Today marked the first semi-final of the 2014 World Cup, and the match-up was one of the most anticipated of the whole tournament. The host nation Brazil had got to this stage thanks to the huge support of the home crowd that had assisted them in scraping past opponents despite not looking entirely impressive. However, the injury to the “face of the tournament” Neymar meant that Brazil were looking a bit lighter and less threatening in attack, at least prior to the match. Their opponents were Germany, who had looked imperious as they coasted their way through the group and knockout phases. They may have only won the knockout matches by a single goal but looked far more comfortable than that, and with Thomas Muller and the rest of the German attack looking dangerous and scoring goals, this match promised to be an exciting one and a great advertisement for the game of football.
Germany shocked football fans all over the world with a thumping victory over a Brazil side humiliated in front of their home support. Prior to the match Brazil were, as has been the case for the tournament, on a wave of emotion thanks to the support from the home fans. But within half an hour the stadium was, like the footballing world, in a state of shock save for the German supporters as their side scored five goals without reply. The first goal came on eleven minutes when terrible defending from a Toni Kroos corner allowed Thomas Muller to head in unmarked, but even the poor defending gave no indication as to the chaos that was about to occur, with four goals in seven minutes stunning the World. There were signs that the Brazilian defence was a bit shaky prior to this match, but were ripped apart by a quick team with highly accurate passing.
The second goal came as a result of accurate passing in the penalty area from Kroos to Muller to Miroslav Klose and though keeper Julio Cesar managed to save the initial effort from the latter, the ball came straight back to the striker who scored at the second attempt to set a new goalscoring record in the World Cup of 16 goals in 23 games. Kroos then scored twice in two minutes; firstly from Philipp Lahm’s low cross that was left by Muller for Kroos to left-foot the ball in, and then thanks to an unselfish pass from Sami Khedira after Fernandinho woefully gave the ball away in his own half. It was getting worse by the minute for a Brazilian side that had lost all defensive capabilities and weren’t closing down the opponents with any sense of urgency, which Germany took advantage of by scoring their fifth just before the half hour mark. It again was far too easy for the Germans to put a through ball in that dissected the Brazilian back line, allowing Mesut Ozil to unselfishly put the ball on a plate for Khedira to completely end the game as a contest.
Brazil then slightly improved by not conceding a goal for 40 minutes but Germany keeper Manuel Neuer was left largely untroubled. The discontented home fans then began to vent their anger at certain players on the team, most notably Fred, who was the subject of harsh abuse from his own supporters. Normal service was then resumed just past the hour mark when further good passing in the penalty area was finished off by a toepoke from Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle. It was at this point that the home fans entirely turned on their own players, instead cheering the good passing from the opposition and continuing to turn on their own. Their misery was later complete when Schurrle scored his second with a sublime shot that flew into the top corner of the net to make it 7-0; at the start of the match few would have predicted this kind of result. Oscar scored right at the death from a swift counter attack to at least shed some of the embarrassment. But at the final whistle the host nation’s dejected and mentally exhausted players were booed off the pitch, with some visibly in tears; the roller-coaster ride of Brazil’s World Cup campaign was over. On the other hand, Germany would take great confidence going into the 2014 World Cup Final that they could demolish a team as prestigious as Brazil in front of their passionate supporters, and were now just one win away from their fourth World Cup title.
Thomas Muller scored his fifth goal of the tournament and the first in the routing.
Miroslav Klose’s goal makes him the highest goalscorer in World Cup history, with 16 goals.
Several Brazilian players were in tears after the final whistle as their World Cup ended in a horror defeat.