One half of the 2014 World Cup final is set following a Day 27 affair that featured a result nobody saw coming.
While the second set of the semifinal won't be played until Wednesday when the Netherlands and Argentina face off, Tuesday saw Brazil and Germany gunning it out for the first spot. It took five goals in less than 30 minutes for the only Day 27 match to take a wicked turn for the incredible.
Let's break it all down and highlight how the World Cup in Brazil looks after Day 27.
|July 8||Semifinal||Germany 7, Brazil 1||-||Belo Horizonte|
|July 9||Semifinal||Netherlands vs. Argentina||4 p.m.||Sao Paulo|
|July 12||3rd Place Match||Semifinal Losers||4 p.m.||Brasilia|
|July 13||Final||World Cup Final||3 p.m.||Rio de Janeiro|
Day 27 Recap
Germany 7, Brazil 1
Emotions have ran high in Brazil over recent days, with the news of Neymar's fractured vertebra and subsequent departure from the World Cup. But as time inched nearer toward Tuesday's semifinal, the feeling around the host nation was that even without Neymar or suspended captain Thiago Silva, their heart, attacking speed and fan advantage would get them through.
The Germans had other ideas.
Thomas Muller started it off with an 11th-minute goal, then a knockout blow of four goals in six minutes crushed Brazilian spirits and paved the way for an easy 7-1 Germany win over the host country in Belo Horizonte.
Bleacher Report summed up the German victory:
Per ESPN Stats and Information, it was a host country's worst-ever performance in a World Cup match:
Without Brazil talisman Neymar in the fold, Luiz Felipe Scolari went with Bernard in the starting 11. Dante moved into the central defense to replace Silva.
Obviously depleted and facing a dominating German midfield, Scolari's men opted to play to their speed—whipping in aerial balls and using their pace to frustrate Germany's tactical nature.
It didn't work. The Germans were on the attacking foot early on, resulting in Muller's early goal from a corner that was a byproduct of sloppy set-piece defense.
Just 12 minutes later, Miroslav Klose etched his place in the record books with a 23rd minute goal that not only put Germany in front 2-0, but put him alone at the top of the World Cup scoring list.
BBC Sport noted Klose's feat:
A 2-0 lead figured to be a nightmare start for the Brazilians, especially without arguably their two most impacting players on the pitch. With their hopes of winning their home World Cup slipping away, they picked the wrong time to hit the self-destruct button.
Immediately after the goal, Germany regained possession and came hustling down the pitch. Another one of many brilliant passing displays found Toni Kroos, who easily pushed it in for a 3-0 lead.
Two minutes later, it was Kroos again with an impressive finish from the top of the box. Minutes after singing the national anthem with tens of thousands of fans, Brazil faced a 4-0 deficit.
That wasn't enough. Sami Khedira, involved in the earlier goals, put his name on the scoresheet with a 29th-minute goal.
Here's a look at all five of the early German goals, per Footy Vines:
All 5 of Germany's goals https://t.co/SmzcLTIHv7— Footy Vines.com (@Footy_Vines_) July 8, 2014
The end of the first half couldn't come soon enough for Brazil. In fact, there's a good chance Scolari and his team—along with the fans still left in the crowd—wouldn't have minded the match being called after 45 minutes.
But there was a second half to play, and Brazil responded well early on. A couple of scoring chances came the way of Oscar and Marcelo, but the result was obvious after 30 minutes.
Bleacher Report UK summed up the match perfectly:
As the second half wore on, Germany proved they weren't done pressing on and looking for goals. A few times, Muller nearly landed his sixth of the tournament, which would have tied him with Colombia's James Rodriguez for the Golden Boot lead.
Germany continued generating scoring chances, and Andre Schurrle wasn't going to be denied in the 69th minute. He put yet another past Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar for Germany's sixth of the contest.
It was an all-time low moment for Brazil, as Squawka Football captured:
The humiliation likely set in for Brazil supporters, coaches and even players after the third goal. But the Germans weren't done, even after a sixth goal to wet their palettes in the second half.
Schurrle scored 10 minutes after his first, ripping one over Cesar's head and under the crossbar in the 79th minute to pad the score to 7-0.
At that point, Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl put Germany's domination in perspective:
Take away the 4 goals in 6 minutes, and Germany still leads 3-0.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 8, 2014
The end of the match couldn't come soon enough for Brazil, and that could be told by the looks on the players' faces. But they weren't going down without scoring the last goal.
In the 90th minute, just before stoppage time, Brazil attacking midfielder Oscar slipped into the box and held off Jerome Boateng. He faced up Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who had been a brick wall for Brazil's few early chances.
This time, Oscar got it past Neuer to give Brazil the smallest of consolations—one goal in a 7-1 defeat.
After heading home from a round-of-16 loss to Belgium, USA head coach and German native Jurgen Klinsmann was happy for his homeland:
GERMANY WRITING WORLD CUP HISTORY TODAY !!! HUGE HUGE COMPLIMENT !!! SO PROUD OF THEM !!— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) July 8, 2014
Even though the Brazil players may feel disgraced after one of the worst losses in the history of the World Cup, they aren't done playing. After being eliminated, they will still have to face the loser of Argentina-Netherlands in a third-place match on July 12.
On the other side, it's sheer jubilation and joy for the Germans after one of their best-ever 90 minutes in the World Cup. Those saying there isn't a truly great team in this tournament might need to rethink that after Germany's display put on Tuesday.
It's been 24 years since the Germans added a World Cup title, with 1990 being the last time. They have come drastically close in recent years, but they will have their say in a fourth world championship in Rio de Janeiro against either the Argentines or the Dutch.
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