In what became one of the most surprising results in World Cup history, Germany embarrassed Brazil with a 7-1 victory in the tournament's semifinals on Tuesday.
While almost everyone on the pitch for Germany can be satisfied with an impressive performance, Toni Kroos and Miroslav Klose truly stood out from the rest of the pack with outstanding showings from start to finish.
Kroos helped put his side in the lead in the 11th minute when his corner kick led to a Thomas Mueller goal, as described by Henry Winter of The Daily Telegraph:
Good finish, shocking defending. Kroos corner, Muller finish. 5th goal this #WorldCup, 10 in two tournaments, could challenge Klose/Ronaldo— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) July 8, 2014
Mueller then continued his impressive play when he set up Klose for the team's second goal in the 23rd minute, though he needed a rebound to make it 2-0:
Remember when Miroslav Klose broke Ronaldo's all-time World Cup scoring record? Here it is if you need a reminder » http://t.co/hp4sZGMe1p— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 8, 2014
BBC Sport points out what made this score so important:
English footballer Joseph Barton talks about the 36-year-old veteran's achievement and what it took to get to this point:
Take a bow Miroslav Klose. Top scorer in World Cup history. Never scored in a Semi or Final before tonight.— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) July 8, 2014
Klose been criticised all year for putting country before club. He'll feel justified by going into the history books tonight. #WClegend— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) July 8, 2014
James Horncastle of BT Sport breaks down what makes this such an impressive feat:
To do it against Brazil in Brazil at this stage as well. #Klose— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) July 8, 2014
Meanwhile, Sam Borden of The New York Times realizes the effect this had on the match and the home fans watching at the time:
The nightclub just became a library. Klose, off a rebound, becomes the all-time World Cup scoring leader and it's 2-0. A nation, stunned.— Sam Borden (@SamBorden) July 8, 2014
Manager Joachim Low discussed the possibility of Klose breaking the World Cup record before the start of the tournament, saying, "I would be very happy for him as a player if he were to achieve this historic mark because he's been present at numerous World Cups, but as a coach, those statistics are secondary," via Neil Maidment of Reuters.
The good news is that this was clearly a secondary storyline in what became an impressive showcase for the national team. As if the 2-0 deficit was too much for Brazil to overcome, Kroos made sure Germany would leave with a dominant victory in the next few minutes.
The midfielder saw an opening in the 24th minute and fired a shot into the back of the net, as shown by Bleacher Report UK:
Just two minutes later, Kroos was able to finish with his other foot to put his side up 4-0, a mark that pretty much signified the end of any competition in this semifinal match. Phil McNulty of BBC Sport captured the moment at the stadium:
Kroos again. 4-0. Silence around the stadium. Some Brazil fans in tears.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) July 8, 2014
Goal.com's Wayne Veysey breaks down the strong play from Kroos over these moments to make the match a blowout:
Toni Kroos toying with Brazil. Set up 1 and scored 2, including a stunner, within minutes in a WC semi. A complete midfielder.— Wayne Veysey (@wayneveysey) July 8, 2014
Squawka Football showed how impressive this first half really was:
Of course, Janusz Michallik of ESPN notes Kroos had been playing well all tournament:
Toni Kroos with an exceptional World Cup, tactically and otherwise.— Janusz Michallik (@JanuszESPN) July 8, 2014
Klose was subbed out for Andre Schurrle in the 68th minute, who went on to score two goals in the win. However, Kroos continued his strong play throughout the 90 minutes and helped Germany clinch their incredible victory to advance.
They will now move onto the finals to face the winner of Argentina and the Netherlands. If the Germans can play half as well as they did in the semifinals, they should be able to bring home another World Cup title.
Based on what we saw on Tuesday, Klose and Kroos will play a big role in this final matchup.
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