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German coach Joachim Loew pleased after Germany improve against France

Germany upped their game in overcoming France in their World Cup quarter-final on Friday, coach Joachim Loew said after his side had faced widespread criticism for struggling to beat Algeria in the last 16.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2014 02:21 IST
Fifa World Cup 2014,Germany vs France,Mats Hummels

Germany upped their game in overcoming France in their World Cup quarter-final on Friday, coach Joachim Loew said after his side had faced widespread criticism for struggling to beat Algeria in the last 16.

"We played well, we played with a compact defence," Loew said after a 1-0 victory secured by a first-half Mats Hummels goal.

"They had some long balls against us but we did a classy job taking care of those. Our midfield did a very good job disrupting their attack. We didn't have any organisation problems."

Loew was not fully satisfied, however, with his team losing possession too often in a match that neither side took control of.

"We had some phases where we kept losing the ball and that could have got us in trouble," Loew told German television.

Loew said it was too early to tell if he would keep captain Philipp Lahm as a right fullback, where he played well on Friday after he struggled at times as a holding midfielder in several of Germany's previous World Cup matches.

"It'll depend on what condition our players are in over the next few days," said Loew. "We have to divvy up the work."

He said that Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who helped keep France at bay with solid displays in midfield, went to their physical limits in the match and indicated that both might not be able to play 90 minutes in the semi-finals - a hint that Lahm could move back to midfield for a last four meeting with Brazil or Colombia.

"They went to their limits. We need players who are fresh and recovered. They did a good job today."

Loew said all his players were exhausted after the match against France.

"It was an incredibly exciting match but you can't expect anything else at the World Cup. Both teams were equals. Our team had fought hard to the end."

"The players are really wiped out now with the sun in the stadium. It was incredibly hot, it was an intensive match back and forth. The players are dead tired," he said.

Germany made experience count, says France coach Deschamps

France coach Didier Deschamps said that Germany's experience of the big occasion and his side's poor finishing proved crucial as Les Bleus bowed out of the World Cup on Friday.

"There was not much between the sides," he said after the 1-0 quarter final defeat at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. "One team is more used to these occasions and has more experience."

"We were not clinical in front of goal and Manuel Neuer made an important save at the end" from Karim Benzema.

"We played much as we had done during the tournament but Germany are a better side than what we have faced so far," said the coach, who nevertheless believes the future is bright for Les Bleus.

"We don't have the same experience at this level as Germany but I am proud of what the players have done on and off the field.

"There is work to be done, but the materials are there and we need to maintain the same quality and the same spirit."

"There is lots of sadness and frustration among the players but we can't forget what we have done well up to now."

"I am proud of everyone and am proud to have come this far with them," said Deschamps.

"It was tough this evening, we lacked sharpness," commented midfielder Mathieu Valbuena said.

"They (Germany) did not have an enormous number of chances, they had a lot of success with one free kick," he said of Mats Hummels' 13th minute goal from a Tony Kroos' free kick.

"We had a lot of chances but we did not put them away, we are just dead tonight," Valbuena told Bein Sport television.

Karim Benzema had a couple of great chances, notably in the dying seconds when he worked himself some space but his shot was batted away by the impressive German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

"We can be proud of our campaign," said Benzema.

"We had a lot of chances in the match but the goalkeeper was on his game and had a great match," added the Real Madrid striker.

Midfielder Yohan Cabaye said the Germans had the extra knowhow to see them off.

"We were not far away from a qualification. They had a bit more experience on their side. We have to accept it, but it's tough," said the Paris St Germain midfielder.

The defeat was "cruel", he added.

First Published: Jul 05, 2014 02:14 IST