AGONY OF DEFEAT: Brazil's Oscar, bottom, is comforted by Germany's Philipp Lahm after the World Cup semifinal match at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Tuesday. Germany beat Brazil 7-1 and advanced to the final. Photo: AP

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WORLD CUP 2014 - Magnificent Germany shatter Brazil's World Cup dream

BELO HORIZONTE

Germany scored five goals in 18 astonishing first-half minutes on their way to a 7-1 semi-final mauling of Brazil on Tuesday which shattered the host nation's hopes of winning their sixth World Cup.

It was the most shocking result in the tournament's history, Brazil's record World Cup defeat and their first at home in 64 competitive matches since 1975.

Germany will meet Argentina or the Netherlands in Sunday's final in Rio de Janeiro after an unbelievable performance in which striker Miroslav Klose became the tournament's highest scorer of all time with his 16th World Cup goal.

"We started really super," Klose said in a televised interview. "We had such a great harmony, you can see that in training. We’re a real unit and we showed that on the pitch today."

The only consolation on a day of abject misery for Brazil after a match featuring truly abject defending from Luiz Felipe Scolari's men was a goal from Oscar in the dying minutes.

"I just wanted to make my people happy," Brazil defender David Luiz said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't. I'm sorry, I'm sorry to all Brazilians, I just wanted to see them smile, everyone know how important it was.

"They were the best, they prepared better, they played better, we let in four goals in six minutes. It is a very sad day and we we'll learn from it."

Thomas Mueller started the rout with an 11th-minute volley and although Germany looked to be the better team after an early period of Brazil pressure, there was little indication of the devastation about to be unleashed.

INJURED FORWARD

Brazil were playing without injured forward Neymar and suspended captain and defensive linchpin Thiago Silva and it was the latter's absence that proved far more costly.

The hosts' defense simply caved in.

They conceded four times between the 23rd minute when Klose made it 2-0 and the 29th when Sami Khedira put Germany 5-0 in front. Andrea Schuerrle, who replaced Klose in the 58th minute added two more, the second an angled shot that flew in off the crossbar.

With Germany 1-0 ahead, Klose scored from a rebound after goalkeeper Julio Cesar saved his initial shot for his 16th goal in his 23rd World Cup appearance.

But worse was to follow for Brazil a minute later when Toni Kroos, lurking with intent but unmarked at the edge of the area, smashed home with the outside of his left foot to make it 3-0.

He scored again just two minutes to make it 4-0 and Brazil's pain continued when Khedira made it 5-0 after a one-two with Mesut Ozil in the 29th minute.

Any hopes Brazil had of saving the game ended there but to their credit they rallied at the start of the second and forced a series of saves from Germany keeper Manuel Neuer before Schuerrle struck after 69 and 79 minutes.

Oscar's late goal was greeted by an ironic cheer from the shocked, stunned home fans who were in tears at the end of the most incredible World Cup game ever played.

(Reuters)

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