World Cup 2014: Ranking Every Goal from Semi-Final Games
The two World Cup semi-finals were pretty much polar opposites. Whereas one is destined to be remembered for generations to come, the other will be a mere footnote in the history of the competition.
Argentina's victory over the Netherlands after a tense, tactical goalless draw isn't likely to feature in the highlights packages of the competition, something which is in stark contrast to the events of Belo Horizonte the previous evening.
Brazil is still recovering from the shock of Tuesday's 7-1 defeat to Germany, the worst result in the host nation's history and at the worst possible time.
Eight goals were scored at the semi-final stage, all of which came in one game, but which were the best?
Here's our ranking.
8. Oscar vs. Germany (1-7)
With possibly the least-celebrated goal in Brazil history, Oscar scored the most meaningless of consolations for Brazil in the closing moments against Germany in Belo Horizonte. It wasn't a bad goal, but it counted for nothing.
The Chelsea man cut inside Jerome Boateng and fired a shot past Manuel Neuer, whose disappointment at conceding was clear—despite the fact that Germany retained a six-goal advantage.
7. Thomas Mueller vs. Brazil (0-1)
The goal that kicked off the remarkable events in Belo Horizonte was a fairly simple one.
Germany's Thomas Mueller was able to escape some staggeringly poor marking from a corner to put his side in front against hosts Brazil in just the 11th minute, giving his team the perfect start on an evening that was about to enter the annals of World Cup history.
6. Andre Schurrle (1st Goal) vs. Brazil (0-6)
After 40 minutes without a goal either side of half-time, Germany grabbed their sixth when substitute Andre Schurrle profited from what was frankly laughable marking to slot home from close range.
Brazil's defence was all over the place as Philipp Lahm was pulled the ball back across the penalty area, where Schurrle was on hand to heap further misery on the hosts.
5. Miroslav Klose vs. Brazil (0-2)
In among the carnage of Belo Horizonte there was a personal World Cup record set by a modern legend of the game.
Germany's Miroslav Klose became the World Cup's all-time leading goalscorer with his 16th strike in the competition midway through the first half, as the veteran forward reacted quickest to Julio Cesar parrying his initial shot to slot home his side's second of the night.
More were to come.
4. Sami Khedira vs. Brazil (0-5)
Germany's fourth goal in six minutes came courtesy of Sami Khedira, who slotted home as a stunned Brazil defence simply couldn't cope with the movement of their opponents.
Khedira burst towards the box and laid the ball off to Mesut Ozil before accepting the return pass and elegantly side-footing the ball into the corner through the legs of Maicon and past a static Cesar.
It was 5-0 to Germany after less than half an hour, and the watching world couldn't believe it.
3. Toni Kroos (2nd Goal) vs. Brazil (0-4)
By now it was all too easy for Germany, who scored their fourth goal of the night and third in three minutes past a hapless Brazil defence.
Fernandinho carelessly lost the ball in front of his defenders, with Kroos nipping in and playing a clever pass to Sami Khedira, who returned the ball for Kroos to slot home his second goal in as many minutes.
Something special was happening.
2. Toni Kroos (1st Goal) vs. Brazil (0-3)
Perhaps this was the goal which made Brazil realise the full horror of what was unfolding in front of them.
Just seconds after Klose had made it 2-0 to Germany, Kroos smashed home the third past goalkeeper Julio Cesar with a fine left-footed effort that completely stunned a nation.
It was a crisp strike from the Bayern Munich midfielder, and although Cesar got a hand to it, he couldn't keep it out.
1. Andre Schurrle (2nd Goal) vs. Brazil (0-7)
Germany saved their best goal for last, as Schurrle brilliantly fired home his second of the game with 11 minutes to go.
Admittedly, he was facing a Brazilian defence who had had all of the life beaten out of them, but that doesn't disguise the quality of the finish from the substitute, who swept home a terrific effort off the woodwork to round off his team's scoring.
The reaction of Julio Cesar says it all.
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