BELO HORIZANTE HORROR Germany humiliates, rolls over Brazil 7-1, and into the World Cup final
GERMANY 7, BRAZIL 1
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil - For many soccer fans, this city is known for what is considered one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history.
For just about every Brazilian, this city is now also known as the venue where the absolute worst and most disappointing performance in the history of their beloved national team took place.
Germany struck for a stunning five goals in the opening 29 minutes on Tuesday, en route to a 7-1 victory in a semifinal in one of the most astonishing results in the 84 years of World Cup competition.
The Germans, who reached the final for a record eighth time, will meet the winner of Wednesday's semifinal between Argentina and the Netherlands (in Sao Paulo) in Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in the championship game on Sunday. The Brazilians will take on the loser in the third-place game in Brasilia on Saturday.
Way back in 1950, the United States surprised highly favored England in another stadium in this city, 1-0. No one, however, could have predicted the result of today's match as no one could have claimed that both teams could have scored eight goals combined, let alone seven by one side.
Toni Kroos led the way for the Germans with a pair of first-half goals. Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose and Sami Khedira also added goals as Brazilian fans cried in sadness, horror, shame and embarrassment at Estadio Mineirao.
By the time Oscar tallied Brazilís lone goal in the 90th minute, all of the damage had been done.
Records fell by the wayside in this semifinal, which included the most goals scored by a team in a World Cup semifinal and the worst defeat suffered by Brazil. The loss tied the South Americans' previous worst goal-differential setback, a 6-0 loss to Uruguay in Copa America in 1920.
The Brazilians, who entered the game with five World Cup titles, looked like rank amateurs in the opening 45 minutes.
True, they entered the match without their star, Neymar, who was knocked out of the World Cup by a hard tackle by Colombian defender Camilo Zuniga in the quarterfinals. But his teammates played as though they had given up minutes after the opening kickoff.
Germany connected four times during an amazing 18-minute span in the first half. Muller started the rout, drilling a feed off a corner kick past goalkeeper Julio Cesar in the 11th minute.
The hosts tried to make a game of it early on, but could not retain possession for any decent amount of time as the relentless Germans kept coming toward their goal.
Klose broke the all-time World Cup scoring record of 15 goals, held by former Brazilian great Ronaldo, firing home an eight-yard rebound of his own shot in the 23rd, igniting a startling burst of five goals within a six-minute span. Klose has tallied 16 WC goals in 23 appearances.
Kroos made it 3-0 with an 18-yard shot to the left side in the 24th minute. Barely two minutes later, the midfielder struck again for a 4-0 advantage before Khedira scored from 16 yards for a 5-0 margin in the 29th minute.
The Brazilians hardly looked like one of the great soccer powers, not picking up any men on defense and resorting to panic passing on attack, trying long balls that were supposedly going to score five goals at once. Predictably, the Germans intercepted those passes and started one attack after another.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari made two substitutions at halftime, bringing in Paulinho and Ramires for Fernandinho and Hulk. That gave the South Americans a big boost, but German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was up to the task. He denied Oscar in the 52nd minute and then Paulinho twice with a couple of bang-bang saves only a minute later.
While the Brazilians could not find the back of the net, the Germans had no trouble adding to their total as sub Andre Schurrle scored from the middle of the penalty area for a six-goal advantage in the 69th minute, and struck for his second goal of the half as he bolted into the penalty area on the left side and powered an eight-yard shot home for an astonishing 7-0 lead in the 79th minute.