Carnage! Germany embarrasses an abject Brazil with 7-1 rout
It was the night Germany removed the crown from football royalty. It did so with its own version of the beautiful game and, by the time it had finished, Brazil had suffered an ignominy that was so extreme and implausible it felt as though a black marker pen had been taken to the pages of its football history.
No team in that famous shirt has ever suffered in the way Luiz Felipe Scolari’s did during a brutal first half in which Germany scored five times in 19 minutes and played as though its opponents might as well have been invited from the beach.
Brazil had not lost a competitive match at home since 1975 but it was not just removed from its own World Cup. It was embarrassed in a way that will make it look back on this tournament and want to shelter its eyes.
This was not a team losing. It was a dream dying. There was anger, resentment and something approaching a full-on mutiny when Scolari and his players lingered too long on the pitch at the end.
Yet there was also an appreciation of what they were seeing. Schurrle’s second goal prompted a standing ovation. Soon afterwards Brazil’s fans could be heard shouting ole to every German touch.
What cannot happen, however, is for the story to be all about Brazil’s deficiencies when Germany has just put on one of the all-time performances. It was a master class.
No other word does it justice and all that is left for Joachim Low now is to hope his team has not peaked too early.
For Brazil the inquest will be torturous. It was always going to end in tears of some sort but nobody could have imagined the television cameras would already be zooming in on the first sobs midway through the first half. That was at 3-0 and, five minutes later the score had risen to five.
If it had continued at that rate for the rest of the match, Brazil would have sieved 15. And there were times in that first half, crazy as it sounds, when it did seem as though Germany was genuinely in the mood for double figures.
In the process Miroslav Klose scored his 16th World Cup goal, removing Ronaldo from the record books and earning himself a standing ovation when he was substituted later in the match.
Thomas Muller oozed confidence, scoring his fifth goal of the tournament.
Mesut Ozil did not score but he did enough, all the same, to turn the volume down on some of his critics. More than anyone, there was Tony Kroos — left foot, right foot — showing why Real Madrid want to take him from Bayern Munich. Kroos, with two goals of his own, was the outstanding performer, though Sami Khedira was not far behind.
And Brazil? After all the pining in absentia for Neymar maybe they should have given more credence to the fact that Thiago Silva was also missing.
The night was a personal ordeal for Dante, Silva’s replacement, while David Luiz had suddenly reverted to being a player who will always give his opponents a chance.
Brazil’s defending could be neatly encapsulated in that moment, after 11 minutes, when Kroos sent over a corner from the right. Seven players in yellow and blue had joined Julio Cesar inside the six-yard area.
But not one had bothered picking up Muller and by the time Luiz realised there was a man spare it was too late. Muller’s volley punished Brazil for some of the worst marking imaginable.
Germany sensed its opponent was vulnerable and was absolutely merciless. Kroos’s beautifully weighted through-ball, then Muller’s lay-off, set up Klose to beat Cesar at the second attempt for 2-0.
In the next attack Philipp Lahm crossed from the right and Muller mis-kicked his attempt at goal. The ball arrived on Kroos’s left boot and it was a cannonball of a shot for the third goal.
Brazil was in disarray and the fourth was even worse from its point of view. Fernandinho lost the ball to Kroos, who broke through the centre, exchanged passes with Khedira and then slotted his shot past a hopelessly exposed goalkeeper.
By the time Khedira made it five, aided and abetted by Ozil, after carving another route straight through the centre of Brazil’s defence, it was tempting to wonder whether it was ever going to stop.
Brazil was booed off at half-time and the anger manifested itself later in the scapegoating of Fred, its non-scoring goalscorer. Schurrle stroked in Lahm’s centre for the sixth goal and then whacked in a shot off the underside of the crossbar.
Oscar’s stoppage-time goal could never be described as a consolation. Brazil had been outclassed in every department. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2014