A few observations following Germany’s rout of Brazil in the World Cup semifinals on Tuesday. The Germans will play the Netherlands-Argentina winner Sunday at 3 p.m. in the final.
1. The six-goal margin was the biggest ever in a World Cup semifinal, and it was certainly the most shocking outcome in a game of this magnitude.
2. Germany completely outclassed the Brazilians on their home turf, walking through the back four at times and essentially doing whatever they wanted with the ball whenever they wanted. It tied Brazil’s worst loss ever.
3. Brazil was missing hero Neymar and captain Thiago Silva, but it’s hard to imagine either of them resolving the six-goal difference. Silva’s leadership and fiery direction, and Neymar’s creativity and flair, would have helped, sure, but the difference in class and effort was too stark to overcome.
4. Germany was clinical and has to be the favorite entering the final, regardless of the result of Wednesday’s other semifinal. The Germans’ counterattack was ruthless, their passes were accurate and precise, and their finishing was world-class. Brazil’s effort and defensive apathy were two principal reasons for the result, but you can’t discredit the Germans. (And if you think they’re satisfied, all you need to watch is goalie Manuel Neuer’s reaction – slamming the ground – when his defense broke down and gave up a late goal)
5. Can’t imagine what Brazil is like after this result. If you were watching the game, you heard that German fans were told to wait in their seats to be escorted out of the stadium, and the pictures of Brazilian fans throughout the match spoke volumes. In a futbol-crazed nation like Brazil, where they live and die with their beloved Selecao, this was a national nightmare.