The 2014 edition of the World Cup Finals will be remembered for a few telling moments, and while I pray my sloppy predictions aren’t among them, I fear this may well be a World Cup event preferred to be forgotten.
For the second consecutive World Cup, the champions have failed to progress beyond the group stages, and one of the world’s great footballing talents, Luis Suarez, suffered a moment of unadulterated savagery. But mostly this is a tournament that will be tragically remembered for the manner in which the hosts, themselves a world superpower in respect of football, were comprehensively humiliated and condemned to a crushing defeat on their home turf.
Twelve minutes separated Thomas Muller’s opener for Germany and Miroslav Klose rewriting the history books with his 16th World Cup goal. In the time leading up to Klose’s goal, Brazil sought to reassert themselves and level matters, but were simply not allowed to play their usual passing game, especially in the German half.
An additional four German goals in six minutes at only the halfway point of the first half left Brazil, and the football universe, shell-shocked. The worst of those goals though, in my opinion, came as a result of Fernando Roza’s naivety in dawdling with the ball before being pick-pocketed by Toni Kroos for his second goal in as many minutes.
Sami Khedira’s goal on the half-hour mark iced the cake for Germany and Brazil’s capitulation was complete as the teams went into the half-time break separated by five telling goals. Andre Schurrle’s second-half brace served only to rub salt in the host nation’s gaping wounds – made more apparent by images of tearful Brazilian fans.
Aside from Germany’s ability to make the most of the opportunities afforded them, and it indeed seemed everything they touched turned to goals, Brazil failed dismally to offer anything in the way of an adequate response. Then again, conceding five goals within 30 minutes will leave any team not knowing which way is up. Even Oscar’s late goal failed to restore any pride as it came and went without celebration.
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