Germany won the cup, and came top in plenty of categories.

Germany hammer hosts Brazil 7-1, yes 7-1, to make record eighth World Cup final

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Hosts Brazil crashed out of the World Cup at the semifinal stage on Tuesday, as they were hammered 7-1 by Germany in what has to be one of the most one-sided matches, and most shocking defeats, in World Cup history.

The defeat was Brazil’s worst in World Cup history and their heaviest defeat in all competitions for 94 years. The home fans stood stunned as Germany blitzed Brazil during a rampant 18-minute spell in the first half where they scored five times.

Germany scored early and often in the first half of the semifinal as Miroslav Klose became the leading World Cup scorer in history, Thomas Muller got his fifth of the tournament and Toni Kroos bagged a brace in two minutes. Then Sami Khedira scored to make it 5-0 within the first 30 minutes.

[ VIDEO: Watch all seven goals for Germany ]

[ VIDEO: Klose breaks WC scoring record ]

Brazilian fans were in the midst of their worst nightmare and they couldn’t wake up from it as substitute Andre Schurrle added another two goals in the second half as Brazil lost a competitive game on home soil for the first-time since 1975. Oscar scored late on to make it 7-1 as Brazil went out of the World Cup in humiliation. Germany tore them apart time and time again with incisive attacks but Brazil’s shocking defending was their downfall. Brazil gave up halfway through as manager Luis Felipe Scorlai looked on in horror.

Twitter reacts |  How Brazil fell apart  |  Scolari takes blame  |  Luiz apologizes

The Selecao had never given up four goals in a single World Cup match, let alone seven. A stunned stadium in Belo Horizonte stood in silence as Joachim Low’s German juggernaut powered past the hosts and set up a World Cup final against Argentina or the Netherlands on Sunday.

It will be Germany’s eight World Cup final, a new FIFA record, in which they will be aiming to win their first title since 1990 and their fourth all-time.

source: AP
German players couldn’t believe their luck as Brazil imploded.

It was a pulsating start in Belo Horizonte but Germany started to put their foot on the ball and cause Brazil’s defense problems. Plenty of problems soon turned into plenty of goals.

The German offense clicked ominously into place in the 11th minute as Muller bagged his fifth goal of the tournament (his tenth all-time at the World Cup) after some sloppy early defending from Brazil’s defense. Muller lost his man, David Luiz, then steadied himself as Toni Kroos’ corner was swung in, before volleying home from six-yards out. The home crowd fell silent. Losing an early goal like this was not in the script.

Brazil tried to get going and Marcelo looked for a penalty kick in the 16th minute but Phillip Lahm timed his tackle perfectly in the box. A small ruckus ensued as both teams were fired up from the get-go.

However more holes continued to open up as Germany battered Brazil early on and Klose then etched his name into the record books. A flowing move saw Kroos play in Muller, who then back-heeled the ball to Klose who scored at the second attempt to become the all-time leading goalscorer in World Cup history with his 16th goal in 23 games. Kroos then bagged two cool finishes, his first was an absolute beauty from the edge of the box, in the space of two minutes, before Sami Khedira scored in the 29th minute to make it 5-0 and Brazil’s World Cup dreams were in tatters.

It was one of the most remarkable first 45 minutes to any World Cup game in history as Brazil imploded without Neymar and Thiago Silva on the pitch.

After the break Germany sat back and invited Brazilian pressure as a fantastic double save from Manuel Neuer stopped Paulinho but Brazil’s attacks were sporadic and the German defense sniffed them out expertly. Schurrle then replaced the record-breaking Klose and the Chelsea forward bagged two superb strikes to make it 7-0.

The rest of the game played out with Brazilian players walking around in a daze as Germany knocked the ball around. Ozil then missed a great chance and Oscar went up the other end and scored to make it 7-1 in the 90th minute.

Germany are heading to the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro, while Brazil’s players will want to go in hiding for a very, very long time.

This semifinal was one of the most incredible games in World Cup history.

LINEUPS

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Maicon, David Luiz, Dante, Marcelo; Bernard, Fernandinho (Paulinho, 45′), Luis Gustavo, Oscar, Hulk (Ramires, 45′), Fred (Willian, 69′)

Goal: Oscar 90′

Germany: Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Hummels (Mertesacker, 45′), Hoewedes; Khedira (Draxler, 76′), Schweinsteiger, Kross; Ozil, Klose (Schurrle, 58′), Muller

Goals: Muller 11′, Klose 23′, Kroos 24′ & 26′, Khedira 29′, Schurrle 69′ & 79′

Klopp, Liverpool still consulting lawyers over in-limbo Matip

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Joel Matip of Liverpool and Andre Ayew of West Ham United compete for the ball during the Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield on December 11, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images
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Few footballing sagas will ever reach heights of absurdity comparable to that of the Joel Matip/Liverpool versus Cameroon/FIFA battle currently raging, as the Reds defender finds himself “ineligible” to play for his club due to an international call-up 18 months after announcing his international retirement.

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PST’s Joe Prince-Wright summed up the situation quite well, in full, right here. An excerpt:

Matip, 25, was called up by the Cameroon national team for the 2017 African Cup of Nations which is currently taking place in Gabon. However, the former Schalke defender has previously stated that he did not want to play for them and he had retired from international duty.

Cameroon called him into their initial 35-man squad for the competition anyway but did not include him in their final 23-man squad once it became clear Matip, along with six other players, had no interest in playing for them at AFCON.

FIFA has confirmed that Liverpool has been in touch regarding Matip’s status and it now appears that he will not be able to play in any other competition while Cameroon is still in AFCON action under Article 5 of FIFA’s rules.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup | Sunday | Friday | Thursday ]

Fast forward a few days, and Jurgen Klopp and Co. have no further clarity regarding the situation. It’s so unclear, in fact, that Klopp said on Tuesday he may select the 25-year-old during one of two remaining games this week, and hope for the best — quotes from the Guardian:

“As you can imagine, we are in a lot of talks. We’ve done transfers quicker than this. It’s already long term but now it’s getting really tense on our side. We’ve tried everything but at the end I have to make the decision. Of course I have to ask [Liverpool’s lawyers] but the decision is for me to make. I could put him in the lineup. I don’t think the referee is going to say: ‘Stop, stop, you cannot go on the pitch.’ But I will do it when it’s OK from our point of view. Of course I need advice — I’m not a lawyer.”

“Most of the time in life you know if you do this, then you get this. But it’s not 100 percent clear what happens [if Matip plays]. We try everything to win football games. If this can happen — out of the tournament or whatever — then we have to decide about the risk. He’s ready to play for us and that makes it difficult.”

What an utter disaster of a situation Cameroon have intentionally created here.

VIDEO: Jeison Murillo’s incredible bicycle from a corner kick

MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 17:  (R-L) Jeison Murillo of FC Internazionale celebrates his first goal with Geoffrey Kondogbia during the TIM Cup match between FC Internazionale and Bologna FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 17, 2017 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
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Look away now, Andy Carroll. Take a bow, Jeison Murillo.

[ VIDEOS: All in a week’s work — Messi free kick no. 1 | Messi free kick no. 2 ]

Just three days after Carroll scored the bicycle-kick goal of the year (so we thought), here comes Murillo, Inter Milan’s 24-year-old Colombian striker, to steal his thunder (below video). The fact he did it directly from a corner kick, with the ball traveling roughly 40 yards before flinging his body into the air and striking the ball so cleanly, (somehow) trumps Carroll’s accomplishment from Saturday.

[ MORE: PL Power Rankings — Tight at the top… and bottom ]

Sensational goals come in twos now, apparently, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Olivier Giroud scored stunning scorpion-kick goals (WATCH HERE and HERE) just days apart earlier in the season.

FA Cup roundup: Burnley, Crystal Palace advance to 4th round

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 17: Christian Benteke of Crystal Palace (C) celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Andros Townsend of Crystal Palace (L) during the Emirates FA Cup third round replay between Crystal Palace and Bolton Wanderers at Selhurst Park on January 17, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images
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A roundup of all of Tuesday’s action in FA Cup third-round replays…

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Burnley 2-0 Sunderland

Sam Vokes and Andre Gray grabbed goals for Burnley, who opted for a largely first-choice lineup in Tuesday’s replay. Sunderland, meanwhile, went with a mix-and-match bunch and slumped to six games without a win (all competitions), meaning they can focus solely on Premier League survival from here on out. Burnley will host Championship side Bristol City in the fourth round next Saturday, Jan. 28.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup | Sunday | Friday | Thursday ]

Crystal Palace 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

Sam Allardyce picked up his first win as Palace boss, courtesy of a Christian Benteke brace scored nine minutes apart in the second half, as the Eagles came from behind to beat League One side Bolton at Selhurst Park. James Henry put the visitors three minutes into the second half, but Benteke hit back in the 68th and 77th minutes to improve Allardyce’s record to one win, two draws and three losses (all competitions). Palace will host Manchester City in the fourth round next Saturday.

Tuesday’s FA Cup scoreboard

AFC Wimbledon 1-3 Sutton United
Barnsley 1-2 (AET) Blackpool
Fleetwood Town 0-1 Bristol City
Lincoln City 1-0 Ipswich Town

AFCON: Ayew propels Ghana to victory; Egypt struggle vs. Mali

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JUNE 21:  Andre Ayew of Ghana celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Ghana at Castelao on June 21, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
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A roundup of all of Tuesday’s action in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations…

Ghana 1-0 Uganda

PORT-GENTIL, Gabon (AP) Andre Ayew scored a penalty as Ghana beat Uganda 1-0 on Tuesday in a lackluster opening to the four-time champions’ bid for a first African Cup of Nations title in 35 years.

Ghana took control of Group D after seven-time champion Egypt struggled in a 0-0 draw with Mali in the other group match.

Ghana has three points, Egypt and Mali one each and Uganda zero.

Ayew, a West Ham winger, netted in the 32nd minute after Asamoah Gyan was held back by Isaac Isinde in the penalty area in Port-Gentil.

Avram Grant, a former Chelsea manager, is looking to lead Ghana to a second successive final but go better than 2015 when his team lost to Ivory Coast.

Uganda has also finished runner-up in the continental championship but the trip to the final in 1978 was the last time it qualified until making the Gabon event.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup | Sunday | Friday | Thursday ]

Mali 0-0 Egypt

Later, 44-year-old Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary became the oldest player in tournament history when he came on for injured Ahmed El Shenawy midway through the first half.

El Hadary, who celebrated his birthday two days ago, is participating in his seventh African Cup, having picked up winners’ medals in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Egypt’s standout forward Mohamed Salah struggled and was replaced midway through the second half.

Mali, looking to improve on its third-place finishes in 2012 and 2013, produced many more chances.

Egypt failed to qualify for the last three editions of the tournament.

Wednesday’s AFCON schedule

Gabon vs. Burkina-Faso — 11 a.m. ET
Cameroon vs. Guinea-Bissau — 2 p.m. ET