On this day, 8 July 2014 (Exactly 5 years ago), Brazil’s FIFA World Cup dreams ended in humiliating and brutal fashion as Germany inflicted their heaviest defeat in the first semi-final in Belo Horizonte.
Brazil 1-7 Germany
A thunderous occasion that began with Brazil riding a tidal wave of emotion was reduced to a nightmare as Germany were 5-0 up inside 29 remarkable minutes in front of a disbelieving Estadio Mineirao crowd.
Brazil’s players mourned the absence of the injured Neymar before kick-off, but captain Thiago Silva was an even bigger loss. The result was their first competitive home defeat in 39 years, and the end of their hopes of making it to the World Cup final at the iconic Maracana.
Thomas Muller gave the Germans an early lead before a period of utter chaos saw Miroslav Klose break the World Cup scoring record, Toni Kroos add two more in the space of 179 seconds and Sami Khedira net a fifth.
Chelsea striker Andre Schurrle, on as a substitute, added two more after the break before Brazil’s followers delivered what must be regarded as the defining insult to their national team – cheering every German pass and applauding their goals.
Many Brazil supporters, swamped with such anticipation as they gathered in their thousands around the ground hours before kick-off, were reduced to tears after less than 30 minutes, and reduced to such a state of shock that it was only at half-time that they registered their first serious dissent.
This equalled Brazil’s heaviest margin of defeat, a 6-0 loss at the hands of Uruguay in the 1920 Copa America, but the impact of this reverse, not just on the world stage but in their homeland, will put this alongside the 1950 World Cup final defeat by the Uruguayans in Rio as their darkest football day.
Muller’s early goal was a big enough setback, but the manner in which Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side crumbled in the space of seven minutes is likely to be a matter of national debate in this Brazil for years to come.
This was Brazil’s first defeat at home for 12 years. The loss for a country built on sporting pride, and at their own World Cup, will be bad enough to take. The scale of defeat will take the inquests to a new level.
The statistics stacked up like pieces of rubble around the feet of Scolari and his players. This was the first time a team had scored seven in a World Cup semi-final, and the biggest defeat in one of these games – beating West Germany’s 6-1 victory over Austria in 1954.
The five-time champions’ team coach bears the phrase “Brace Yourself – The 6th Is Coming”. It did indeed arrive, but only in the back of Julio Cesar’s net.
With all David Luiz’s defensive indiscipline offering rich pickings for Germany’s speed and mobility, the game swiftly descended into a fiasco for Brazil.
Much has been made of their over-emotion and there was, in retrospect, an overblown public reaction to the absence of Neymar, injured in the quarter-final against Colombia, in the hour leading up to kick-off.
Scolari led his players off the team coach wearing a white “Forca Neymar” baseball cap before captain Luiz and goalkeeper Cesar held up his number 10 shirt during a stirring rendition of Brazil’s national anthem.
It was all downhill, and rapidly, for Brazil from the moment Muller was the beneficiary of dreadful marking to steer in Kroos’s corner.
Brazil simply fell apart and it was an invitation Germany were not going to refuse as Klose scored at the second attempt to set a new World Cup record of 16 goals in only 23 games.
What followed was one of the most remarkable passages of play in any World Cup game, let alone a semi-final, as Germany did not just look like scoring on every attack, they invariably did.
Throughout this World Cup there had been a suspicion a mediocre Brazil defence had been disguised. With the shield of Silva removed, they were simply taken apart by Germany, wilting under pressure and abject in coping with their attacking variety.
Kroos side-footed home a finish Cesar touched but could not save, then the midfielder quickly added another when set up by the unselfish Khedira.
Khedira added another before half-time in an example of the complete disintegration of Brazil’s organisation, discipline and basic defence. He strolled towards the penalty area untroubled before exchanging passes with Mesut Ozil to score.
It was only then, perhaps as full recognition sunk in, that Brazil’s supporters started to deliver a toxic reaction to their team, with striker Fred singled out for vicious treatment.
Despite a lively start to the second half that saw Germany keeper Manuel Neuer distinguish himself, normal service was resumed as Schurrle finished off a fine passing move before drilling a near-post finish past Cesar, who should have done better.
It was at this point the home fans threw their support behind Germany, cheering passing moves and even breaking into applause for Schurrle’s goal.
Oscar’s late strike was nothing in the way of consolation to them and they turned savagely on their players – many of whom left the pitch in tears – at the final whistle.
Brazil knew their World Cup dream might have to end. No-one suspected for a moment it would end like this.
*This is the first time a team have scored seven goals in a World Cup semi-final.
*This is the first World Cup game with eight or more goals since Saudi Arabia v Germany in 2002 (0-8)
*No team had previously conceded five or more goals by half-time in a World Cup semi-final.
*This is Brazil’s biggest defeat in World Cup finals history, surpassing their 3-0 loss to France in the final in 1998.
*Germany scored two more goals in this game, 7, than England did in their past two World Cups combined. Brazil’s first shot on target was in the 51st minute
*There were 179 seconds between Germany’s second and fourth goals.
*Germany striker Miroslav Klose became World Cup history’s record goalscorer with 16 goals in 23 games.
*Germany were 5-0 up after 29 minutes – faster than any team in World Cup history.
*Germany netted as many goals in this semi-final as they had in their previous six (1982-2010).
*Germany became the highest scorers in World Cup history with 223 goals, overtaking Brazil. Germany are the first team to score seven times in a World Cup semi-final.
On this day 8 July 1990 (Exactly 29 years ago) West Germany won their third FIFA World Cup after beating Argentina 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome , with Andreas Brehme’s 85th minute penalty being the game’s only goal.
“And, what’s he given? He’s given a penalty! He’s. Given. A. Penalty!”
Those are the famous words German television commentator Gerd Rubenbauer used to describe the events in the 85th minute of the 1990 FIFA World Cup tournament final, sparking cries of delight in living rooms across the country.
Rudi Voller had been felled in the box and Mexican referee Edgardo Codesal Mendez pointed straight to the spot, despite the furious protests of the Argentinian players.*
“I knew right away that I’d have to take it,” said Andreas Brehme of that moment in Rome on 8 July 1990, incidentally 24 years to the day before Germany’s unforgettable 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the last four of the 2014 finals.
“Three penalty takers were always selected before each game. We had Rudi Voller, but he had been fouled and the fouled player should never take the spot-kick. Then there was Lothar Matthaus, but he wasn’t feeling too good. It was important for us that the taker be full of confidence in order to score the penalty, so I stepped up. Voller came up to me and said: ‘So, if you score then we’re world champions.’ ‘Thanks a lot, I’ll bear that in mind,’ I replied.”
Lasting effect *At exactly 21.40, time stood still for a moment as the midfielder readied himself to face Argentinian penalty expert Sergio Goycochea. The custodian had been crucial to a highly efficient South American side reaching the title-decider – he was outstanding in the team’s Round of 16 meeting with Brazil, as well as in the penalty shoot-outs in the quarter-finals against Yugoslavia and the semi-finals against Italy.
Brehme took a short run-up and scored, and his goal was greeted with a four-second cry of “Yeeeeeesss!” by Rubenbauer. His effort was hit low into the bottom-left corner and although Goycochea went the right way, Brehme’s strike was too well placed.
“What happened next was indescribable,” the match-winner continued. “Everyone’s seen the pictures of the goal celebration. At that moment we all knew we were going to win the World Cup. I had six, seven or eight players piled on top of me but I didn’t notice at the time.”
His goal marked the first occasion in World Cup history that a final was decided by a penalty.
Understandably, Goycochea has rather different memories of the events. “It still hurts today,” the former goalkeeper once told FIFA.com. “Letting that penalty in was more painful than the five goals Colombia put past me in the qualifier in 1993.
The match marked several firsts in World Cup history. This was the first-ever rematch of a final and, to date, the only back-to-back rematch, as Argentina defeated West Germany in the previous final.
Argentina became both the first team to fail to score in a World Cup final, and the first defending champion to reach the final and lose.
West Germany’s victory over Argentina marked the first time a UEFA side defeated a CONMEBOL side in a final (all previous finals between the two continents were won by South Americans.)
West Germany became the first team to play in three consecutive finals (they played in the 1982 and 1986 finals), a feat only repeated by Brazil in 1994, 1998, and 2002.
It was West Germany’s last World Cup match; the team played three more games before a unified German team was formed.
On this day 8 July 2001 (Exactly 18 years ago) Argentina were crowned FIFA
Under-20 World Cup champions for a record fourth time here when they beat Ghana 3-0 in the final at the José Amalfitani Stadium in Buenos Aires,Argentina.
The Argentines, whose great rivals Brazil had won it three times, scored through Diego Colotto’s 6th minute volley, star striker and Barcelona-bound Javier Saviola added a second for his 11th of the tournament – which is an alltime record – in the 14th minute to lead 2-0 at halftime.
Max Rodriguez shot home for his fourth of the campaign in the 73rd minute.
Ghana, who lost in their other appearance in the final to Brazil in 1993, missed a late penalty when Abdul Ibrahim shot wide of the post.
A tearful Argentinian coach Jose Pekerman paid fulsome tribute to his players afterwards.
“They played quite brilliant football not just today but throughout the tournament,” he said.
“It’s difficult sometimes to play in front of your home fans because there is extra pressure but these young men were more than able to stand up and be counted when it mattered.
“This is a really great win achieved with wonderful football and as talented a squad as one could wish to coach,” he added.
However, the Africans were never able to settle once Colotto had volleyed home past Ghanaian ‘keeper Maxwell Banahene.
The Argentines pressed home their advantage and playmaker and one of their players of the tournament Andres D’Allessandro set Saviola – nicknamed “El conejo” (the rabbit) because of his protruding teeth – up for the second.
D’Alessandro’s perfectly weighted cross from the right was headed into the far corner of the net by his skipper and former River Plate team-mate to confirm Saviola’s status as player of the tournament.
Some desperate last ditch defending kept the score to 2-0 but Rodriguez ensured the scoreline reflected the gap in class on the night when he latched onto D’Alessandro’s lob over the defence to rattle it past Banahene.
Ghana looked to have the chance of a consolation when the referee awarded them a penalty after Nicolas Medina tripped John Paintsill in the area.
However, Ibrahim’s faltering run-up to take the kick suggested it was not to be and so it proved as his shot drifted wide of the right hand post – though he got a consoling pat on the head from Spanish referee Manuel Gonzalez.
Earlier Egypt had beaten Paraguay 1-0 in the third place playoff to give Africa one of their best showings in the tournament.
Ghana – 1- Maxwell Banahene; 2-Sulley Muntari, 5-Patrick Villars, 14-John Mensah, 6-Emmanuel Papoe; 8-Adbul Ibrahim, 4-Michael Essien, 10-Derek Boateng, 15-John Pantsil; 9-Razak Pimpong (11-Frank Osei 75), 16-Kwaku Duah (7-Samuel Thompson, 68).
STORIES: GEORGE MAHAMAH