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Germany's Mats Hummels, centrer, scores the opening goal during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Germany and France at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Germany leads France 1-0 at halftime in World Cup
First Published Jul 04 2014 11:12 am • Last Updated Jul 04 2014 07:34 pm

Rio de Janeiro • Mats Hummels headed in a free kick to give Germany a 1-0 lead over France in an all-European World Cup quarterfinal match on Friday.

The center back, recalled to the Germany team after a bout of flu, outmuscled his marker, Raphael Varane, to get to an inswinging free kick by Toni Kroos and glanced a header in off the crossbar in the 13th minute.

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France started nervously — particularly at the back — but looked dangerous with balls over Germany’s high line in defense.

Mathieu Valbuena had France’s best chance, a hooked left-foot volley that was parried away by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Karim Benzema pounced on the rebound but his close-range effort was blocked. The French striker also shot straight at Neuer late in the half.

The more experienced German lineup, seeking to reach the semifinals for a fourth straight World Cup, had a more robust appearance in muggy conditions at Maracana stadium after making a slew of changes following a sloppy 2-1 second-round win over Algeria.

Veteran striker Miroslav Klose started up front for Germany but had no clear-cut opportunity to score a record-setting 16th goal at a World Cup.

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