Brazil entered today’s semifinal match of the FIFA World Cup intent on escaping destruction by Germany. With both superstar Neymar and captain Thiago Silva unavailable for the match, the pressure fell on David Luiz to lead the host team against the Germans. Brazilian fans hoped that the team would pull together and win the game for Neymar, who suffered a tournament ending back injury against Colombia. On the other side of the pitch was striker Miroslav Klose, who is tied with Brazilian legend Ronaldo with 15 career World Cup goals. Brazil, while needing to win, also wanted to keep Klose from passing national hero Ronaldo. Brazil was unable to do either job.
Both teams started the game very aggressively, quickly taking the ball up and down the pitch on attacks and counter-attacks. In the 11th minute, Germany drew first blood. Off of a German corner kick, the ball sailed over the mass of players to find forward Thomas Müller for a wide open shot past the diving Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar. This was Müller’s 5th goal of the tournament and gave Die Manschaft a 1-0 lead. What happened over the next 18 minutes was demoralizing to both the Brazilian team and their fans.
In the 23rd minute Klose made history. A shot by Klose was stopped by the Brazilian goalkeeper. The 36-year old German striker collected the rebound off of Cesar and sent the ball into the net for his World Cup record 16th career goal, passing Ronaldo. Die Manschaft began to unleash a blitzkrieg of goals. In the 24th minute, German captain Philipp Lahm attempted to send the ball to Müller in front of the goal and instead found Toni Kroos who launched a shot past Cesar. The German midfielder would find the back of the net again in the 26th minute on a tap in from Sami Khedira. Three minutes later Khedira scored a goal of his own to give the German’s a commanding 5-0 lead over Brazil. It took the German machine 18 minutes to score five unanswered goals. Brazil was in trouble. Fans in the stands were in a state of disbelief with tears streaming down their faces as both teams headed to the locker rooms for halftime.
The first 45 minutes of the FIFA World Cup semifinal match against Brazil showed that the German squad was playing we an intensity that had not been seen since the very first group match against Portugal. The stunned Brazilian team looked defeated after the first half offensive onslaught from the number two team in the world. Trailing 0-5, it was all but over for any hope that Brazil still had a chance to recover and salvage the match.
When the second half started, Brazil did play like a new team. A team on a mission, the host team attacked the goal early on. However, German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer repeatedly turned the Brazilian attacks away. Brazil kept the pressure on Germany until the 69th minute when midfielder André Schürrle tapped the ball past Cesar for a 6-0 lead. And the onslaught continued. In the 79th minute Schürrle netted his second goal after sending the ball over Cesar, hitting the crossbar and bouncing for Germany’s seventh unanswered goal.
It was obvious from the start of the match that Brazil was overpowered without a healthy Neymar on the pitch. Germany looked to have driven a statement with a shut-out until the last few seconds of the match. With time running out, Brazil midfielder Oscar received the ball from Marcelo and calmly sent the ball past Neuer to avoid a shut-out. That ended the game and the hopes of the Brazilian nation. Germany’s semifinal destruction of host team Brazil sends Die Manschaft to the FIFA World Cup final match to face the winner of the Argentina and Netherlands match. Brazil’s World Cup is not over. The host will face the loser of the same match for third place. The German Machine looks unbeatable and primed to add the fourth star to the national team jersey.
Read more Guardian Liberty Voice Coverage on the FIFA World Cup Semifinals.
Commentary by Carl Auer