July 09, 2014 07:38
Germany has given one of the most breathtaking displays of offensive firepower in World Cup history -- demolishing host Brazil in the semifinals 7-1, to advance to the championship game.
Germany's goal total was the most ever by one team in a World Cup semifinal, while Brazil allowed seven goals for the first time in 80 years.
The Germans scored five times in the first 30 minutes on Tuesday at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte.
Two of those goals came off the foot of Toni Kroos, and teammate Miroslav Klose recorded one to become the all-time scoring leader in World Cup history with 16 goals. Earlier in the tournament, Klose equaled the prior record of 15 held by former Brazilian star Ronaldo.
Germany's Andre Schuerrle also scored twice, both in the second half. Thomas Mueller and Sami Khedira added a goal apiece for Germany, which will appear in a record eighth World Cup final.
Germany was the apparent favorite entering the match, which featured two football powerhouses that have won a total of eight World Cups.
Brazil played without captain Thiago Silva and star striker Neymar. Silva was serving an automatic one-game suspension because he accumulated two yellow cards. Neymar, who scored four goals in the tournament, was out with a fractured vertebra.
Football's world governing body, FIFA, on Monday rejected Brazil's request to allow Thiago to play, and failed to take disciplinary action against Colombian defender Juan Camilo Zuniga, who kneed Neymar in the back late in Brazil's 1-0 quarterfinal win on Friday.
Unlike Brazil, Germany has not suffered any major injuries at this year's World Cup.
Germany will play the winner of the other World Cup semifinal pitting Argentina against the Netherlands on Wednesday in São Paulo. The Dutch finished second at the World Cup in South Africa four years ago.
The semifinal winners meet for the championship in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. The losers play for third place on Saturday in Brasilia.
Brazil was hoping for a repeat of its performance in the 1962 World Cup. That year, legendary Brazilian Pele suffered an injury in the second match that prevented him from playing in the rest of the tournament. But Brazil went on to beat Czechoslovakia in the final, 3-1.
In 1950, the only other time Brazil has hosted a World Cup, Uruguay beat the Brazilians in the championship game, 2-1.
In other news, FIFA announced that the 2014 World Cup has broken online viewing records. The organization said, for example, that in the United States alone, a record 5.3 million people watched the round of 16 match between the U.S. and Belgium on the web sites of television networks ESPN and Univision.
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