|A match like we’ve never seen before|
by Paul Kennedy, July 8th, 2014 10:23PM
[BRAZIL 2014] Germany coach Joachim Loew said he felt sorry for Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. After all, Germany had lost at home in the semifinals of the World Cup eight years earlier when Loew was Jurgen Klinsmann’s assistant.
“It’s a bit like in 2006, when Italy beat us in the semifinal,” he said of the 2-0 overtime loss.
But any words of sympathy could not help. Brazil’s 7-1 loss to Germany was like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
Brazil is not the first country that didn’t win at home. In only six of 20 World Cups has the host country emerged victorious.
World Cup Host Champions: 1930: Uruguay 1934: Italy 1966: England 1974: West Germany 1978: Argentina 1998: France
But Brazil has now failed to win at home twice. After O Maracanazo in 1950, could anything be worse? Well, O Mineirazo is.
Numerous World Cup records were set on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte:
— Germany’s seven goals were the most scored and the six-goal margin of victory was the largest ever in the semifinals, heavier than the 6-1 wins by Argentina (over the USA) and Uruguay (over Yugoslavia) in 1930 and West Germany (over Austria) in 1954.
— Germany scored five goals in the first 29 minutes, the fastest any team has scored five goals to start a game. (Yugoslavia had scored five goals in the first 30 minutes of its 9-0 win over Zaire in 1974.)
— Germany’s four goals in six minutes midway through the first half were the fastest four goals ever scored in the World Cup.
And on an individual level:
— Miroslav Klose set the all-time World Cup scoring record with his 17th goal, breaking the record he shared with Brazilian Ronaldo.
— Thomas Mueller became only the third player after Peru’s Teofilo Cubillas and Klose to score five goals in two different World Cups.
— Toni Kroos’ two goals in 69 seconds were the fastest two goals a player has ever scored in the World Cup.
But all the German records were overshadowed by the epic proportions of the Brazilian defeat for which Scolari took responsibility.
“It’s a catastrophic result, which can be shared with the whole group,” he said. “But I made the decisions, I decided the lineup and the tactics. The person responsible is me. It’s the worst moment of my career.”
The speed of the German blitz — Klose’s record-setter in the 23rd minute after Mueller’s opener in the 11th and then Kroos’ two goals and the excellent Sami Khedira’s fifth goal in the 29th minute — even stunned them.
“It’s hard to believe we were 5-0 up so quickly,” said Kroos, “but I was there, I know what happened. It is obvious to us that we delivered a marvelous performance. If somebody had said before we were going to win 7-1, I would not have believed them.”
But as much as he could feel sorry for Scolari afterwards, that did not mean Loew did not intend to take the fragile Brazilians apart.
“It was important to counter their passion and emotions with calmness, patience and persistence, also with courage and believe in our own strength,” he told German network ZDF right after the game.
Loew said Germany’s quick start left the Brazilians in shock.
“We knew that if we are quick on the counters, and go straight into attack after winning balls they will be disorganized,” he added. “We played well in the first half.”