Germany routed host country Brazil, 7-1, on July 8 to reach the finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Germany beat Brazil, 7-1, on July 8 to reach the finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
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The six-goal deficit was Brazil's worst-ever loss in the World Cup, per ESPN:
"Brazil's dreams of making a return to a World Cup final in the Maracana were shattered in the most agonising manner as Germany inflicted on the hosts one of the most remarkable defeats in the 84-year history of this competition.
"Tears flowed like water in the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte as before even half-an-hour had gone, Brazil were 5-0 down, and the final scoreline was 7-1, equalling their worst-ever defeat, 6-0 to Uruguay back in 1920 before the World Cup had even begun.
"Two goals for Toni Kroos and Andre Schurrle, plus one each for Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira, and record-breaking 16th World Cup goal for Miroslav Klose saw the visitors delirious, while Brazil begins a period of soul-searching such as never before.
"Germany will go into Sunday's World Cup final at the Maracana to face Argentina or Holland of the highest of lows.
"The pain was so intense for Brazil, who had arrived at the Estadio Mineirao intent on honouring their missing talisman, Neymar.
"They tried to use his absence as an inspiration, parading slowly onto the field and linked in crocodile formation, with stand-in captain David Luiz and goalkeeper Julio Cesar clutching Neymar's shirt as they belted out the national anthem.
"The opening period was always going to be a testing one for Germany, with the partisan crowd baying every Brazilian touch and tackle.
"Marcelo was cheered wildly after sending a 25-yard shot skimming a couple yards wide, but there was a frantic feel to it, as though the Neymar emotion had spilled over into a frenzy, with Germany capable of punishing any slackness.
"That almost happened early on when Mesut Ozil delivered a sweet cross for Khedira to volley only for his shot to strike Kroos.
"A break by Khedira then led to the corner from which Germany took the lead in the 11th minute. Kroos took it, and it was straightforward enough but Brazil's marking went into meltdown and Muller slotted it home low past Julio Cesar while David Luiz beat the ground in frustration.
"Marcelo burst into the Germany penalty area and a pinpoint sliding tackle by Philipp Lahm stopped him in full stride but Brazil's high tempo only served to make them vulnerable on the break and Germany made them pay again, this time Klose becoming a World Cup's record-breaker.
"A delightful passing move saw Muller lay the ball off and although Julio Cesar stopped his first effort, Klose buried the rebound.
"Two minutes later and it was 3-0, Lahm's cross going all the way across the area for Kroos to slam home left-footed from 18 yards.
"Another two minutes, another goal. From a goal-kick Fernandinho was robbed by Khedira who unselfishly played in Kroos for a virtual tap-in for 4-0.
"By this time Brazil fans were in tears and a few leaving their seats, but the German machine marched on mercilessly.
"Less than half an hour gone and the hosts were 5-0 down. Mats Hummels strode forward and Ozil, who had come alive in this match, set up Khedira for a first-time finish.
"All over the pitch, in the stands, the executive box where FIFA president Sepp Blatter watched, in the Fan Fests on the beaches and those tens of millions tormented on TVs throughout Brazil, there was sheer disbelief.
"Scolari's half-time team talk must have been all about rescuing some pride, because it was a different Brazil who came out for the second half, with Paulinho on for the Fernandinho and Ramires for Hulk, with Low sending on Per Mertesackler for Hummels.
"Neuer had been barely tested in the first half but only he prevented Brazil getting on the scoresheet, first defying Oscar and then Paulinho.
"Julio Cesar had to be at his best to tip over Muller's curling effort fro 25 yards, but Germany were not to be denied and Lahm's penetrating cross was struck home by subsitute Schurrle.
"It was Chelsea midfielder Schurrle who piled on the agony, a breathtaking finish into the top corner after pulling down Muller's instinctive cross.
"Ozil should have made it an embarrassing eight but slid wide when through on goal before Oscar's crisp finish in the last minute provided a glimmer of light in the darkness.
"If Brazil wanted to erase the memories of that 1950 final defeat in the Maracana they have done so: this pain would have been infinitely more excruciating."
Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari told ESPN FC he takes the blame for the loss. He also said Brazil would probably still have gotten beat by Germany even if Neyar took the field:
"The catastrophic result can be shared with the whole group, but the choice and who decided the tactical lineup -- I did. The person who is responsible is me.
"My message is for the Brazilian people that we tried to do what we could do. We did what we think was our best and we lost to a great team who in six or seven minutes, ended the game in an extraordinary manner.
"I'm sorry that we were not able to get to the final and we will continue to honour what our team is and fight for third place.
"We tried to organise, but there was nothing we could do at that moment.
"There's no regret, but it didn't work out in 10 minutes of the match today. The German team was fantastic. They probably could have done it with Neymar on the field as well.
"Let's not try to find an excuse.What happened is Germany had a fantastic rhythm and defined the match. Germany made use of those moments and Neymar has nothing to do with that. He would not have made a difference to defend all of the goals. Germany would have done this regardless."
His counterpart, Germany's Joachim Low, said his team's plan worked to perfection, per German network ZDF (via ESPN FC):
"It was important to counter their passion and emotions with calmness, patience and persistence, also with courage and believe in our own strength. Brazil were shocked, they did not expect that.
"We scored five goals in 18 minutes. It's clear that they were shocked.
"We knew that if we are quick on the counters, and go straight into attack after winning balls they will be disorganised. We played well in the first half.
"But it's not over yet. And humbleness will suit us just fine. We might have recorded a huge win, but we must stay focused until Sunday. The players are ready to make that last step."
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