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′

MLS playoff scenarios heading into the final weekend

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Time certainly has flown by, and just like that the MLS Cup playoffs are well within sight.

While the Eastern Conference is all locked up in terms of which teams will be in the postseason, seeding can change drastically on the final weekend.

[ MORE: Tab Ramos confirms interest in USMNT job ]

Meanwhile, the West sees three clubs vying for one final spot in what has proven to be a very intriguing battle over the last several weeks.

All eyes will be on three teams in the Western Conference as the San Jose Earthquakes, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake all have an opportunity to move into the sixth spot.

Below, PST takes a look at where clubs can finish in relation to the playoff race.

Eastern Conference

#1 seed: Toronto FC is locked into the top spot

#2 seed: NYCFC — clinches the two seed with a win; Chicago Fire — clinches two with win and NYCFC draw or loss; Atlanta takes two with win plus NYCFC loss/draw and Fire loss/draw

#3 seed: Fire — finishes third with win; NYCFC — takes third with loss to Crew and Fire win; Atlanta — third with win and Fire loss; Crew — finish third with win over NYCFC and don’t overtake NYCFC on GD, plus losses by Fire and Atlanta

#4 seed: NYCFC — fourth with loss to Crew and overtaken on GD, plus Fire win; Fire — finish fourth with loss and Atlanta win, plus NYCFC win or draw; Atlanta — takes fourth with loss and NYCFC/Fire wins; Crew — fourth with win over NYCFC, Fire win and Atlanta loss/draw

#5 seed: Crew — finish fifth with loss/draw; Atlanta — finishes fifth with loss and Crew win; Fire — takes fifth with loss and Atlanta/Crew victories; NYCFC — drops with loss to Crew, Atlanta win and Fire win/draw

#6 seed: New York Red Bulls are locked into sixth spot

Western Conference

#1 seed: Whitecaps — clinch top spot with win; Timbers — finish first with win and Whitecaps loss

#2 seed: Whitecaps — finish second with loss to Timbers; Timbers — second with loss/draw and Sounders/Sporting KC losses; Sounders — finish second with win and Whitecaps win

#3 seed: Timbers — third with loss and Sounders win; Sounders — loss to Rapids and Sporting KC/Dynamo losses; Sporting KC — finish third with win, Sounders loss and Whitecaps/Timbers draw; Dynamo — third with win, Sporting KC loss and Sounders loss

#4 seed: Whitecaps — finish fourth with loss to Timbers, Sounders/Sporting KC wins; Timbers — loss to Whitecaps, plus Sounders/Sporting KC victories; Sounders — finish fourth with loss/draw and Sporting KC win; Sporting KC — fourth with loss and Dynamo loss/draw; Dynamo — finish fourth with win and Sporting KC loss

#5 seed: Timbers — fifth with loss to Whitecaps and Sounders/Sporting KC/Dynamo wins; Sounders — loss to Rapids, plus Sporting KC/Dynamo victories; Dynamo — finish fifth with loss; Sporting KC — fifth place with loss and Dynamo win

#6 seed: San Jose Earthquakes clinch with win; FC Dallas takes sixth with win/draw and Earthquakes loss/draw; Real Salt Lake clinch with win/draw, Earthquakes loss and Dallas loss/draw

The next Pulisic? A 10-year-old American is heading to AS Roma

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With everything that has transpired since last week’s U.S. Men’s National Team debacle, American soccer fans can use a pick-me-up.

What better could there be than perhaps another young star-in-the-making? Dare I say, the next Christian Pulisic?

[ MORE: Bruce Arena is out as USMNT manager ]

Perhaps, but it’s way too early to say that.

His name is Alessandro Cupini, a 10-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri that is about to complete a dream that a soccer player of any age would be thrilled to achieve.

Less than two weeks ago, Cupini and his family announced that the Kansas City Fusion midfielder/striker would be accepting a spot in the AS Roma academy starting in the Spring 2018, after having trained with the club for the better part of two years off and on.

Pro Soccer Talk had the opportunity to speak with Cupini’s father, Eddie, ahead of his son’s big move to Italy.

“This is something that Alessandro has worked really hard for,” Eddie Cupini told PST. “There are times where I tell him that he needs to take a step back and be a normal kid, but he doesn’t have any of that. He’s an incredibly hard-working and driven kid that does more than most people regardless of his age.”

Alessandro — who recently turned 10 years old — isn’t the typically American youngster though, according to his father.

“There are times where I wish Alessandro would take a break and be a kid, but that’s just not in his desire,” Cupini said. “We built him a mini stadium downstairs where he trains basically every day after school. As soon as he gets home from school he’s doing work down there and always looking for other kids to come over to practice with.”

That’s where the comparisons to Pulisic can be worked into the conversation.

Pulisic followed a very similar path to the professional level when he left his hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania at the age of 16 to sign with Borussia Dortmund. Now, he’s U.S. Soccer’s most promising star as the USMNT looks to rebuild.

“We’re very familiar with Christian’s story, and he’s certainly somebody that Alessandro looks up to,” Cupini said.

Cupini is already on the radar of U.S. Soccer and the Olympic Development Program (ODP), which helps identify young talent in the United States starting at the Under-12 level.

However, because of Cupini’s Italian heritage and his unique opportunity to move to Italy next year, Alessandro could potentially have the chance to represent either the USMNT or the Azzurri in the future.

“It’s a long ways away and we’re taking things slow in that regard,” Cupini said in regards to his son’s international plans. “We’d certainly be willing to explore our options, but I think it would be a real dream and his main goal to play for Italy.”

New Jersey-native and former Italy international Giuseppe Rossi made a similar career choice when it came down to choosing a national team. Despite living in the United States for much of his youth years, Rossi appeared for a number of Italy’s youth teams before holding a stint with the senior side from 2008 to 2014.

Prior to making the announcement that Roma would be where Cupini will ply his trade next year, the young American also had the opportunity to train with Italian academies Empoli and Atalanta.

“My father is from Rome, so for Alessandro to have the opportunity to play for his hometown club it was almost a no-brainer,” Cupini said. “We were very grateful to the other clubs for the chance Alessandro had to train with them, but Roma is a club that is very close to our family.

Leicester City 1-1 West Brom: Mahrez nets first goal of PL season

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The Foxes haven’t had the start to the season that Craig Shakespeare and Co. would have hoped for, but Monday’s performance was certainly a step in the right direction.

[ MORE: Mike Ashley puts Newcastle up for sale ]

Leicester City pulled out a 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion at the King Power Stadium, however, the Foxes remain in the bottom three of the Premier League.

Riyad Mahrez had plenty of chances on the day, and he rescued his side with 10 minutes remaining after powering home a strike into the far corner. The goal marks the Algerian’s first of the 2017/18 campaign.

Despite a frustrating opening hour, the visitors led on 63 minutes when Nacer Chadli curled home a brilliant free kick that left Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel stunned.

For the Belgium international, Chadli becomes West Brom’s seventh different goalscorer of the season.

Leicester nearly came out flying in the second stanza whenMahrez had an open chance in the center of the Baggies penalty area, however, the Algerian winger’s left-footed attempt was too high to hit the target.

[ MORE: Liverpool’s Lovren accuses Lukaku of deliberate stamp ]

Mahrez’s chance came just minutes after West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill was nearly sent off after the 34-year-old took out a streaking Jamie Vardy on the edge of the penalty box.

Monday’s result means both clubs have now gone six matches with a win in PL play.

Liverpool’s Lovren accuses Lukaku of deliberate stamp

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Saturday’s titanic clash between Liverpool and Manchester United ended in an uneventful draw, but that didn’t mean the match itself was short on drama.

[ MORE: Mike Ashley puts Newcastle up for sale ]

Reds defender Dejan Lovren wasn’t happy with Romelu Lukaku‘s action after the former made a tackle on the Man United striker during the first half of the 0-0 draw.

The Liverpool center back spoke ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League match against Maribor.

“I made a tackle there and I just felt he was over me and could just move away,” Lovren said in regards to the play in question. “To be honest, my point of view is that he did on purpose.”

Despite his claims of Lukaku’s malice, the FA has already come out and stated that they won’t take any action against the Belgium international.

“It is not my decision,” Lovren continued. “He seemed nervous during the game and maybe that’s why. Normally if you do it, you apologise.

“It happened and it’s over. Nobody can change it.”