Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Brazil vs Germany: The die has been cast


Donstan Bonn

Apart from Germany's commanding victory there are some interesting facts coming out of the game. 

1. Miroslav Klose has become the leading scorer at the World Cup with 16 goals. He also joined countryman Uwe Seeler as the only players to have scored two or more goals in four different World Cup when he scored his second of the tournament in the 23rd minute.

2. Thomas Muller drew one goal closer to his quest of becoming the first player to win consecutive Golden Boot awards when he scored Germany's opening goal. He now has five and is one behind James Rodriguez of Colombia, who has six.

3. Germany is now the first team to appear at four consecutive World Cup semi-finals, a feat that began in 2002. 

We may never be sure as to what went wrong with Brazil this evening but what we can be certain of is that they have received one of their worst loss at the World Cup and similar to 1950 when Uruguay beat them 2-1 at the Maracana to spoil their dream of winning the World Cup as host, Germany have now brought an end to that dream in 2014.

90'+3: That's it ladies and gentlemen. Referee Marco Rodriguez blows his whistle to signal the end of the game, one Brazil will certainly not want to remember.

90'+1: GOAL. Brazil finally finds the back of the net as Oscar beats Neuer, eventually, from atop the 18 metre box. Nothing the goalkeeper could have done about that one. It's 7-1 in Germany's favour.

89': Cesar is called into action once more as he has to leave his line to cut off a defence-splitting pass into the box.

85': Ramires has a good chance by creating some space and hitting a long range effort but Neuer again does well to pull of a great save.

79': GOAL. It's 7-0 in Belo Horizonte as Schurrie latches on an accurate pass into the box and he buries it with a cracking left-footed shot past the hapless Cesar who ends up prone on the ground.

76': Germany make a substitution as Julian Draxler is on for Sami Khedira 

71': It's not like Brazil have not been trying but Neuer and his defenders have been like the Berlin Wall in resisting all that have been throw at them.

69': GOAL. It's Germany 6, Brazil 0. Lahm with another tremendous pass this time to Schurrie who makes no mistake in beating Cesar to his right. 

66': Andre Schurrle of Germany bursts into the box and latches on to a pin-point long through ball but Cesar leaves his line to get down low and clear.  

60': Muller is really trying hard for that sixth goal as he has a well taken shot pushed overbar with a great effort from Cesar. Just before that he rounded two defenders and also tried to round Cesar but the ball trickled away from him for a goal kick.

52': Germany is showing that they are defending as well as they have been attacking. Neuer pulls off two reflect saves off close range shots from Paulinho just after attempts by Ramires and Oscar were cancelled out by his defenders.

46': The second half is on the way in Belo Horizonte

Can Brazil rebound in the second half and bring some respectability to the score line? It is left to be seen.

There's not much to say more that the Brazil we know has not shown up and those who did were simply outgunned. The Germans are now looking the the efficient, effective, accurate passing, clinical unit they have shown themselves to be over the years and it's unfortunate that the host nation ran into them when they are in full flight.

Germany's midfield contingent of Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Kroos, Ozil and Muller have not only nullified the usually quick-passing Brazilians but have ran riot over them with their quick, short passes that ended with Brazil's defenders being caught out of position.

45'+2:  Referee Marco Rodriguez signals the end of the first half after two minutes of time added on and what a 45 minutes it has been.

44': Germany stage a quick counter attack following a free kick by Brazil but Marcelo does well to snuff it out.

41': Klose sends a quick through ball into space in the middle of the box but it is intercepted and cleared by Brazil. 

It has been an explosive 19 minutes of excellent passing and clinical finishing by the Germans from the time the first goal was scored up to the fifth after what appeared to be a slow start by them. Brazil have not been able to mount an attack since conceding the first goal.

35': Philipp Lahm can't control an accurate defence-splitting pass very well and a Brazilian defender reacts well to rob him of the ball. 

When last has any team scored five goals against Brazil within the opening 30 minutes of a match. I will have to search the record books to find if that ever happened.

30': GOAL. Sami Khedira adds his name to the score sheet when he slots home from close range after a combination of passes from Germany's midfielders left Brazil's defence in shambles.

It's Ozil with the assist as he lays off the final pass for Khedira to score the easiest of chances.

26': GOAL. Kroos scores his second and Germany's fourth after he is fed a slick pass by Sami Khedira from inside the 18-metre box. The German onslaught is well underway and Brazil has been stunned in the first 25 minutes of this match.

24': GOAL. Toni Kroos adds Germany's third with a slick finish afet a move that began on the right of the park and ended on the left for him to slap home. Brazilians are in a daze.

It was a brilliant pass from Phillip Lahm to Kroos on the edge of the box and he finds the left side of the net with a superb finish.

23': GOAL. Miroslav Klose gives Germany a 2-0 lead.  

Coach Joachim Loew decision to play Klose as the lone striker pays dividends as he benefits from a rebound off Cesar to slot home.

21': Klose gets in a shot on goal but his effort is weak and Cesar handles well.

20': Brazil has had more possession of the ball and have mounted more offensive threats than their counterpart but each one has been effectively dealt with by Germany.

16': Maicon sends a lofted cross into the penalty area but once again the German defence is equal to the task and clears the ball.

Muller has given the Germans an all-important lead with his fifth goal of the tournament. He needs one more to equal Colombia's James Rodriguez tally of six.

11': GOAL. Thomas Müller won himself some space inside the box after a quick corner kick and finishes with a low shot into the middle of the goal that beats Cesar. It's 1-0 Germany

9':Miroslav Klose makes a bad challenge, and the referee blows his whistle for a foul.

5': Hulk sends a cross into the box but Neuer is off his line in a flash to avert the danger. 

1': The match kicks off and Brazil win a corner in the first minute of play but the Germans defend well


The match is about to kick off and today's referee is Marco Rodriguez of Mexico.



When host Brazil meet Germany in the first semi-final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte this afternoon it represents more than a battle for a place in Sunday's final, it represents a battle of the teams with the most impressive records at the World Cup. 

Brazil have appeared at nine semi-finals, winning six and losing three and going on to win five titles in the process while the Germans hold a record 12 semi-final appearances, clinching seven and losing five, including the last two (2006, 2010). Their seven semi-final victories have led to three titles and four runner-up placings. 

Despite the tremendous track record held by the two perennial powerhouses, who share eight World Cups between them, they have only met once before with Brazil securing a 2-0 win, via a brace from Ronaldo, in the 2002 final in Yokohama, Japan in clinching their fifth and most recent crown. 

Outside of the World Cup they have met 20 times with Brazil winning 11 of those encounters, including 4-0 and 3-2 triumphs at the Confederations Cup in 1999 and 2005, respectively, while Germany have four victories with five matches ending in stalemates. During those meetings Brazil scored 37 goals against 24 for the Germans. 

The teams enter today’s encounter sharing a number of similarities at this tournament. They are joint third highest goal scorers with 10 each, behind Colombia and the Netherlands with 12. Brazil have scored seven from open play and three from set pieces while Germany have eight from open play and two from set pieces. They average two goals per match with 70 per cent of their shots on target and are yet to pick up a red card. 

Where they differ is in the area of passing the ball. The Germans have an astounding 2, 938 passes completed for a rate of 80 per cent while the host has 1,816 for a 70 per cent completion rate. Germany have also covered an average of 115.3 km per match compared to 106.8 km for Brazil. 

The number of infringements committed can come into play during the match. Brazil have committed 96 fouls picking up 10 yellow cards in the process while 57 fouls and four yellow cards have been recorded against the Germans.  

Brazil will be going after their sixth title but the Germans, who are seeking their fourth, will have the outcome of 2002 fresh on their minds and with captain Phillip Lahm, the tournament’s best passer with 408 for an 86.6 percent success rate, marshalling their midfield, they will be hoping they can come out on the winning end this time around. 

Thomas Muller, with four goals to date and seeking to become the first player to win successive Golden Boot awards, will be looking to overhaul Colombia’s James Rodriguez tally of six. 

Should the outcome of the match reach to penalty kicks then Germany may have a slight edge as they boast a perfect record in winning all four World Cup penalty shootouts they have been involved in with victories over France in the 1982 semi-finals; Mexico in a 1986 quarterfinal matchup; England in the 1990 semi-finals; and Argentina in the quarterfinals in 2006. 

Brazil, on the other hand, have won three of four shootouts. A lost to France in the quarterfinals of 1986 was followed by wins over Italy at the 1994 final; Holland in the 1998 semi-finals; and Chile in the round of 16 at this tournament. 

Regardless of the outcome this match has all the billing to make it one of the most epic semi-final clashes at the World Cup. 

Players to watch

Brazil: Fred, Hulk, Dante

Germany: Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil.

Probable lineups

Brazil: Julio Cesar (GK), David Luiz (DF), Maicon (DF), Marcelo (DF), Dante (DF), Paulinho (MF), Luiz Gustavo (MF), Willian (MF), Oscar (MF), Hulk (FW), Fred (FW).

Germany: Manuel Neuer (GK), Phillip Lahm (DF), Jerome Boateng (DF), Benedikt Hoewedes (DF), Mat Hummels (DF), Sami Khedira (MF), Mesut Ozil (MF), Toni Kroos (MF), Bastian Schweinsteiger (MF), Thomas Muller (FW), Mario Goetze (FW).