Brazil and Germany reach World Cup semi-finals

Fri Jul 4, 2014 6:59pm EDT
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By Andrew Cawthorne

BELO HORIZONTE (Reuters) - Hosts Brazil and Europe's biggest remaining team Germany set up an epic-looking World Cup semi-final for next week with deserved victories on Friday over Colombia and France respectively.

Five-times champions Brazil won a frenetic match in Fortaleza 2-1 to end Colombia's dream run to their first quarter-final, while France succumbed 1-0 to their old nemesis Germany in a more subdued affair in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil and Germany will now meet in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday in a clash of styles and continents that is sure to excite fans around the world.

In a passionate and physical game from start to finish, Brazil captain Thiago Silva bundled in Neymar's corner with his waist after seven minutes to settle his nervy team mates.

Then a pumped-up David Luiz scored with a sublime 69th minute free kick to put Brazil two goals ahead.

Colombia's man-of-the-moment James Rodriguez pulled his side back into the match from the penalty spot, and got his sixth goal of the tournament, with just over 10 minutes remaining.

But Brazil's passion and will saw them hold firm.

"It was a great match, both teams played beautiful football," said the emotional Luiz, who prayed on the pitch and hugged Rodriguez in consolation at the end.   Continued...

Brazil's David Luiz celebrates at the end of the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza July 4, 2014.  REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo