BRAZIL 1-7 GERMANY
TUESDAY 8TH JULY – BELO HORIZONTE
Joachim Löw masterminded a 7-1 victory over host nation Brazil on Tuesday evening, as Miroslav Klose also broke the record for most World Cup goals.
After Thomas Muller broke the deadlock early on, the hosts collapsed, conceding four goals in six minutes to end the contest after just 29 minutes, before a brace from Schürrle in the second half compounded misery on Scolari’s side.
Two successive semi-final defeats may well have been playing on the mind of the Germans, and both sides were in high spirits, as an end-to-end battle greeted the neutrals early on.
Only 11 minutes passed before that opening goal came, a high, outswinging corner from Toni Kroos evaded everyone apart from Thomas Muller, who was somehow left unmarked eight yards out, to crash home past the helpless Julio Cesar.
They had looked the more likely to score, and that caused heads to drop, but there was no excuse for what happened next. Toni Kroos broke into the box and fed Miroslav Klose, who saw his first effort blocked, only to smash home the rebound and snatch Ronaldo’s record as all-time World Cup goalscorer.
What was needed was a cool head, a leader at the back. Unfortunately, that man – Thiago Silva – was in the stands. Almost directly from kick-off, Löw’s side regained the ball, shot up the wing, and when a right-hand cross was missed by Muller, Toni Kroos was on hand to smash the ball past Cesar to make it three.
It was clear everyone was in disbelief, and when it seemed it couldn’t get worse, it just kept coming. Fernandinho received the ball from the restart, was robbed, and within seconds it was four. Toni Kroos sprung into the area, played a deft one-two with Khedira, before passing the ball into the corner.
26 minutes had gone and it was damage limitations, but the floodgates were open and nobody had an idea how to stop them. The Germans were queuing up and it was Sami Khedira next. He played a one-two with Özil, and the finish was simple. Five-nil before half an hour had gone.
To be fair to the Brazilians, they probably did well to stop the tide there, and went into the break, only 5-0 down. What were the words on Scolari’s lips at half-time? Pride? Win the second-half? Nobody knows.
Hulk and Fernandinho made way for Ramires and Paulinho, and it was evident that the former should certainly have started, the only player looking for the ball as the second period commenced. Both made an immediate impact, Ramires feeding Oscar who saw his shot turned away by Neuer, before Paulinho’s effort was fantastically clawed away. The Munich stopper certainly wanted his clean sheet, and who could blame him.
Several desperate dives in the area hardly gave credit to the Brazilian performance, and they got their comeuppance with 20 minutes left, when Philip Lahm squared for Schürrle, who made sure Cesar had no chance. This was German efficiency at its best.
Julio Cesar had salvaged the most pride from this awful Brazilian performance, and you could almost sense the hurt ten minutes later when again, Andre Schürrle beat him to make it seven. A quick throw from Muller sent Schürrle free on the angle of the box, and though the touch was tremendous, the finish was out of this world. Cesar watched as the ball fired in off the crossbar, nestling into the bottom corner as a stadium fell silent – but for a pocket of German fans.
Cameras flicked to Fred – on the sidelines – which was met by Brazilian boo’s. It was clear that one scapegoat had already been identified, but there were at least seven or eight other below-par performances.
One man who retained belief was Oscar though, and with the clock ticking to 90, he broke down the middle, cut inside, and fired an effort past Neuer, who was totally incensed with his defenders for not maintaining that zero on the scoreboard.
It was 7-1 though, and that was it. Another final for Löw and his German side, while the hosts we’re shamed in front of 50,000 of their own fans. Luiz, Gustavo, Oscar in tears on the pitch, while Scolari reached out to the Germans – congratulating them on destroying his side.
Would Thiago Silva and Neymar have altered that scoreline? Maybe so. But there was no taking away from Die Mannschaft what was an almost perfect display of football.
They go on to face Argentina or Holland in the World Cup final this weekend, knowing that this result would not count for anything should they not repeat their heroics of tonight.
BRAZIL: Julio Cesar, Maicon, David Luiz, Dante, Marcelo, Fernandinho (Paulinho 46), Gustavo, Bernard, Oscar, Hulk (Ramires 46), Fred (Willian 70).
GOALS: Oscar 90.
BOOKINGS: Dante 68.
GERMANY: Neuer, Lahm, Hummels (Mertesacker 46), Boateng, Höwedes, Khedira (Draxler 76), Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Özil, Klose (Schürrle 69), Müller.
GOALS: Müller 11, Klose 23, Kroos 24 & 26, Khedira 29, Schürrle 69 & 79.
Click on Brad’s name above to follow him on Twitter