Much was made of Neymar’s absence from Brazil’s lineup for its World Cup semifinal match against Germany, but the suspension of all-world defender Thiago Silva may prove to be more costly.
It took just 10 minutes for Germany’s Thomas Müller to give Die Mannschaft a 1-0 lead off a corner kick, volleying his fifth goal of the 2014 World Cup past a diving Julio Cesar. Commentator Ian Darke noted that defender David Luiz, the team’s acting captain in place of Silva, failed to mark Müller in front of the Brazilian goal.
A world-class player, Silva is a stabilizing influence for Brazil and would have coordinated the team’s defense. Without their leader, who was suspended for the match after he received a second yellow card against Colombia in the quarterfinals, the Brazilian national team withered in the face of Germany’s attack.
Within the first 30 minutes of the match, Germany had amassed an unfathomable five goals. Midfielder Toni Kroos added two goals, while Miroslav Klose’s at 23rd minute established him as the World Cup’s all-time leading goal scorer.
Brazil still has more than a half to recover from Germany’s five-goal onslaught. However, without Neymar, its top scorer, and Silva, its top defender, the hosts of the 2014 World Cup may be out of luck.