On Tuesday, a vast congregation of Brazilian supporters in full capacity stands at Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte had only their tears to deal with as the great mystique of Brazilian soccer lay shattered. The hosts never had it this bad in the past. Their wayward show was akin to the kind of football played by scared little kids in the streets. What if Neymar and Thiago Silva were absent; the dependence on just two players cannot be this overbearing. Howsoever hard they try; Scolari and others cannot explain the 7-1 shameless drubbing in a semifinal match. In the entire tournament, Brazil failed to show any sparkle in their performance and to some extent the win against Colombia, the other day, appeared dubious. Regardless, the cracks in their game were not so wide as the humiliating margin of defeat against Germany shows. Apart from doing discredit to themselves, the Brazilians brazenly let down the entire nation, who had pinned their hopes and aspiration in the performance of its footballers. Everything went wrong for Brazil on Tuesday. They played downright wretchedly with the most disorganized defense in the absence of Silva and the forward line didn’t click as they yielded the possession the moment they got it. When the final whistle was blown, thoroughly embarrassed Brazilian players didn’t know how to hide themselves in shame. With faces ashen after a pitiable performance, they walked out of the ground to the loudest jeers from their supporters, who came to the ground thinking that their heroes will take Brazil to the World Cup final; Neymar or no Neymar. For a long long time, this match will be remembered more for Brazil’s unprecedented and abject surrender rather than Germany’s superlatively stunning performance.
Germany took to field with the objective of avoiding their third straight loss in a World Cup semifinal after Japan/Korea and South Africa. Joachim Low didn’t change the line-up that played against France. While the absence of Neymar and Silva gave them edge, Brazilians’ inherent magic with football was the only factor that could have troubled them. But within minutes of the start, the Germans knew what lay in store. Although Brazilians showed some enterprise and earned a corner in the second minute, Germans were not rattled even if Luiz and Marcelo moved close, a couple of times. With Brazil beginning to lose their passes to Germany, the complexion of the game began to change. In the 8th minute, a powerful attempt from Khedira was deflected by his own team-mate Kroos but by this time Germany has already had the taste of the depleted Brazilian defense.
When Germany earned a corner in the 11th minute, Brazil left Thomas Muller surprisingly unmarked. Therefore when the floater from Toni Kroos came swinging in, Muller found it very easy to side-foot the ball to put Germany 1-0 ahead. Thiago Silva’s absence was immediately felt. In the next few minutes, Germany also had a measure of the Brazilian attack, when the yellow-shirt forwards couldn’t control their passes. In the 22nd minute, Kroos gave a slip to his marker and managed to pass the ball to Miroslav Klose on the edge of the box, from where the veteran fired a shot. Cesar’s save sprayed back to Klose, who made no mistake with the rebound. While Germany led 2-0, Klose made it 16 for himself, a record for the highest number of goals in the World Cup. After the second goal, Germany went on a rampage and scored three more goals in the next 7 minutes with Kroos scoring in 24th minute, Kroos again in 26th and Sami Khedira in 29th. Down by 5 goals in less than half-an-hour, the deflated Brazilians didn’t know what hit them and their display sank to a new low. They couldn’t prevent Germany moving into their half constantly, looking for further lead. Luckily no further damage occurred until the break.
The same script continued after the break and Scolari’s replacing Hulk and Fernandinho with Paulinho and Ramires did not change anything despite a couple of shots towards the German goal from Oscar and Paulinho. In the 65th minute a brilliant save from Cesar prevented another goal but three minutes later, Andre Schurrle made it 6-0 for Germany without any efforts against the nearly dysfunctional Brazilian defense. 11 minutes after that goal, Schurrle scored another from an absolutely astonishing move. He sped down from left and not able to find Marcelo, took things upon himself as he cracked a super shot that shook the underside of the bar and bounced on the back of the net.
In the face of such total annihilation, Brazilians just wanted to leave the ground and hide their faces in shame but they needed to survive another 20 minutes against an incisive German onslaught. Luckily, Oscar was fed a long ball from Cesar after a foiled German attack in the 90th minute. He ran solo and slammed one of the most forgettable goals in the history of the World Cup.
As the match ended 7-1 for Germany, Brazilians were totally distraught in defeat, having suffered an unprecedented massacre ever seen in any match at this level. Scolari may resign but those who played the game will carry the stigma for long.
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