Germany Mats Hummels
Germany defender Mats Hummels celebrates with teammates after scoring the winner against France in their FIFA World Cup 2014 quarterfinalReuters

It was not the most vibrant of Germany displays that we have come to expect from this "golden generation", but, despite scoring just the lone goal, and that too pretty early in the contest, it was one of the more comfortable victories they have enjoyed at this World Cup, with France seeing their va-va-voom go kaboom under the efficiency of the well-oiled German machine.

Mats Hummels opened the scoring for Germany in this "don't know what to expect" 2014 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal at the Maracana on 13 minutes, and once that ball went in off the head of the defender, there really looked like being only one winner, with France firing blanks all the way.

Germany went into the game insisting they were the better side, but a lot was still expected from this game, taking into consideration France's attacking vibrancy at this World Cup. However, with the superior German midfield and the Rio De Janeiro heat stifling France and quelling any chance of making too many attacks, it was just brilliant knockout football from Joachim Low's men.

There were no surprises from minute one as Germany took control of possession, with France failing to get a foothold in the game in terms of time with the ball.

France, though, did create a couple of decent openings before going behind, and had Antoine Griezmann, latching onto a nice long ball, picked out the right cross, not that difficult a cross, to find Karim Benzema, the striker would have had a tap-in.

But that early goal would not come for France, and it was Germany who went into the lead on 13 minutes. Toni Kroos won a freekick on the right 40-odd yards from goal, before swinging in a peach of a freekick himself, begging a German player to guide it into the back of the net past Hugo Lloris. Hummels was the man for that job, outmuscling Raphael Varane to beautifully direct the ball off the crossbar and in with the back of his head.

France needed to get more control in midfield to really dent Germany at the back, but their two powerful all-action midfielders Blaise Matuidi and Paul Pogba were non-entities, hardly seeing the ball to cause any problems.

The Germany midfielders, marshalled by Bastian Schweinsteiger, taking over the role of Philipp Lahm, who went back to his more preferred right-back role, were pretty much always in control, and France struggled to make a real counter-attack count as well.

They did have a couple of decent opportunities to get back into the quarterfinal, with Yohan Cabaye, their deep-lying playmaker spraying a wonderful pass over the top for Griezmann, again, to run into. The winger, in for Olivier Giroud as expected, took a touch before picking out Mathieu Valbuena on the right channel, with the midfielder's shot across goal from a tight angle wonderfully kept out by the massive left palm of Manuel Neuer. Karim Benzema had a chance to follow-up but it came to nothing.

France Karim Benzema
Nothing worked for France and Karim Benzema against GermanyReuters

Benzema would test Neuer a little later, though, with a cut-in from the right and shot, but the strike was nowhere near powerful enough to worry the goalkeeper too much.

Germany, despite holding the better position, didn't really carve out too many other clear-cut chances in the first 45, something that would have worried Low just a tad bit, with the two loudest roars from the German supporters, apart from the goal, coming via two penalty shouts.

Miroslav Klose, who failed to move clear of Ronaldo to become the highest goalscorer ever in the history of the World Cup, first tumbled down a little too easily under the challenge of Mathieu Debuchy, before Thomas Muller, hardly as involved as he would have liked playing a wide role due to Klose's presence, decided to do the same under the attentions of the same defender. Both of them weren't penalties and Argentine referee Nestor Pitana rightly waved play on.

It was France's turn to appeal for a penalty right at the beginning of the first half, with Griezmann going down inside the box under the challenge of Bastian Schweinsteiger, and while the Frenchman had more of a case, it still would have been a tad soft.

Despite having to make the running, France just could not find their top gear, with Germany looking quite comfortable, never really looking like conceding in the first 30 minute or so of the second 45.

Didier Deschamps surprisingly made no change until the 72nd minute, and that too was a forced on with Mamadou Sakho, yet again, failing to finish a game, leaving the field for Laurent Koscielny. France had to ramp up the pressure, and they did once Loic Remy came on for Cabaye, with Benzema, so in the periphery, taking a shot inside the box, which was well blocked by Hummels.

Hummels, after scoring at the right end, nearly scored at the wrong one, with the ball ricocheting off him and just wide off a clearance from Benedikt Howedes.

Still, chances were few and far between for France, and it was Germany who should have put the game to bed with a little under ten minutes to go. Mesut Ozil, again not quite enjoying himself in the wider role, broke clear on the left and squared the ball to Thomas Muller. The forward missed his shot attempt, with the ball trickling to Andre Schurrle, who failed to make the best of contacts with Lloris making a comfortable enough save with his feet.

As time wore on, there still were no signs of Olivier Giroud, with Deschamps sticking to a similar attacking setup, despite Germany obviously being comfortable at the back. The striker finally came on with five minutes remaining, but it was too little too late for Giroud or anyone else to make an impact as Germany saw France off easy as pie, notwithstanding a late effort from Benzema, which stung Neuer's palms, but never looked like going through.