Not even the most optimistic German fan could have predicted the turn of events at the Mineirão stadium this afternoon of July 8 2014. In nothing short of a World Cup semi-final played in Brazil, the home team had already been unbelievably battered by five goals within thirty minutes of the first half. Two other balls had hit home behind Julio Cesar's goal line by the time the final whistle came. The Seleção nudged in a consolation goal at the 90th minute, but that was all. A superlative score, by any standard: 7-1, or the worst defeat of the Brazilian national team in World Cup history.
"This is probably the worst day of my life," said coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who apologized to the Brazilian people for failing to lead Brazil to the final match. "Who is responsible when the team performs? Who is placed as a coach? Who is responsible for the choices? I am," said Scolari. The coach also said that players may even want to share the blame for the result, but the tactical choices, the squad and the line-up were all left to him. "The result can be shared because the players want to, because we share responsibilities. But the choices, the tactical part, it's all up to me," he added.
With the result, the Germans guarantee a spot in the final match on 13 July at the Maracanã. Their opponent will be the victor of Argentina vs. the Netherlands, who duel this Wednesday at the Corinthians Arena. Brazil bids farewell to the World Cup on 12 July, in the third-place match.
After much speculation in recent days about Neymar's replacement, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari called upon striker Bernard to fill the position. After serving a yellow-card suspension, defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo returned to the team replacing Paulinho. Brazil took to the pitch with Julio Cesar as goalkeeper; Maicon, David Luiz, Dante and Marcelo as defenders; Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho, Oscar, Bernard and Hulk in the midfield; and Fred as forward. For Germany, Joachim Löw went with Neuer as goalkeeper; Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Hummels and Höwedes in the defence; Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos and Özil as midfielders; Thomas Müller and Klose in the offence.
Before the slaughter began, Brazil even exerted some level of pressure at the early minutes. The first dangerous play came from a pass by David Luiz, who found Hulk at the left flank four minutes into the match. The Brazilian striker crossed to the penalty spot and forced goalkeeper Neuer to intervene.
Germany levelled up its game, however, and the unexpected happened. At the 10th minute, Marcelo lost a scramble for the ball in the attack field and the Germans managed to connect a quick break through the right flank. The play led to a corner kick, the Brazilian defence failed to mark none other than Müller in the box and he broke into the far right of the penalty spot to open the score sheet.
What was seen in the pitch during the next few minutes was more resembling of a Pros vs. Amateurs match than a World Cup duel. Between 22nd and 30th minutes, Germany scored four goals, by Klose, Kroos (2) and Khedira. Klose became the top scorer in World Cup history with 16 goals, surpassing Brazilian Ronaldo and his 15.
Going into the half-time break losing 5-0, Brazilian coach Scolari replaced Fernandinho (who missed out on the ball in two of the goals) with Paulinho. Ramires replaced Hulk. Brazil even posed some threat to the German defence, but Neuer made four great saves and hindered any unlikely reaction by the home team. Schürrle, who had stepped in for Klose, scored two more goals in the second half.
Brazil's consolation goal would only come at the 90th minute. Oscar received the ball and found himself free to shoot from the edge of the box, netting the ball and marking Brazil's only successful attempt at moving the score sheet on its side. The dream of the hexa is now postponed to 2018 and the Russia World Cup.