Brazil 1 – 7 Germany: Löw’s Boys Humiliate Brazil in Historic Fashion

Germany made history in the World Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte by utterly destroying the host county Brazil 7-1 in what will surely be judged as the most humiliating defeat of a traditional power in World Cup history. Germany will move on to play the winner of Wednesday’s semi-final match between the Netherlands and Argentina in the World Cup final on Sunday.

Jogi Löw’s squad played organized, coherent, fluid, and disciplined football. Brazil, although they opened the match more actively, quickly fell into playing chaotic, undisciplined, and – frankly – amateurish football – as they rashly moved the ball in naive attack, while giving Germany’s attackers far too much space and time on the ball. The result was a historically unprecedented win for Germany and equally unprecedented loss for Brazil.

Goals: Thomas Müller (11′), Miroslav Klose (22′), Toni Kroos (24′), Toni Kroos (25′), Sami Khedira (26′), Andre Schürrle (69′), Andre Schürrle (79′), Oscar (90′).

Substitutions:

  • Germany: Per Mertasacker for Mats Hummels (HT), Andre Schürrle for Miroslav Klose (59′), Julian Draxler for Sami Khedira (76′).

  • Brazil: Ramires for Hulk (HT), Paulinho for Fernandinho (HT), Willian for Fred (69′).

Cards:

  • Germany: none.

  • Brazil: Danté (yellow, 68′)

Possession:

  • Germany: 53%

  • Brazil: 47%

Shots:

  • Germany: 14 (10 on target)

  • Brazil: 18 (8 on target)

Germany and Brazil's starting XI for the World Cup semi-final on July 8th 2014. (Courtesy of WhoScored.com)
Germany and Brazil’s starting XI for the World Cup semi-final on July 8th 2014. (Courtesy of WhoScored.com)

First Half 

The match opened with Germany holding back in a somewhat tight defensive shape, as Brazil lobbed longballs into the attacking third – especially David Luiz. However, Germany patiently rebuffed these attempts, although the Germans looked shaky on the ball and misplaced a number of early passes.

Eventually, as Germany settled into rhythm, it was very apparent that Brazil were leaving too much space open in the middle of the pitch, due to their over-eager attacking sequences. Germany exploited this space each time they regained possession, and were able to get men forward in attack. These moments foreshadowed the ruthless execution to come for Brazil’s disorganized defense.

The scoring began when Müller volleyed in a close-range goal off a perfectly-delivered Kroos corner. Although Julio Cesar was squared to the shooter, he was too slow in reacting to the darting shot. For Müller, this was goal number 5 (and his 10th World Cup goal of all-time) in this World Cup.

Brazil continued their naive strategy of teeing off longballs into the attacking third and throwing players forward in attack. Germany continued to exploit the open space left in the wake of these attacks, as well as the lack of physical contact from Brazilian defenders around the latter’s box. at 22′, Kroos found Müller with a pass in the box, who smarted relayed the ball onto Miroslav Klose, whose first shot was blocked by Julio Cesar. However, Klose collected the rebound and finished his second chance to become the World Cup’s all-time goal scorer (passing up Brazil’s Ronaldo) with his 16th total goal.

Shots of the crowd showed stunned faces, as the Brazilian supporters quieted. However, the disaster was just beginning for Brazil. A couple minutes after Klose’s record-breaking goal, Lahm received the ball along the right flank and crossed a low ball through an open channel to Kroos, who superbly finished with a goal at 24′. A couple minutes later, Brazil lost the ball in their own half and were quickly punished when Khedira assisted Kroos, who scored from the center of the box, putting Germany up 4-0.

By this point, camera shots showed many Brazilian supporters openly weeping, as their face paint or make up ran down in rivulets. Germany scored again when Sami Khedira put a shot in the goal’s left corner after the assist Özil. During this run of four German goals, Brazil simply stopped playing football it seemed – their movement looked random, they left Germans with the ball unchallenged, and they didn’t make a single apparent adjustment tactically. Surely, it will be many decades before another World Cup match replicates these surreal seven minutes of utter disaster.

Germany took their 5-0 lead into halftime, leaving the Belo Horizonte crowd stunned.

Second Half

After substitutions were made, Brazil looked alive again in attack. Ramires immediately went to work along Brazil’s left flank, leaving commentators wondering why he hadn’t started the match instead of the completely ineffective Hulk. Bernard also showcased his dribbling abilities on this side of the pitch. However, Manuel Neuer made number of key saves on shots from Oscar and Ramires. As Brazil became increasingly frustrated, Germany regained control of possession.

When Andre Schürrle entered the match for Klose, he immediately injected fresh speed into the German attack. And at 69′, Schürrle, who was completely unmarked received the ball off looping pass from Lahm, who stuck in the corner, and buried the shot into the bottom right corner of the goal. Again, Brazil simply looked uninterested in playing organized and physical defense.

Germany weren’t done scoring, however. Ten minutes later, Germany infiltrated Brazil’s box as defenders chaotically moved around. In a bit of a scrum, Müller got the ball, which found Schürrle, who scored his second goal of the match, putting Germany up 7-0.

In injury time, Oscar finally got Brazil’s first goal after penetrating the left flank and receiving a longball. However, in what can only be described as statement of litotes: it was too little, too late.

Conclusion

It’s hard to say what the takeaway is after such a lopsided match. Despite the open scoreline, Germany didn’t deviate from the style of play that got them this far in the tournament: they held their defensive shape, won balls in the midfield and looked for Kroos’ attacking third passing and Müller’s movement to create chances. Simply put, Germany clearly had a game plan and stuck to it. There was purpose to the Germans’ play, as if each player knew his assignments and stuck to them.

On the other hand, no single player made match-breaking errors for Brazil. Instead, the Brazilians played what looked like plan-less football, almost the kind you might find in weekend rec leagues. They were reckless in attack and feckless in defense. For Brazil, this was a thoroughly collective disaster, as each player moved purposelessly and disjointedly. A complete collapse of order.

Really, it’s difficult to say how much Neymar’s absence hurt Brazil. While the Seleção might have finished a couple more chances with Neymar on the pitch (but who’s to say that Germany wouldn’t have rolled out a different defensive strategy?), the Brazilian defense would likely have been just as chaotic and disorganized without Thiago Silva anchoring the back four, shouting out orders, and offering a more physical challenge to Germany’s attackers. In this sense, Silva’s loss was devastating for Brazil, who were exposed as a team without a plan.

Germany have to feel good heading into Sunday’s final, as their semi-final trouncing of Brazil frequently looked more like a training session than a game of world class football. For Löw, the challenge will surely be pulling his boys back down to hard earth as they prepare for either the Netherlands or Argentina in Sunday’s World Cup final at the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.

The following two tabs change content below.
Travis serves as an editor and regular columnist here. Born and groomed in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Travis is a college English instructor in Pittsburgh. Coffee, books, and sports are his passions. His writing has also appeared in Howler magazine, 11Freunde, America Magazine, The Short Pass, Bloomberg Sports, the Good Man Project, his former blog, Sportisourstory.tumblr.com, and elsewhere. He tweets at @tptimmons. Heja BVB!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.