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′

Kevin de Bruyne questionable for injury-laden Belgium

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Belgium, already without superstar Eden Hazard for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Greece, will now be without playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, who picked up an injury in training on Friday and will miss both the match against Greece and the subsequent friendly against Russia three days later…maybe.

The Belgian National Team official Twitter account sent out a quote from manager Roberto Martinez that confirmed De Bruyne would miss the pair of matches, but the tweet was quickly deleted.

Instead, this one was pushed out in its place, correcting his availability and also updating the type of injury:

Should De Bruyne miss out, it means Belgium would likely rely heavily on Dries Mertens and Kevin Mirallas for the playmaking duties, with midfielder Radja Nainggolan potentially taking on a more attacking role as well.

Belgium and Martinez also confirmed that right-back Thomas Meunier will miss out after failing to recover from an ankle injury, while Marouane Fellaini‘s status is unknown after he was held out of Thursday’s training session.

The injury also leaves De Bruyne’s status for Manchester City up in the air, with a pair of massive games in London in quick succession after the injury break. City visits Arsenal next Sunday, followed by a hop over to Stanford Bridge on Wednesday.

Landon Donovan retires again, this time for good

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After coming out of retirement last fall to join the LA Galaxy for one more shot at an MLS Cup, Landon Donovan has once again called time on his career, saying he’s certain he will not play again.

With a number of other ventures on his plate, the USMNT all-time leading scorer is looking forward to spending his time elsewhere.

“Yeah, I’m done,” Donovan said. “I’m done. No more playing for me. I have not [gone public with it yet]. But that is definitely the case.”

Donovan scored one goal in nine games for the LA Galaxy in his comeback bid, with the club ravaged by injuries and still gunning for the Cup. However, after the season was over with a loss to Colorado in the Conference Semifinals, the Galaxy confirmed it was nothing more than a short-term stopgap.

“With Landon, when he came back, it was always going to be a short-term thing,”team president Chris Klein said to the L.A. Times in December. “He’s enjoying what he’s doing and we see we’re comfortable in the direction that we’re headed.”

In January, reports claimed Real Salt Lake had offered Donovan a Designated Player contract, but it appears he’s turned it down, and will now have time to concentrate on his other ventures. Off the field, Donovan is an analyst on Fox’s soccer coverage, is on the advisory committee for the Los Angeles 2024 Olympics bid, and has joined the ownership group attempting to bring an expansion MLS team to San Diego.

Former Spurs midfielder Paulinho scores thunderbolt for Brazil

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Brazil topped Uruguay 4-1 to move on the verge of World Cup qualification, but there was much more to the first half of this match than meets the eye.

Uruguay went ahead 1-0 on a 9th-minute penalty won and scored by Edinson Cavani, and for a moment it seemed like the home side might find its way to pull within a point of Brazil at the top of the CONMEBOL standings. That would not last very long.

[ MORE: Full roundup of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying action ]

Just 10 minutes later, a bad giveaway near the midfield stripe saw Neymar casually feed Paulinho a good 50 yards from goal. The former Spurs man took matters into his own hands, charging forward and unleashing a vicious strike that continued to rise until it ripped the chords in the top-right corner.

 

Not only was the goal a sight to behold, it was an important moment in the match. Brazil was back level at 1-1, and Paulinho would be on his way to an eventual hat-trick with a pair in the second half. Neymar scored once as well to complete the 4-1 final scoreline, and the three points for Brazil saw them remain perfect in the World Cup qualifying round as they march seven clear of Uruguay at the top of the standings.

For Paulinho, the hat-trick brings him to four goals in the World Cup qualifying round, adding to his score in the 3-0 win over Argentina. They also mark an important moment for the Chinese Super League, where Paulinho now plays, having moved from Spurs in July of 2015. Some national team coaches have left players on the outside of the squad for moving to leagues such as the Chinese League or Major League Soccer, but Paulinho has clearly been an asset to Brazil despite his club situation. In fact, in China, Paulinho has scored four goals in his four league matches for Guangzhou Evergrande this season plus another in the Asian Champions League, leaving him in top goalscoring form coming into this international break, something which has clearly translated directly to international play.

The 28-year-old had lost his place in the national team squad in 2014, going over two years without a single international appearance, but has been a mainstay in the Brazilian side during this World Cup qualification cycle.

Dele Alli banned three European games for straight red card

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Spurs may be out of the Europa League this season, but should they end up qualifying for the Champions League next season, they will start the campaign short-handed.

Tottenham will be without midfielder Dele Alli for the first half of the group stage after his horrifying tackle on Brecht Dejaegere of KAA Gent in their 2-2 draw which saw Spurs out of the competition on aggregate in the Round of 32.

Alli went to ground on the 39th-minute challenge, and made contact on high up on Dejaegere’s leg with both his studs, finishing with a scissior-whip motion. It was a blatant red card, and now UEFA’s disciplinary committee has handed down the three-match ban. Straight-red cards for violent conduct only carry a minimum penalty of one match in UEFA tournament play, but the disciplinary committee clearly thought a longer punishment was necessary, with the ability to sentence anyone up to five matches.

The straight red was the first of Alli’s professional career. Alli apologized to Dejaejere after the match, according to the Gent midfielder. He’s since scored in four straight matches, and when asked on Sunday if that moment was still in his mind, he said, “I’m never going to say sorry for wanting to win or trying as hard as I can but things happen and you have to learn from them.”

Spurs currently sit in second place in the Premier League table with 59 points and look to be in a strong position for Champions League qualification, with a seven-point cushion on fifth-placed Manchester United.