Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 9th 2014 Contents A78
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, July 9, 2014
BELO HORIZONTE---Brazil s
dreams of making a return to a
World Cup final in the Maracana
were shattered yesterday as Ger-
many inflicted on the hosts one
of the most remarkable defeats
in the 84-year history of this
Tears flowed like water in Belo
Horizonte as before even half-
an-hour had gone, Brazil were
5-0 down, and the final scoreline
was 7-1, eclipsing their worst-
ever defeat, 6-0 to Uruguay back
in 1920 before the World Cup
had even begun.
Two goals for Toni Kroos and
Andre Schurrle, plus one each
for Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira,
and record-breaking 16th World
Cup goal for Miroslav Klose saw
the visitors delirious, while Brazil
begins a period of soul-searching
such as never before.
Germany will go into Sunday s
World Cup final at the Maracana
to face Argentina or Holland on
the highest of highs.
The pain was so intense for
Brazil, who had arrived at the
Estadio Mineirao intent on hon-
ouring their missing talisman,
They tried to use his absence
as an inspiration, parading slowly
onto the field linked in crocodile
formation, with stand-in captain
David Luiz and goalkeeper Julio
Cesar clutching Neymar s shirt
as they belted out the national
The opening period was always
going to be a testing one for Ger-
many, with the partisan crowd
baying every Brazilian touch and
Marcelo was cheered wildly
after sending a 25-yard shot
skimming a couple of yards wide,
but there was a frantic feel to it,
as though the Neymar emotion
had spilled over into a frenzy,
with Germany capable of pun-
ishing any slackness.
That almost happened early
on when Mesut Ozil delivered a
sweet cross for Khedira to volley
only for his shot to strike Kroos.
A break by Khedira then led
to the corner from which Ger-
many took the lead in the 11th
minute. Kroos took it, and it was
straightforward enough but
Brazil s marking went into melt-
down and Muller slotted it home
low past Julio Cesar while David
Luiz beat the ground in frustra-
Marcelo burst into the Ger-
many penalty area and a pinpoint
sliding tackle by Philipp Lahm
stopped him in full stride but
Brazil s high tempo only served
to make them vulnerable on the
break and Germany made them
pay again, this time Klose
becoming a World Cup s record-
A delightful passing move saw
Muller lay the ball off and
although Julio Cesar stopped his
first effort, Klose buried the
Two minutes later and it was
3-0, Lahm s cross going all the
way across the area for Kroos to
slam home left-footed from 18
Another two minutes, another
goal. From a goal-kick Fernand-
inho was robbed by Khedira who
unselfishly played in Kroos for a
virtual tap-in for 4-0.
By this time Brazil fans were
in tears and a few leaving their
seats, but the German machine
marched on mercilessly.
Less than half an hour gone
and the hosts were 5-0 down.
Mats Hummels strode forward
and Ozil, who had come alive in
this match, set up Khedira for a
All over the pitch, in the
stands, the executive box where
Fifa president Sepp Blatter
watched, in the Fan Fests on the
beaches and those tens of mil-
lions tormented on TVs through-
out Brazil, there was sheer dis-
Scolari s half-time team talk
must have been all about rescuing
some pride, because it was a dif-
ferent Brazil who came out for
the second half.
Neuer had been barely tested
in the first half but only he pre-
vented Brazil getting on the
scoresheet, first defying Oscar
and then Paulinho.
Julio Cesar had to be at his
best to tip over Muller s curling
effort from 25 yards, but Ger-
many were not to be denied and
Lahm s penetrating cross was
struck home by substitute Schur-
rle. It was Chelsea midfielder
Schurrle who piled on the agony,
a breathtaking finish into the top
corner after pulling down Muller s
Ozil should have made it an
embarrassing eight but slid wide
when through on goal before
Oscar s crisp finish in the last
minute provided a glimmer of
light in the darkness.
If Brazil wanted to erase the
memories of that 1950 final
defeat in the Maracana they have
done so: this pain would have
been infinitely more excruciat-
Germany striker Miroslav
Klose became the record scorer
in World Cup history by netting
his 16th finals goal in the 7-1
semi-final victory over Brazil.
The 36-year-old Lazio striker
put his country 2-0 ahead as
they opened up a 5-0 half-time
lead in Belo Horizonte.
Klose moved level with former
Brazil striker Ronaldo by scoring
against Ghana earlier in the
Germany s leading goalscorer
with 71 goals in 136 games, he
is the third player to net at four
World Cup finals.
Brazil legend Pele and West
Germany s Uwe Seeler both
scored at the 1958, 1962, 1966
and 1970 finals.
Klose goal against Brazil came
in his 23rd World Cup appear-
ance, a tally only compatriot
Lothar Matthaus has bettered.
Germany have never lost a
game in which he has scored.
Stakes high as Dutch
RIO DE JANEIRO---When Argentina plays the
Netherlands in today's World Cup semifinals, it will
be a match-up of arguably the two best attacks in
the tournament. No less than five of the world's best
forwards could be on the field, which would normally
raise expectations of a flurry of goals and end-to-
end attacking football.
But there's too much at stake for either team to
push forward relentlessly, meaning that the game in
Sao Paulo is about much more than its star strikers.
Here is a look at how the teams measure up in
every area of the field:
GOALKEEPERS: Jasper Cillessen was relatively
untested internationally going into the World Cup,
having made his Netherlands debut last year. But
the Ajax goalkeeper has been solid, although not
spectacular, in keeping two clean sheets and limiting
defending champion Spain to just one goal from a
Sergio Romero was only a backup for his club
Monaco this past season but has been the Ar-
gentina starter since 2009, and is vastly more expe-
rienced than Cillessen. While Argentina's strength is
its attack, the team needed a number of key saves
by Romero to keep Iran scoreless in a 1-0 win in the
group stage. He has three clean sheets in Brazil, in-
cluding in both knockout games.
DEFENCE: Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal sur-
prised many by adopting a five-man defensive line
for this tournament, although in truth the two wing-
backs have been pushing forward just as much as
the midfielders. The strategy has been effective,
though, and will likely be used again to neutralise Ar-
gentina's explosive attack. Daley Blind has been one
of the World Cup's best defenders but may again
have to fill in for the injured Nigel de Jong in midfield.
Argentina's defense was seen as its main weak-
ness going into the World Cup, but has grown in-
creasingly solid as the tournament progressed.
Switzerland and Belgium were both held scoreless in
the knockout stages---the Swiss through 120 min-
utes---although neither team features an attack as
dangerous as the Netherlands. Pablo Zabaleta an-
chors the back four while Martin Demichelis may
get the nod after performing well against Belgium.
MIDFIELD: Both teams are without a key piece to
their midfield, although the respective effects will be
vastly different. Nigel de Jong has long been the
Dutch team's bruiser, a tough tackler who shores up
the defense and disrupts the other team's play---
often by any means necessary. His absence because
of a groin injury will likely give Lionel Messi more
room to maneuver, which could easily prove decisive.
Another problem for the Dutch is that Wesley Snei-
jder has looked well past his prime in Brazil.
For Argentina, Angel Di Maria has been one of the
team's best players going forward, constantly using
his pace to take on defenders and help create
chances for the forwards. With Di Maria sidelined
with a thigh injury, Ezequiel Lavezzi will have to take
on a bigger role on the wing. Argentina does have a
strong foundation in the middle with Javier
Mascherano playing in front of the back four and
providing both leadership and hard tackles.
ATTACK: This is the area where both teams field
world-class players. Dutch duo Robin van Persie and
Arjen Robben tore defenses apart in the group
stage, scoring three goals each, but have been kept
fairly quiet in the knockout rounds. Van Persie was
also struggling with a stomach complaint on the eve
of the game.
An even bigger problem for the Netherlands is
that Argentina's front line is even more intimidating.
With Lionel Messi playing alongside Gonzalo Higuain
and the fit-again Sergio Aguero, Argentina has an
attack that is unrivaled in international football.
Aguero may not start, though, having missed the
last two games with a thigh injury. While Argentina
has won three of its games by 1-0 scorelines in
Brazil, Messi has shown repeatedly that he can pro-
vide a winning goal when his team needs it the
...routed 7-1 by Germany in semifinals
Brazil dreams shattered
Germany's Klose breaks finals goals record
1 Miroslav Klose .Germany . . . .16
3 Gerd Muller . . . .W Germany 14
4JustFontaine. .France . . . . . .13
TOP 5 GOALSCORERS
• This is the first time a team
has scored seven goals in a
World Cup semifinal.
• First World Cup game with
eight or more goals since Saudi
Arabia vs Germany in 2002 (0-
• No team had previously
conceded five or more goals by
half-time in a World Cup
• This is Brazil's biggest defeat in
World Cup finals history,
surpassing their 3-0 loss to
France in the final in 1998.
• There were just 179 seconds
between Germany's second
and fourth goals.
• Thomas Muller has scored 10
goals and provided six assists
in 12 World Cup matches.
• Germany were 5-0 up faster
than any other team in World
Cup history (29 minutes).
• Germany netted as many goals
in this game as they had in
their previous six World Cup
Lineup & Substitutions (6)
12 Julio César, 23 Maicon, 06
Marcelo, 17 Luiz Gustavo, 04
David Luiz, 13 Dante Booked, 20
Bernard, 05 Fernandinho
(Paulinho - 45' ), 09 Fred (Willian
- 69' ), 11 Oscar, 07 Hulk
(Ramires - 45' )
01 Neuer, 16 Lahm, 04 Höwedes,
07 Schweinsteiger, 20 Boateng,
05 Hummels (Mertesacker - 45'
), 06 Khedira (Draxler - 76' ), 18
Kroos, 11 Klose (Schürrle - 58' ),
13 Müller, 08 Özil
after the World
and Germany at
Stadium in Belo
the match 7-1.
TODAY'S MATCH UP
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