Germany, Brazil Advance with Wins in World Cup Quarterfinals

Germany and Brazil eliminated their opponents in the World Cup quarterfinals Friday, setting up an epic battle in the semifinals between what many believe are the world's top two football powers.

In Friday's first game, Germany beat European rival France, 1-0, in Rio de Janeiro.

German defender Mats Hummels scored the game's only goal in the 13th minute of the first half. He leaped over a French defender on a free kick and guided a header into the net.

French star Karim Benzema had a wonderful opportunity to tie the game late in stoppage time, shooting uncontested from the left of the net. But German goalie Manuel Neuer, who has had an outstanding World Cup, raised an arm to deflect the kick.

Germany is seeking its fourth World Cup championship.

German soccer players celebrate win as Frances Antoine Griezmann reacts after the final whistle is blown at 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, Maracana stadium, Rio de Janeiro on July 4, 2014. /Reuters German soccer players celebrate win as France's Antoine Griezmann reacts after the final whistle is blown at 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, Maracana stadium, Rio de Janeiro on July 4, 2014. /Reuters

In Fortaleza, five-time champion Brazil used goals by two defenders, Thiago Silva and David Luiz, to beat Colombia, 2-1.

Silva scored using his knee in the seventh minute, after a corner kick by star striker Neymar.  Luiz made it 2-0 in the 69th minute with a beautifully placed free kick that landed in the top of the net.

In the 80th minute, Colombia came within one when James Rodriguez scored his tournament-leading sixth goal on a penalty shot.

Colombia, which is tied with the Netherlands for most goals in the World Cup with 12, was playing in its first-ever quarterfinal. 

Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002. Germany has not won a World Cup since East and West Germany were reunified in late 1990. West Germany captured its third championship that year.  

In quarterfinal play Saturday, Argentina faces Belgium in Brasilia, and the Netherlands takes on Costa Rica in Salvador.

The championship game is on July 13 in Rio de Janeiro.

VOA News / Jul. 05, 2014 08:48 KST