It’s futile to use adjectives to describe 9 July night. We all saw it. Many with teary eyes, many others with mouthful cheers as Brazil suffered the biggest defeat in its footballing history, falling 1-7 to Germany in the first World Cup semifinal at the Mineirao Stadium, Belo Horizonte, the same venue where it last lost a competitive match on home soil 38 years back, against Peru in the 1975 Copa America semifinal first-leg.

The Germans’ butchery of a Neymar-less well-below average Brazil side once again points ruthlessly to the fact that it’s high time the Selecao get rid of the pragmatism which has been long stifling their game. It’s also ironic that Brazil, dreaming of a Hexa WC title, ended conceding a Hepta! The previous biggest margin by which they went down to Germany was a 0-2 friendly defeat in 1986.
But no emotion or excuse could take away from Germany the credit of playing far superior football at the mecca of soccer. Arguably the most consistent team in Fifa World Cups post 1970, Germany deserve to be a kissing distance away from the Cup.

While Brazil sorely missed Neymar, the only player still capable of adding momentary zing to this lacklustre side, Germany indeed played like a team. Taking control of the game within the initial few minutes, the Germans displayed extraordinary coordination, backed by lightning speed and pinpoint passing, which left the hosts wanting for the entire remaining duration of the match. Brazil were simply no match. In fact watching Germany in full-flow often reminded the flair and exuberance which were once thought monopolies of few Latin American sides.

Thomas Mueller opened scoring in the 11th minute before goals from Miroslav Klose (23rd), Toni Kroos (24th and 26th), Sami Khedira (29th) and Andre Schuerrle (69th and 79th) shattered the sea of heartbroken yellow clad Selecao fans. Oscar scored the consolation goal for Brazil in the 90th minute but it was all over by the 29th minute in the first half. Germany will now face either the Netherlands or Argentina in Sunday’s final in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium.

The collective psyche of Brazillians has been living under the shadow of the ‘national tragedy’ of ‘Maracanazo’ – the 1-2 defeat against Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup final at the iconic Maracana.
In the buildup to the present edition of the WC, Brazil’s second as hosts, it didn’t look like the present team will have to tackle similar pressure. Since 1950, Brazil have won the World Cup a record five teams, so the stakes couldn’t have been as high. But the marauding at Mineirao will arguably now go down as Brazil’s most crushing defeat in the history of the tournament.
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