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Tuesday 18 February 2020

German blitzkrieg reduces Brazil to rubble

Germany 7, Brazil 1

Brazil suffered the worst defeat in their footballing history as they were crushed 7-1 by Germany in the World Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte.

As well as being Brazil’s heaviest ever defeat – eclipsing a 6-0 Copa America defeat by Uruguay in 1920 – and their first competitive loss on home soil since 1975, it was also the biggest ever victory in a World Cup semi-final.

The home side actually started brightly, but Joachim Loew’s German outfit took the lead after just 11 minutes as Thomas Mueller, left totally unmarked at a corner, sidefooted home.

And barely 10 minutes later Brazil’s World Cup dream imploded in horrifying style as the Germans scored three times in 179 seconds, with Miroslav Klose breaking the all-time World Cup scoring record before Toni Kroos added two goals to make it 4-0. Sami Khedira then made it 5-0 just before the half-hour mark, giving Germany five goals in an 18-minute spell.

After the break Brazil came out looking determined and forced two outstanding saves from Manuel Neuer – but Germany soon regained control, and Andre Schuerrle scored twice to make it 7-0.

In the dying moments Mesut Ozil blew a perfect chance to make it 8-0 – and Brazil responded by darting up the other end where Oscar scored the consolation goal.

Germany will be red-hot favourites to win their first World Cup as a unified nation, no matter what happens in the other semi-final between Argentina and Netherlands.

As for Brazil, wholesale changes are expected as the nation suffered its largest and most humiliating defeat ever – a night that finally expunges memories of the Maracanazo in 1950, but in the worst possible way: by worsening the pain rather than exorcising the demons.

Key moments
4′ – BRAZIL CHANCE:
Luiz finds Hulk with a sweeping switch of play and he looks for Bernard in the middle, but Neuer is alert to the danger and claims at the feet of the diminutive winger.

11′ – GOAL! It is that man Mueller, who is unmarked at the back of the six-yard-box to volley Kroos’ corner past Julio Cesar. Poor, poor defending.

22′ – GOAL! Klose! Some neat passing cuts open the Brazil defence and Klose has his first shot blocked but follows up to open a two-goal advantage. He takes the record to boot.

24’ – GOOAL! Three goals to the good! What a strike from Kroos: on the half-volley, with his left foot from outside the box following Lahm’s cross.

26’ – GOAL! Kroos capitalises on Fernandinho taking a heavy touch. He finds Khedira inside the box but instead of shooting he slots it back to Kroos who tucks away.

29’ – GOAL! Germany cut through the Brazilian defence. Khedira charges forward and finds Ozil who cuts it back to Khedira, who slots home from the edge of the box.

69’ – GOAL! Lahm crosses for a queue of German players. Schuerrle is at the front of that queue and he tucks home.

79’ – AND ANOTHER ONE: Mueller is in down the left and he slots back to Schuerrle on the edge of the six yard box who thrashes into the top corner from a tight angle.

90’ – CONSOLATION? GOAL! Oscar gets a consolation. He gets behind Mertesacker and comes back on himself before lifting the ball over Neuer. 7-1.

Key stats
Germany are the first team to score seven goals in a World Cup semi-final.

This is the biggest margin of victory ever recorded in a World Cup semi-final.

Prior to tonight, Brazil had never conceded more than five goals in a World Cup game (won 6-5 v Poland in 1938).

This is Brazil’s biggest defeat in World Cup Finals history. Before tonight, it was the 3-0 defeat to Paris in the 1998 World Cup final.

Miroslav Klose is now the all-time top scorer in World Cup history, with 16 strikes, moving one clear of Ronaldo.

Germany have now scored 223 World Cup goals, two more than Brazil who are in second place.

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