Brazil suffered its most comprehensive defeat in a World Cup as the home side crashed out of FIFA 2014 with a 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals.
Much was expected of the five time champions before the game, but Brazilian hopes were dashed by a much superior German team ably lead by full back Philipp Lahm.
Germany started the game well scoring the first goal in the eleventh minute through Thomas Muellar at the Estadio Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte.
The game was virtually over in the first half with Germany going 5-0 up.
Midfielder Toni Kroos and forward André Schürrle were the star players for the Germans scoring two goals each.
Brazilian cause was not helped by their over-reliance on absent stars Neymar (who withdrew with a fractured vertebra against Colombia in the quarter-finals) and Captain Thiago Silva who was suspended for the game after picking up a second yellow card for trying to take possession of the ball from the goalie in Brazil’s quarterfinal match.
Stand-in captain David Luiz looked out of sorts and the team lacked coordination from the outset to contend against an aggressive German forward line.
Defense was a major issue for Brazil, and absence of defender Thiago Silva added to their woes. Central defender Dante, replacing Silva was a major let down.
Oscar was the lone forward for Brazil who looked threatening on the field. Their team selection was also baffling with Willian Borges de Silva, the strong winger getting limited game time.
A soccer-mad nation looks at a difficult future where it will have to rebuild its team significantly to attain previous glories.
Germany played good football and handled the pressure well in entering their eight World Cup final.
Contrary to some perceptions, Brazilian fans maintained peace and harmony after the game, graciously applauding the victors.
In the other semi-final, Argentina beat Netherlands in a tense penalty shootout 4-2 to make their first final since 1990.
Netherlands was seeking to reach its fourth final, in its quest for its maiden World Cup title. Both teams were goalless at the end of the scheduled time at Itaquerao Stadium.
Argentinean goal keeper Sergio Romero saved two penalties to send the Pumas into the finals. Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder were the Dutch players whose penalties missed. Netherlands captain Van Persie came off the field in extra time citing exhaustion.
Argentinean Captain Lionel Messi was heavily marked by Netherlands and not surprisingly had a quiet game.
In a tense game where fortunes ebbed and flowed, it was defenders for both the teams who were shining.
Argentina will head to Rio de Janeiro for the World Cup Finals against Germany at the Maracana.
Details of the final and a summary of FIFA 2014 will appear in our next issue.
As we were with printers, news was on hand that Germany won the FIFA World Cup 2014 at the final match, playing against Argentina in Rio de Janeiro.
Mario Goetze scored the goal in extra-time. Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in an exciting finish.