Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Brazil humiliated by Joachim Low's well-drilled German machine

Brazil, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Germany, World Cup, Belo Horizonte, Neymar 
THE natty slogan on the side of the Brazil team coach reads: ‘Brace yourself, the sixth is coming’. They got that wrong, didn’t they?
This was utter humiliation. This was sheer embarrassment. It was a modern-day Mineiraozo Brazil has spent 64 years trying to forget the harrowing moment they lost the final of the World Cup on home soil, forever christened the Maracanazo, and now they have a fresh football disaster to try to blot from their consciences.

This time there is not even the consolation of having made it that far.
Pulverised. There are few other ways of describing just what Germany, brutal, clinical Germany, inflicted here in not just knocking on the door to Sunday’s final in Rio, but hammering it down with a vengeance.

The date with destiny and a sixth triumph Luiz Felipe Scolari had spoken so often about could not been written without their stars, the injured Neymar and suspended skipper Thiago Silva, with no one assuming responsibility in their absence.

How Die Mannschaft profited. The scoreline screams out, but the breakdown of figures is almost as compelling. Such as the 179 seconds which elapsed between Germany’s second and fourth goals as Brazil went completely AWOL, the fact this was their first competitive defeat on home soil since 1975 and their heaviest-ever defeat.

When Sami Khedira scored the fifth goal for Joachim Low’s side inside half an hour, the Estadio Mineirao was stunned in silence. When Andre Schurrle thrust the dagger twice more after coming on as a substitute, his second and Germany’s seventh arriving in the 79th minute, it was all the crowd could do to applaud their rivals’ pre-eminence. Forget Oscar’s goal in the dying seconds.

Brazil’s solution to coping without their leading scorer Neymar, of course, now looks naive. It was not to play a third central midfielder in an attempt to seize middle ground, but to opt instead for Bernard, a winger Scolari claims has “joy in his legs.”

Remarkably, unbelievably, mind- bogglingly, the plan lay in ruins inside half-an-hour. Germany ran amok, slicing Brazil open until Scolari’s side pleaded for sympathy.

It is easy to dismiss the hosts as a shambles and the manner in which Thomas Muller was granted the freedom of the penalty area, losing David Luiz at the front post, to side- foot home Toni Kroos’ 11th-minute corner and begin the rout, showed once more the defender’s fallibility.

But credit Low’s side for the manner in which they clinically picked their rivals off, playing with their heads while Brazil listened only to their beating hearts, before rubbing their noses in the dirt.

The second goal in the 23rd minute was a tribute to trigonometry. Muller found Kroos with a pass from the right that eluded Fernandinho and then made a run off the wing to receive the return. Muller played a short ball to Miroslav Klose, whose first effort struck the legs of Cesar before the rebound was tucked home with aplomb. Amid the mayhem that followed, it was almost overlooked that Klose had eclipsed Ronaldo from the record books as the competition’s all-time leading scorer with 16 goals.

A minute later, 3-0. Mesut Ozil found the overlapping Philipp Lahm, whose cross was missed by Muller only for Kroos to rifle home a left-foot shot.

Kroos’ second came two minutes later when he pick-pocketed Fernandinho, who took a heavy touch to a pass from Dante 20 yards from his own goal before swapping passes with Khedira and converting into an unguarded net.

Before anyone could fully comprehend the enormity of what was happening, Khedira then played a one-two with Ozil to leave Cesar fishing the ball from the back of his net for the fifth time. Just 29 minutes had elapsed. Yet throughout, the half-time phone calls with tears streaming down their faces, the locals, through blind loyalty, chanted ‘Brasil, Brasil’ and the decibel level became louder and louder after the break as they searched to regain some pride.

Manuel Neuer repelled a shot from Oscar and then twice blocked Paulinho from close range to confirm Germany’s superiority in all areas of the pitch.

Muller, who has now scored 10 World Cup goals, was denied an 11th by Cesar’s fingertips as Brazil feared a repeat of their heaviest ever loss, 6-0 to Uruguay.

Back when Brazil lost 2-1 to Uruguay in that infamous final in 1950 many of the players slipped into retirement and others were not considered for international duty again.

When they needed to summon the game of their lives, too many had already simply stopped playing.

No comments:

Post a Comment