A light coastal wave quickly escalated into the full flood-tide of the tsunami sweeping all before it-at of all places– one named Belo Horizonte, where Brazil, the most acclaimed nation in world football, was drubbed out by the relentless method manoeuvres of Germany. It started as a serious warning coming in the 11th minute. Germany's first corner kick gave Thomas Mueller a fairly easy opportunity which he did not squander. Brazil's shape in defense had never been inspiring in this World Cup but the level of shakiness loomed as a worrisome crisis as their captain Thiago Silva was unavailable due to suspension occasioned through accumulated cautions in the quarter-finals against Colombia. Further exasperation arose when Neymar, their ace striker sustained injury to a vertebra in the same match.
Quickly the adverse score line of 1-nil became 2-nil and 3-nil well before 25 minutes. It was not the strikes by Germany that proved horrific but the insipid measure of duplication and sameness with which Brazil's defense was mercilessly opened. The ball was played inside the box then squared wide for target practice for anyone homing in from the right wing channel. With monotonous regularity Brazil's defense moved bodily to cover the threats nearer the goal line, only to ignore equally dangerous menaces hanging back behind the frontal attack.
The Polish born Miroslav Klose made it 2-nil in the 22nd minute and helped his career tally ahead of the Brazilian star of several years ago Ronaldo.
Considering the grave poverty of goal scoring in the advance phases of this World Cup Tournament, Brazil's demise could at that juncture have been taken as a grim fatality. Yet, much more was yet to follow as Brazil never seriously shored up their defense, preferring to maintain a profoundly naive stance. By failing to eliminate the constant threat of the trailing attacker it was like an open invitation to the Germans to take pot shots from fifteen to eighteen yards away. Put in the context of Latin American supremacy, it takes very little imagination to visualize potential irresistibility of someone like Lionel Messi whose goals in the tournament had mainly occurred in situations similar to the Brazilian open door policy.
It used to be said of the Brazilian defense mechanism that their attack was good enough to counter three or four goals conceded Thus, if you got three past them, the attack would get at least four and so on. The point though at present is whether the attack system is good enough as in years gone by– the glory years!
Crowd support– grossly committed national support, to the tune of sixty or seventy thousand actually reciting the Brazilian anthem before their team's matches is not something you can measure in the expected viability translatable in team success. Such volume of support ought easily to measure in a goal or two. However, Tuesday 8th July rendered a calamitous reversal, stunning the patriotic masses into wondering what was going on before their eyes. Brazil brought so low! The score of 2-0 quickly became 3-nil, 4-nil and 5-nil before half time.
Visions of a bizarre practice match were ridiculously flashed within the public mentality as if the magnificence of the hallowed gold and blue colours was allowed to be trampled underfoot– and on the biggest world stage ever! At that point one abandoned hope of the Brazilian coach Louis Felipe Scoulari being able to summon utterance for the needed public explanation for his team's disastrous showing . Alas, before the previous encounter Scoulari was alleged to have asked a number of journalists to go to hell when they voiced protest that he was favoring certain media houses for his special interviews.
Rather unsympathetically, the snubbed journalists must be gleefully suggesting that Scoulari must himself have gone to hell, never able to
come back from the excursion. His reputation as the Brazilian messiah may go down tarnished irrevocably– everyone forgetting he had coached Brazil to their last winning of the World Cup!
Very sad reading is what the rest of this fateful semi-final conjured up. Five nil became 6-nil and 7-0. And what's more, it happened with a pitiful sense of inevitability. Perhaps it was distressingly embarrassing to the Germans, as if they had transgressed the boundaries of their being decent guests. They had palpably taken leave of their robust appetite for more of the goal feast and they allowed a crumb of consolation for Oscar to get a goal; the crowd did not think cheering it would be appropriate, Germany 7 Brazil 1 and that one a mere token of magnanimity.
Never had anyone remotely entertained the thought of Brazil visibly reduced to an abject poverty of lame damage control. Sequel to all this there was the cheerless prospect of Saturday's match for the third place playoff. It could be almost as nauseating– under threat of hostile home crowd.