October 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
It’s a serious case of the morning after the night before. Did that really happen? The photos of Brazilian fans crying into their flags with running face paint and elsewhere, lost expresions, suggest it did.
The stage was set. Brazil had the chance to reach their first World Cup final in 12 years, in front of their own fans at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. They were without their best player, Neymar, through injury, and their captain, Thiago Silva, through suspension, but they had team spirit and a nation of millions behind them.
During the always rousing national anthem, David Luiz, the stand-in skipper, clutched a shirt bearing the name of the talisman Neymar as a show of support and solidarity - something he and the rest of the players on the pitch last night could not locate.
All that stood in front of them was a Germany team that had showed a few cracks in their otherwise formiddable armour - and a striker in search of the record-breaking 16th World Cup goal.
He needn’t have worried.
Eleven minutes into the match, schoolboy defending (I’ve used that word early on and I’m not sure I can avoid using it again) gifted Thomas Muller the time and space to side foot home a corner from six yards out.
If the Brazilian’s were shell shocked by that early blow, they should have buckled up.
Just 12 minutes later, we had a new World Cup all-time top scorer, and the beginning of a six-minute blitz that would completely destroy the nation’s morale.
Miroslav Klose was denied at first by Julio Cesar after a neat move, but struck home the rebound to break Brazilian Ronaldo’s 15-goal record - which he achieved by scoring two against the Germans in the 2002 final.
By the 26th minute it was 4-0, after a brace for Toni Kroos had well and truly stunned the crowd and players alike.
When Sami Khedira struck the fifth in the 29th minute - it was game over. The party was finished before it had begun. Turn out the lights.
The Brazilian’s made it to half time without conceding another - which is probably the most praise they can be given in what was widely acknowledged as the worst defensive display of all time.
Whatever was said in the dressing room, in what must have been Luiz Felipe Scoalri’s hardest team talk of all time until the one he gave at the final whistle, had some effect and a galvanized Brazilian team could have made it 5-3 within 20 minutes.
The sixth and seventh goals from substitute Andre Schurrle rubbed salt into the wounds of a dejected Brazil team, and everyone in the stadium was merely waiting for the final whistle (for different reasons).
Oscar scored the definition of a consolation goal in the 90th minute and then the final whistle blew.
The Brazilians were in tears on and off the pitch and the Germans even seemed to be fairly muted in their celebrations.
The final score, 7-1 incase you lost count, is the nation’s joint biggest ever defeat, and the worst according to Scolari, who took responsibility for the result in his post-match interview.
But for a German team who hounded and pressed, and humiliated their opponents, the World Cup is within touching distance. And who could back against them lifting it with the confidence they now have?
For the Brazilian’s, it is the end of the road and it will be interesting to see who the fans will back now in the last few days of this unbelievable tournament.