A game with a grudge -- it's hardly a new experience for Germany, which appears to encounter such fixtures on a regular basis.

Its experience at this level is undisputed -- but a failure to win the World Cup in 24 years has not gone unnoticed.

In 2002, Rudi Voller's team was defeated in the final by Brazil -- since then there have been three consecutive semifinal defeats.

For so long German football has been admired, but with success comes expectation and, in terms of triumphs, "Die Mannschaft" has failed to deliver.

Perhaps this is the year where Low's side finally delivers.

Criticized after a 2-1 extra-time victory over Algeria in the last 16 at Brazil 2014, Germany began brightly against France and made light of the flu virus which had swept through its camp.

Just 12 minutes of the contest had elapsed when Hummels held off Raphael Varane to head home Toni Kroos' perfect delivery.

Given the number of spectacular strikes witnessed at this World Cup, Hummels' effort was remarkable for its simplicity.

France, temporarily dazed by conceding, began to assert itself with the impressive Mathieu Valbuena beginning to cause Germany problems.

The diminutive midfielder, so influential in the group stage as France breezed through with ease, came close to forging an equalizer with 11 minutes of the first half remaining.

Antoine Griezmann found space on the left and his pass allowed Valbuena to curl the ball towards goal only for Manuel Neuer to save and Karim Benzema to lash wildly at the rebound.

Benzema, who scored three times in his opening two games, then went close before the interval as Hummels blocked the forward's close-range header.

In 10 previous ties where it had trailed at halftime of a World Cup tie, France had lost on each and every occasion.

But this French side has already overcome the odds. That it qualified for the tournament at all was somewhat of a surprise given its dreadful performance in the playoff tie.

A 2-0 defeat by Ukraine in the first leg left Deschamps staring into the abyss -- a misery only averted by a miraculous 3-0 victory in the return leg four days later.

But a comeback against Germany, a team renowned for its ruthlessness and ability to dominate its opponents is a far more difficult proposition.

Deschamps' decision to replace a defensive midfielder in Yohan Cabaye with striker Loic Remy signaled his side's intentions.

His pace, in addition to the threat posed by Griezmann and Benzema, appeared to trouble a Germany defense which was never managed to give impression of being wholly convincing.

But whenever France did manage to get in behind its opponents, Neuer provided a formidable presence, denying Blaise Matuidi from close range.

As both teams began to suffer in the heat, the action moved from end to end, with Germany twice failing to put the result beyond doubt