In 30 minutes the German machine, known affectionately as Die Mannshaft (the team), steamrolled the hosts on the way to their 8th World Cup Final match.
The opening exchanges promised so much for Brazil as they pressed from the kick-off and forced a corner from the first attacking play all inside the first minute. Two more waves of attack would come from the men in yellow before the Germans came to terms with the fact that the match had started.
Maybe an instruction from the bench, maybe the captains demand for more focus, whatever it was, the Germans were now in the game. A corner was won in the 10th minute and David Luiz, Brazil’s Captain and recent 50 million pound purchase of PSG, lost his man in the 16 yard box melee. Thomas Müller not only dropped Luiz but also positioned himself perfectly just beyond the penalty spot to side foot the ball past hero of the quarter-final Julio César.
The next few minutes were all a blur for Brazil.
Catastrophic defending and complete lack of organisation between Luiz and Dante left César exposed again and again. When the half time whistle blew Brazil trudged off five goals down. Game over and a 3rd/4th place play-off their destiny against either Argentina or Netherlands.
Schürrle got two goals in the second half to complete the rout. His personal ambition to score far greater than the team’s desire to humiliate the Brazilians any further on their own patch. Germany slowed down their game in the second period and Loew kept back a substitution just in case but essentially the job was done in those opening 30 minutes and some generous respect was shown to a hapless Brazil team who could have been hammered by 10 or more if Die Mannshaft had given it a full go.
Ramires came on at half-time for Brazil and added a bit of steel to the midfield, replacing Hulk who has not looked like scoring in any game. The other substitution of value was Willian for Fred, another striker who never looked like scoring in this tournament. Brazil effectively toothless without Neymar, something we may have mentioned in a previous account.
A lot of records were broken in this match:
Klose became the record goal scorer at World Cup finals with his 16th and 17th goals, now two ahead of Brazil’s Ronaldo, whose record he had equaled in an earlier group match. Germany achieved a remarkable 4th straight semi-final. Germany will play in their 8th Final, currently 3 wins and 4 losses in finals. Brazil were beaten for the first time at home in something like 44 years and it’s their heaviest defeat since a 6-0 drubbing by Uruguay in 1930!
Thomas Müller (24) has scored 5 goals in 6 games at this World Cup and 10 in total. If he is able to stay fit and healthy, and of course if he is selected, he is well on his way to challenging the record Miroslav Klose set in the same match.