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Football: Germany's Hummels dreams of World Cup final

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Match-winner Mats Hummels hopes Germany will return to Rio de Janeiro for the World Cup final after his header sealed their 1-0 win over France in Friday's quarter-final.

The 25-year-old put Germany into the semi-finals by smashing his 13th-minute header in off the crossbar at Rio's Maracana Stadium -- which hosts the World Cup final on July 13.

The centre-back's second goal of Brazil 2014 means Germany now face either Brazil or Colombia in Tuesday's semi-final in Belo Horizonte.

"The next dream has come true," beamed the Borussia Dortmund defender, after scoring his fourth goal in 34 appearances for Germany.

"It's unbelievable that it's all going so well for us here at the World Cup.

"I hope that our journey won't end soon and that we can make it back to compete here in nine days time.

"We're playing the kind of football that will give us a chance to win.

"Our defensive attitude has been as expected and the passion will be intensified for the forthcoming matches."

Germany produced a polished, improved display on their extra-time win over Algeria in the last 16 to constantly frustrate France's potent attack, spearheaded by Karim Benzema.

This is the 13th time in 20 attempts Germany have reached the World Cup semi-finals and the fourth in succession since bowing out of the quarter-finals at France '98.

But Hummels admitted he had struggled in Rio's heat having battled with mild flu at the start of the week which forced him out of Monday's win over Algeria.

"I was flat this morning and had to drink loads of water after the game, but things worked out differently for me at the end," he grinned.

"It's a tough job at the back, we had moments when we played some nice football.

"We knew France were among the top teams and it certainly wasn't a walk in the park.

"It wasn't the perfect match, but we deserved to go through."

Hummels said there is still room for Germany's defence to improve after an outstanding display from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer kept the French attack at bay.

"I think we lost a few easy balls in the first half and were not able to counter, but when we improved our game, we had chances," said Hummels.

"We didn't plan to be pushed back so much, but France used their class to push us back, because they needed a goal.

"They were difficult to contain with their speed.

"We couldn't add to our lead but I think we can be satisfied."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140704/football-germanys-hummels-dreams-world-cup-final