World Cup 2014: Germany strangles France, Brazil outsyles Colombia, Neymar injured

Hugo Lloris can't halt the German advance. - Alexandre Loureiro

A tale of two tactics: defense in the morning, free-wheeling attack in the afternoon.

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

FRANCE 0-1 GERMANY
Hummels 13'
BRAZIL
Silva 7'
Luiz 69'
2-1 COLOMBIA


Rodriguez 80' (pen)

France-Germany

An uninspiring contest, though not without technical merit -- the sort of game that nobody will ever animatedly discuss, but brought no shame to the sport. Germany scored the winner all the way back in the 13th minute, when Mats Hummels headed in a Toni Kroos free kick. Germany immediate adopted a defensive stance, and although the shot statistics belie the issue there were really only a couple of viable scoring chances the rest of the game. But it was not the sort of scoreless 77 minutes that cause viewers to sit and sigh in disgust. Both teams played crisply, and the lack of chances was a result of solid defensive play. Good football, but not good enough for the French, who've still never bested Germany in World Cup play. Germany moves on to the semifinals for the fourth consecutive World Cup; the last time they didn't advance that far was in... France.

SB Nation's coverage of France-Germany

Brazil-Colombia

Brazil struck early when Thiago Silva gathered a loose corner kick from Neymar and deposited it in the back of the net. Colombia nearly equalized three minutes later when Juan Cuadrado's shot was deflected just wide of the right post. To say the next hour was entertaining would be an understatement; both teams were rolling with a free-flowing pace, and even if the next fifty minutes passed without incident, it was entertaining.

Then just after the hour mark, tempers started flaring, and the referee wasn't doing much to quell it. James Rodriguez nearly scored. Cuadrado fouled Neymar, then David Ospina attempted to take a goal kick and Silva appeared out of nowhere and inexplicably fouled him. The ball ended up in the net, but with the foul (and a yellow for Silva, who will now miss the semifinal as a result), it didn't count. Just a minute later, Colombia appeared to score, but were ruled offside; on the counter, David Luiz earned a free kick about 35 yards out... and it was perfect, slicing into the upper corner to give Brazil a 2-0 lead.

Ten minutes of furious attack later, Carlos Bacca got past David Luiz and appeared to have a clear chance. But he was brought down by Julio Cesar in the box, and Colombia was awarded a penalty. Rodriguez stepped to the spot and calmly punched it in for his sixth goal in six World Cup games. But we won't get to see him go seven-for-seven. Despite going for it non-stop over the final ten minutes, Colombia could not find the equalizer, and what had arguably been the most attractive team of the entire tournament bowed out.

Of note, with just five minutes left including stoppage time, Neymar was stretchered off the pitch, and was subbed out. Immediately after the game, Neymar was taken straight to the hospital, so that's probably a bad sign.

SB Nation's coverage of Brazil-Colombia

Where's tomorrow's schedule?

We're going to go ahead and shift to a post-game and pre-game post for the duration, as we're in the final stretch of the tournament. That lets us get a recap up quickly, and hold off open thread until morning; otherwise, we'd have to sacrifice one idea for the other. So we'll be back at 10am CT tomorrow with your open thread for Argentina-Belgium and Netherlands-Costa Rica.

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