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Jul 4, 2014

Quarterfinals Day 1: Favorites win

ESPN FC's expert panel weigh in on Neymar's injury and Thiago Silva's suspension.

Germany became the first country to reach four straight World Cup semifinals with its 1-0 win over France in Rio de Janeiro on Friday. It will be the Germans' record 12th World Cup semifinal appearance when they face Brazil on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte. Germany has now eliminated France in all three of the World Cup knockout-stage games in which they've met.

In Fortaleza, Brazil reached its eighth World Cup semifinal (the second-most of any country) with a 2-1 win over Colombia, its first semifinal appearance since 2002. Brazil and Germany have met only once at the World Cup: the 2002 final, which Brazil won 2-0. The two nations have combined to win eight previous World Cup titles.

Here are five storylines coming out of the first day of the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals.

* Mats Hummels was the only player on the field to block three shots, and he led Germany with two interceptions in the defending third, but it wasn't his defensive play alone that made him the FIFA Man of the Match against France. Hummels' 13th-minute game winner made him the first defender to score two goals at this World Cup. Both of his goals at this tournament have been headers assisted by Toni Kroos. It was Germany's 37th headed goal in World Cup play over the past 50 years -- 18 more than Italy, which has the second-most.

* France scored 10 goals at this tournament, having scored the same amount over its past three World Cup appearances combined. After a disappointing performance at the 2010 World Cup, France got off to a hot start at this year's tournament, scoring eight goals over its first two games. But over its past three games, Les Bleus scored just twice, one of which was an own goal.

Luiz added to the goal he scored in the Round of 126 against Chile.

* Thiago Silva gave Brazil the lead over Colombia in the seventh minute with his first career World Cup goal. All three of his international goals have come from corner kicks. David Luiz extended Brazil's lead in the 69th minute with his second goal in his past two games after not scoring in his first 39 internationals. After Hummels, he is the second defender to score two goals at this World Cup.

* Twenty-two-year-old James Rodríguez slotted an 80th-minute penalty kick past Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar for his sixth goal of the tournament, which extends his lead in the race for the Golden Boot to two. He is the second-youngest player to score six goals in a single World Cup, behind only Pele, who was 17 when he did it. Rodríguez is the fifth player to score in each of his team's first five matches at a World Cup and the first to do so since Rivaldo in 2002.

* Brazil is now undefeated in 62 straight competitive (non-friendly) home games, dating back to 1975. Reaching the quarterfinals was Colombia's best finish at a World Cup, and it had not trailed in a game at this tournament until Friday, winning four games along the way. In its previous four World Cup tournaments combined, Colombia had won only three total games.