Mats Hummels headed Germany to a 1-0 victory over old rivals France yesterday, and took his country to the World Cup semi-finals for a record fourth straight time.

The centre-back's powerful 13th-minute header decided the nervy encounter between two sides who have traditionally produced sensation matches.

Hummels also blocked a late strike by Karim Benzema in a man-of-the-match performance at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium.

“Germany were on a higher level today,” said a disconsolate French manager Didier Deschamps, who suffered his first defeat in 11 World Cup games as either a player or coach.

Germany now face either Brazil in Tuesday's semi-final at Belo Horizonte.