In the face of a withering German attack and without two of its best players, Brazil currently trails its 2014 World Cup Semifinals match, 5-0. However, the tournament has produced its share of historic comebacks.
Playing without top scorer Neymar and team captain (and defensive stalwart) Thiago Silva, Brazil fell apart in the match’s first half. Germany amassed five goals within 30 minutes, two of which were scored by midfielder Toni Kroos.
The early results shocked Brazil, a soccer powerhouse which hasn’t lost a competitive match at home since 1975. A five-goal deficit may prove to be too much to overcome, but Brazilians fans can still hope for a massive comeback in the second half.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest comebacks in World Cup history, via Eurosport.com.
1954 World Cup Quarterfinals: Switzerland vs. Austria
Like Germany, Switzerland established a seemingly insurmountable three-goal lead over Austria after just 24 minutes. However, Austria, led by Theodore Wagner’s hat trick and a pair of own-goals by the Swiss, roared back to win the match, 7-5.
1954 World Cup Finals: West Germany vs. Hungary
Just a week and a half later, the 1954 World Cup produced another miraculous comeback -- this time in the finals. Hungary jumped out to a two-goal lead within the first 10 minutes, but West Germany refused to concede. They equalized shortly thereafter, only to break the tie and gain the lead on the strength of a Helmut Rahn goal near the end of the match. As a result, Germany earned its first World Cup victory ever.
1966 World Cup Quarterfinals: Portugal vs. North Korea
Within the match’s first 25 minutes, a heavily-favored Portuguese squad surrendered a stunning three goals to unheralded North Korea. Rather than capitulate, Portugal responded; a hat trick by Eusebio tied the score by the 57th minute. Soon after, they added a fourth goal, and a fifth for good measure near the end of play. Portugal would be eliminated in the semifinals, but avoided the embarrassment of a loss to North Korea.
1982 World Cup Semifinals: France vs. West Germany
France scored a pair of goals in extra time and seemed poised for a berth in the 1982 World Cup finals. Instead, West Germany answered with two game-tying goals, forcing penalty kicks for the first time in tournament history. West Germany won 5-4 in penalties and sent a dejected French squad packing.