Photo: Germany vs Brazil (@MAlHeidous)
Five-time World Cup champion Brazil was overwhelmed here Tuesday, losing 7-1 to Germany in the most lopsided semifinal in the history of the competition.
Host nation Brazil had not allowed more than four goals in the World Cup since their 6-5 overtime win over Poland in 1938.
Germany’s performance in Belo Horizonte also vaulted the European side ahead of Brazil in cumulative goals, with 223 to the Brazilians’ 220.
The Germans, who have won the World Cup three times, are headed to their first final since 2002.
Brazil had to face their biggest test of the 2014 tournament without their top striker, the injured Neymar, and defensive stalwart Thiago Silva, suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
David Luiz took charge of the Brazil defense, but it was his error that led to Germany’s first goal, as he left Thomas Müller unmarked by the far post on Toni Kroos’ corner kick.
Müller scored his fifth goal in six matches to make it 1-0 in the 11th minute.
The Brazilians responded with vigor, though little in the way of tactics, and found themselves frustrated by a sound German defense.
The home side’s nightmare began in the 23rd minute, when veteran Miroslav Klose put away his own rebound to become the all-time leading scorer in the World Cup with 16 goals, one more than retired Brazilian star Ronaldo.
Kroos scored in the 24th minute and again just two minutes later, followed by Sami Khedira with a goal at the 29-minute mark, making it 5-0 barely a third of the way through the contest.
With the match out of reach, Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari turned to Ramires and Paulinho in the second half, intent on getting at least one goal to soften the blow to national pride.
Germany’s Joachim Löw, meanwhile, took the opportunity to give more playing time to Mertesacker and Andre Schürrle.
Manuel Neuer, seen by many as the best goalkeeper of the 2014 World Cup, stopped Oscar, Ramires and Paulinho on successive opportunities.
And the agony still wasn’t over for Brazil, as Schürrle scored a pair before Oscar finally got the consolation goal in the final minute of regulation.
Two-time champion Argentina and the Netherlands, who have never won the World Cup, will square off Wednesday in the other semifinal.