In one of the most shocking turns in World Cup history, Brazil was embarrassed in the first half of their 2014 semifinal match against Germany. After 29 minutes, the host nation trailed 5-0, and it would stay that way when the halftime whistle was blown.
It’s difficult to describe Brazil’s first half as anything other than an unmitigated disaster. It was a painfully ugly effort by a country with a rich history in the beautiful sport. Brazil seemed content to just concede the match when they there were down by a pair of goals. The play of Luis Felipe Scolari's roster, that against Germany didn't include the injured Neymar and the suspended center back Thiago Silva, will be berated by the Brazilian media for several years.
With or without those two players, Brazil should have been competitive. Selecao have several world-class players who simply couldn't play at a high level on either side of the ball.
The flood gates opened after forward Miroslav Klose’s goal in the 23rd minute, which followed playmaker Thomas Muller’s goal in the 11th minute. Midfielder Toni Kroos would score in the 24th and 26th, followed by a final strike by defensive midfielder Sami Khedira in the 29th.
There hasn’t been a red card to explain such a decisive drumming in the first half. In fact, there wasn’t even a yellow card to perhaps cause some key players to play skittish. It was just awful football by a country that has a proud history of being dominant.
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Up until the match, there was no indication that Brazil were in position to be defeated so convincingly. In group play, Brazil defeated Croatia, 3-1, and then finished with a scoreless result against Mexico. The final group match saw Brazil breeze past Cameroon, 4-1.
In the Round of 16, Brazil edged Chile on penalty kicks, and then held off Colombia, 2-0 in the quarterfinals.
Brazil entered the tournament as the favorite to win the championship, and was still the predicted winner by many experts, even after an injury to Neymar in the quarterfinals. Before the start of the match, Bovada.lv put the odds off Brazil winning 5-0 at 200/1. Less than one-third of the way into the contest, Germany had its five-goal lead.
Meanwhile, Germany hasn’t been as dominant in the World Cup either, aside from defeating Portugal, 4-0, following a red card to central defender Pepe. Germany would draw with Ghana, and then defeat the U.S., 1-0. In the knockout stage, Germany edged Algeria, 2-1, and France, 1-0. Germany, one of the more talented nations in the tournament, entered the World Cup as a favorite, but even the most optimistic German supporter couldn't envision a 5-0 advantage after 29 minutes.
Entering the World Cup, there were some questions about some players who were snubbed from the roster. Defenders Miranda and Filipe Luis, along with midfielders Lucas Moura and Lucas Leiva were not chosen, while striker Alexandre Pato, and veteran forward Robinho were players that could have been considered for the 23-man squad.
Brazil’s meltdown down left many fans in attendance crying, as the team appeared to be giving little effort, as it watched it’s World Cup dreams fall by the wayside. It will likely leave many asking the questing – did Brazil just give up?