Loew: "Now we need to take next step"

By Michael Place

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Germany coach Joachim Loew refused to look beyond the semifinals after his team advanced to the World Cup's last four by defeating France 1-0 on Friday.

A first-half header from Mats Hummels at Rio's Maracana stadium was enough to book Germany a clash against either Brazil or Colombia in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.

"In the last four World Cups we've reached the semi-finals," Loew said at his post match press conference. "That is a good achievement (but) we now need to take the next step."

"I think both teams played well defensively today. There weren' t many goalscoring opportunities, which was part of our plan. We didn' t want to give France chances with the quality of strikers they possess. We closed them down well - and that was the key."

France coach Didier Deschamps rued his team's missed chances but hoped the experience served as a lesson for future tournaments.

"Although our adventure in Brazil ends here and we' re sad, disappointed and frustrated, we' ll move on," he said. "I hope this group of players can play together for a long time. I have a lot of work to do with them, but things are definitely promising. We' ll need to maintain this momentum and quality."

Hummels, whose goal came after a precise Toni Kroos free-kick, talked up Germany's chances of progressing to the final on July 13.

"We' re playing the type of football that will give us the chance to win. We' re defending well, with passion and that needs to be intensified with every coming match."