a centre-half. The 38-year-old has just stood firm inside the six-yard box, probably too old to move, as Marcelo delivered a cross from the left-wing, and took out his goalkeeper, two defenders and Neymar all in the process. He didn't even flinch.
    7/4/2014 9:15:08 PM
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