Tuesday - Sep 26, 2017

Brazil suffers the greatest humiliation in their history as Germany remorselessly blast their way into the World Cup final


Brazil suffers the greatest humiliation in their history as Germany remorselessly blast their way into the World Cup final

When the newly elected Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff rubber stamped her approval of the country being the post for the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament in 2014, she more than likely formed a mental picture that the prestige and glamour of staging the tournament would more than offset spending $11.5 billion that it would cost- especially when Brazil would be very strong favorites to run out as winners in the final held in Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 13th.

Not all of the close to 200 million Brazilians felt the same way about hosting the tournament, but as it progressed the general mood of optimism and national pride to their complaints about the expense involved on hold.

Rousseff’s gamble came to an almost unbelievable end yesterday evening in their semi-final match against Germany in Belo Horizonte, which ended in a 7-1 defeat to Germany, far and away their heaviest and most humiliating defeat in the history of the tournament, which they have won five times.

The close to 60,000 fans in the stadium, the majority of the local fans, were left totally dumbfounded as Germany repeatedly sliced their way through the Brazilian defense to find themselves 5-0 ahead inside the first half-hour, with four of these goals coming in a remarkable six minute period.

Before the match the Brazilians had to face up to the reality of being without their injured superstar Neymar, as well as captain and defensive mainstay Thiago Silva, who failed to win his appeal against a second yellow card, meaning that he was suspended for the match.

It became rapidly evident that Thiago Silva’s absence was to prove immeasurably more significant than that of Naymar, as the Brazilian defense looked totally lost without him.

Even when Germany took the lead in the eleventh minute through Thomas Muller, who was left almost totally unmarked to score his fifth goal of the tournament, there could be little indication of what was to follow next. The Brazilian defense, who looked shaky for the first goal, crumbled completely as the German side began to show their almost embarrassing superiority, with the Seleção also sadly lacking any presence in midfield and attack.

From the 23rd minute, the Germans didn’t only rewrite Brazilian soccer history, but added some of their own. That first little piece of history came when Miroslav Klose latched onto a fumbled shot/save by the inept Julius Caesar to roll the ball into the net for his 16th goal in World Cup history, breaking Ronaldo of Brazili’s record of fifteen. Ironically, it was Ronaldo, whose two goals in the 2002 FIFA World Cup final gave Brazil victory the last time the two teams met.

After Klose’s effort the floodgates really opened for the Germans with two goals coming in rapid succession from the excellent Toni Kroos with the fifth coming in the 29th minute from Sami Khedira, a faster time than any team in World Cup history.

As every goal went in, the Brazilian players, Luiz Felipe Scolari and his team seem to move deeper and deeper into the state of shock and disbelief.

For the Brazilians the whistle to mark the end of that incredible first half could not come quickly enough, and as they trooped disconsolately from the field, many of the Brazilian players had tears in their eyes, as they face the ignominy of having their own fans booing their heroes of the field. The same fans who just 45 minutes previously had joined them in a heart warming rendition of the Brazilian national anthem.

The second half, as it had to be, had an air of anti-climax as the Germans eased off and the Brazilian team did what they could to try to make the scoreline a bit more respectable.

Despite a few tentative efforts it was the Germans who almost uncomfortably increased their lead with substitute Andre Schurrie, who came on for the tiring Klose, scoring the sixth in the 69th minute and the seventh ten minutes later.

The Brazilians did get almost gifted a consolation goal in the very last minute through Oscar, but it did very little to ease their humiliation as a final score of 7-1 reverberated throughout the world.

At the end of the match there was little room for post-mortems more disbelief as the realization sunk in that Brazil’s massive World Cup gamble had turned into a national embarrassment. Not only had Brazil not lost a competitive game on home soil since 1975, it had never conceded as many as four goals in a World Cup game in more than 60 years and have had become the first team to ever concede seven goals in a World Cup semifinal as well as conceding five or more goals by half-time in the same event.

The shocking 7-1 defeat makes for Brazil’s largest in their World Cup finals history, more than surpassing their 3-0 defeat by France in the final in 1998.

Yesterday’s match was one of the most dramatic in World Cup history, and while the Germans will be looking forward to their appearance in the final on Sunday and will be understandably unafraid of no one, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, team manager Luiz Fillipe Scolari as well as a large number of the Brazilian players should be asking questions of themselves on what part they played in the greatest humiliation in the history of Brazilian soccer.

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