Germany defender Mats Hummels said the “next dream has become reality” after his goal earned his country a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup.
The Borussia Dortmund man’s header was enough to see off France and take the Germans into the last four for the fourth successive tournament.
“This is the next dream to have become reality and the next positive moment here in Brazil and I hope it’s not the last either,” Hummels, above, said.
“I hope it’s not over now and that we can manage to win again in five days’ time.”
Although Hummels got the decisive goal, it was a much-improved team performance from Germany compared to their extra-time win against Algeria in the last 16.
That game saw plenty of criticism levelled at the players and coach Joachim Low.
“We’re in the semi-finals so who cares about anything else,” said Philipp Lahm.
“It wasn’t easy today, especially not in the sun, but we worked well as a team and the team comes first.
“We should maybe have made it 2-0. We wasted a great counter-attack, so that meant it remained tight to the end, but it was a good performance for us and we’re in the semis.
“It was a 50/50 game, but we got the goal first and then they had to come at us.
“This is a quarter final of a World Cup and you never play against a side who have no chance against you.”
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer came to his side’s rescue again to push away a 94th-minute Karim Benzema effort.
“It was just instinctive, it comes naturally,” said the Bayern Munich keeper.
“Of course, to be able to play in this stadium, and it being a World Cup quarter-final, and then to put in this performance on top – it’s all worthy of a place in the semi-final.”