2014 FIFA World Cup: Day 22 Recap

Who thought Brazil would miss Thiago Silva more than they would miss Neymar?

Sure, having both of them in the lineup may not have boosted Brazil to a win over Germany, but at least having their best defender on the field—Silva was serving a suspension for his second yellow card in the quarter-final against Colombia—might have salvaged their dignity. Instead, Brazil looked like a video game team set on “beginner;” their defence was conspicuously porous and their attack almost entirely absent.

Germany scored four goals inside of six minutes, a feat against the world’s worst team, but inconceivable against the favourite to win the entire tournament. If that had been it—four goals, no more—we could just say Brazil weren’t prepared or weren’t focused, but it was so, so much worse. When the final whistle sounded they had given up seven while scoring a single goal, in the 90th minute.

The scoring onslaught began in the 11th minute, when Germany’s least sporting player, Thomas Muller—who long after the score was well out of hand was still kvetching to the ref for fouls and trying to step on Brazilian toes—found himself completely unmarked on a corner while five Brazilians defended each other, and needing only to swing a foot at the ball to knock in his fifth goal of the tournament.

Then in the 23rd minute, Miroslav Klose became the highest scoring player in World Cup finals history, surpassing Brazil’s own Ronaldo with his 16th goal. A minute later Muller actually swung and missed a cross, but Toni Kroos was right there to back him up and score his team’s third. Kroos wasn’t done, finishing a give-and-go with Sami Khedira with a second goal just two minutes later. And again, three minutes after that, three Germans swarmed the Brazilian net, picking quick touches until Khedira was chosen to score a goal of his own. After less than half an hour the Germans had amassed a five-goal lead.

In the second half Brazil seemed to at least want to join the scoring party, directing three quality shots at German keeper Manuel Neuer around the 50-minute mark, but Neuer had only to stand in front of the shots and not flinch.

Andre Schurrle, brought on in the 58th minute to give Klose a rest, decided he wanted a piece of the action. In the 69th minute he found himself unmarked in the German penalty area—a running theme of the match—sweeping in captain Philipp Lahm’s pass to extend the score to 6-0. Ten minutes later he struck again, a perfect bullseye off the underside of the crossbar that, in any other game, would be touted as one of the goals of the tournament.

Germany seemed to take pity on the Brazilians at the end, backing away from Oscar and allowing him to score seconds before the 90-minute mark, but they’d already been as generous as they could be—it could have easily been a 10-goal game for the Germans.

Whatever the opposite of “total football” is, that’s what Brazil played in front of their home crowd. That’s why they’ll play for third place on Saturday while Germany competes for a fourth World Cup championship on Sunday.

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