Belo Horizonte, July 9 (PTI): A rampaging Germany destroyed five-time champion Brazil’s reputation as a football powerhouse with a 7-1 humiliation to enter the World Cup final for record eighth time and send the football crazy host country into stunned silence and national mourning here today.
It was a devastating day for Brazil who were playing a highly emotional semifinal without injured superstar striker Neymar as they were steamrolled into submission by the Germans who took revenge of their 0-2 defeat in 2002 summit clash in Japan in the only other World Cup clash between the two sides.
Thomas Mueller opened scoring in the 11th minute before goals from Miroslav Klose (23rd), Toni Kroos (24th and 26th), Sami Khedira (29th) and Andre Schuerrle (69th and 79th) in front of the sea of heartbroken yellow clad Selecao fans at the Estadio Mineirao here.
Oscar scored the consolation goal for Brazil in the 90th minute but it was all over by then as Brazil ended their World Cup campaign at home under humiliating circumstances.
Today’s defeat was Brazil’s biggest international defeat in their proud history and the home fans understandably booed them towards the end of the match as it turned out to be a day of shame for the host country.
It seemed that the Brazillians have forgotten how to play football as they conceded five goals without reply in the opening half hour with the defence, without suspended captain Thiago Silva, looked like even worse than an amateur club side.
Klose became the highest scorer in World Cup history with his 16th strike today, surpassing Brazil legend Ronaldo’s 15 goals. He also became the only player in history to play in four World Cup semifinals.
But his tremendous achievement seemed to have been drowned in the din of the scale of humiliation of Brazil, the tournament favourites with the Selecao fans weeping in the open while some were seen stunned at the way their team was decimated by the clinical Germans.
The collective psyche of the Brazillians has been living with the ‘national tragedy’ of ‘Maracanazo’, that defeat against Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup final at the iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, and it will have to be seen how much today’s loss will impact the country which is hosting the tournament after 64 years.
The Germans, who were playing in their fourth World Cup semifinal on the trot, killed the game in the first half itself with four goals coming in the space of seven minutes after the Muller opener with the Brazil defence torn apart by the speed and clinical finish by their European opponents.
Mueller was left unmarked in the first corner of the match for Germany to slot home. Then the floodgates were opened with Klose scripting history as he scored in his second attempt after his first effort was parried by Brazil goalie Julio Cesar in the 23rd minute.
Next minute, Kroos took Germany’s lead to three. Mesut Ozil passed the ball to his captain Philipp Lahm, who served a teasing ball across the Brazil box. Muller missed but it found its way to Kroos, who hit a stunner past Cesar.
Kroos made it a memorable day for himself with his second goal three minutes from his first strike. Khedira led the German counter-attack and passed off to Kroos for a simple tap-in. Khedira himself shot home in the 29th minute after a build up by Ozil and Klose as the Germans toyed with the Brazil defenders.
Brazil had a couple of chances to reduce the margin in the initial 15 minutes after resumption but they failed to convert them.
Schuerrle, who replaced Klose in the 58th minute, scored twice in the space of 10 minutes to complete the route for Brazil.
Germany now wait the result of the second semifinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands for the summit clash at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.