Brazil Crushed by Germany in the Most Humiliating Defeat in World Cup History 1-7; 29 MINUTES OF MAYHEM!German Raiders in Seventh Heaven as They Rout Hosts

Article excerpt

Byline: MARTIN SAMUEL Chief Sports Writer reports from Belo Horizonte


Oscar 90


Muller 11, Klose 23, Kroos 24, 26, Khedira 29, Schurrle 69, 79

THERE must have been a moment when even those watching in their white Mannschaft shirts inside Estadio Mineirao wished it would end. Germans are only human, after all.

Admittedly, the 11 on the pitch seemed to be transcending that state at times, but those looking on, the mortals -- they must have felt it like the rest of us.

It was simply too much. Too brutal. Too excruciating. Too painful to watch. The home crowd did not go entirely quiet, but they stopped singing. There was a rumble, of chatter, of conversation, people trying to make sense of what they were seeing.

Six minutes of football that would live in the memory as long as the famous Maracanazo. From Brazil 0 Germany 1, to Brazil 0 Germany 5. In six minutes. Six minutes. It needed repeating, digesting. There has, quite literally, never been a World Cup semi-final like this, the greatest winning scoreline in tournament history.

That it was a defeat inflicted on the mighty Brazil on home soil makes it truly astonishing. It is hard to imagine any match so humbling, so ruinous, so opposite to what was expected.

Brazil as a nation were ready for a battle, they knew it would be hard without Neymar and captain Thiago Silva. It would require all of their resolve to win. Yet they were pumped to bursting with hope, national pride and passionate, searing, bleeding emotion. The Maracana was in sight. The seventh step. Might the will of the people pull them through?

And then there it was, the terrible reality. All that desire, all that desperation and yearning. Useless, the lot of it. If it were just about wanting to win a World Cup, schmucks could do it. Sadly, for Brazil, the schmucks departed this contest long ago. What remains is the best of the best. A German team that is young no longer, that is peaking, that may be the strongest group here. And they took Brazil apart.

No, scratch that. Terms of triumph for bland Saturday afternoons have no place here. This was different. This was uncharted territory. An evisceration. An attenuation. Brazil had their insides torn out, were weakened, losing life and momentum with each heavy blow.

The goals went in, and would not stop. And the crowd sat, helpless, like Alex in A Clockwork Orange, eyes pinned open, unable to turn away. It was unspeakably savage, beyond the realm of familiar audience experience. For neutrals, it was the strangest emotion, feeling overwhelming admiration for what an athlete has done, and the same fierce desire to want it to stop. Those who follow boxing may recognise the dilemma. They have been such winning hosts that, at the end, Brazil were like a popular, game but mismatched fighter, sent in against an opponent far beyond his class. Everyone just hoped they would come through all right.

The physical damage having occurred when Neymar was carried off against Colombia, the lasting effect here will be emotional. Where do Brazil go now? To a third-place play-off in Brasilia, logistically, but in one night the feelgood factor of this tournament was all but snatched away from the hosts. Humiliated on the world stage at a home World Cup -- again. If defeat at the Maracana by Uruguay in 1950 scarred the psyche, what of this? Yet one almost felt a little sympathy for Germany, too. They were brilliant, masterful, and there was always a chance they would spoil the party -- but not like this. They were almost too good, too effective. They couldn't find the off switch.

Wave after wave of forward play scythed through a Brazilian defence shorn of Silva to hold it together. All the emotion had gone into mourning Neymar's absence.

'Forca Neymar,' said the baseball caps worn by Luiz Felipe Scolari and his men as they got off the bus at the stadium. …