World Cup: Germany turn Brazil’s World Cup dream to a nightmare

Frank Dalleres
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GOALS rained and records tumbled in Belo Horizonte last night as Germany conjured one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history and ensured that Brazil’s attempt to lift the trophy as hosts ended not in glory but in abject humiliation.

In reaching Sunday’s final Germany inflicted the joint-heaviest defeat in the South Americans’ storied history and became the first team to score seven times in a World Cup semi-final. Their striker Miroslav Klose also became the tournament’s all-time leading goalscorer, with 16, while midfielder Toni Kroos registered the fastest brace in the competition’s history, at 69 seconds.

Forward Thomas Muller became only the third man to score five goals at more than one World Cup, while Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle netted twice and midfielder Sami Khedira completed Brazilian football’s most humiliating occasion.

“We realised they were cracking up and took advantage of it,” said Germany coach Joachim Low, whose team were 5-0 up after half an hour. “Brazil couldn’t cope under the pressure. We know how Scolari’s team must have felt – it happened to us against Italy in 2006 [when they lost 2-0 as hosts].”

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, whose team were without injured star Neymar and suspended captain Thiago Silva, called the result “a catastrophe” and accepted responsibility.

“It’s Brazil’s worst ever loss,” he added. “We ask for forgiveness. Up until the first goal we were okay. But the four goals in quick succession made us out of control.”

Germany had never beaten Brazil in a competitive match before this. Whether it was truly competitive may be up for debate, but that it was Brazil’s first home defeat for 12 years, their first in a home tournament or qualifier since 1975, and equalled in severity only by a 6-0 loss to Uruguay in 1920 is a matter of cold, hard fact.

It took just 10 minutes for Germany to wind the hosts – an unmarked Muller stealing into the box to sidefoot-volley his fifth of the tournament – and they swiftly dismantled a team in utter disarray with four goals in six mesmerising minutes.

Klose tapped the second after Cesar had parried his effort; Kroos then notched his breathless brace with a first-time, left-footed drive and a cool tap into an empty net after a one-two with Khedira, who tucked the fifth.

Schurrle climbed off the bench to score two more, the first a close-range finish and the second a rasping, left-foot volley. His club colleague Oscar thumped the least consoling of consolation goals, before the final whistle triggered a cacophony of jeers.

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