Well, here’s to trying something new.
The following are my thoughts, in realtime (at least, according to the accompanying timestamps), as I watched the 2014 World Cup semifinal between Brazil and Germany, at the Graduate, in Davis, California.
Brazil was heavily favored, despite not having captain Thiago Silva (yellow card accumulation) and superstar striker Neymar (broken vertebra). Germany was looking to show the world they are still the premier European Futbol power.
Here’s how the match played out:
12:45 PM (PST): The bar’s really filling up for this match – can’t really tell if there is a preponderance of Germany or Brazil fans. I’d say the slight edge goes to Brazil supporters right now.
12:49 PM: I guess if I were to make a prediction on the match … well … I understand the home field advantage Brazil has, and the odds stacked in favor of a victory. I just think that if Germany keeps attacking, they could pull off an upset, here.
12:50 PM: I have to say that it’s such a shame that this matchup isn’t the World Cup FINAL. Not to discount Messi or Robben going up against one of these teams in the Final next Sunday, but, still – these are two of the premier Futbol powers in the world.
12:52 PM: You have to remember that Neymar NOR Thiago Silva will be playing in this match. Only reason I’m giving a slight edge to Germany. I’ll admit, though – I could EASILY be wrong.
12:54 PM: Coming out of the “Group of Death,” it’s really hard to see Germany as the Underdog right now.
12:55 PM: That was cool. One of the Brazilian players was holding up Neymar’s jersey before their National Anthem played. What a way to honor a fallen comrade, who couldn’t play today.
12:55 PM: Judging by the amount of people singing the Brazilian Anthem, I’d say this is more of a Brasil-friendly crowd today.
12:57 PM: I guess we’ll see how this new lineup for Brazil (without Neymar or Silva) will affect their style of play today.
1:00 PM: And we’re off. Brazil controls to start.
1:01 PM: That was embarrassing. German player slips just as Die Mannschaft had control of the ball.
1:02 PM: Close call for Germany.
1:07 PM: First real offensive penetration by Germany in the 8th minute – yet somehow stopped themselves.
1:08 PM: Them Brazilian footballers sure know how to play defense.
1:10 PM: First corner kick of the match … GOAL!!!! 1-0, Germany.
1:11 PM: Beautiful boot by Thomas Müller gives Die Mannschaft the lead in the 11th minute. That’s his fifth goal in 6 WC matches.
1:14 PM: Good news for Brazil? They’re 15-12-3 when allowing the first goal of the match.
1:17 PM: Uh-oh. Rough-up between Marcelo and Boateng brings up a little bad blood.
1:18 PM: Match going at a phrenetic pace – we’re only 19 minutes in.
1:22 PM: 2-0 Germany. Brazil can’t seem to neutralize Die Mannschaft‘s constant attack. Julio Cesar got the first shot – wasn’t so lucky with the second.
1:23 PM: That was Miroslav Close’s 16th goal – that’s most all-time in World Cup play.
1:24 PM: Wow, that was quick – it’s now 3-0, Germany. This is looking more like a blowout by the minute.
1:25 PM: Brazil is shell-shocked. I was afraid this was gonna happen.
1:25 PM: WOW. 4-0 Germany. Is this really happening?
1:27 PM: Now the obvious questions will start coming – would this have happened if Neymar and Thiago Silva were starting? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.
1:29 PM: And that’s 5-0. This is Brazil’s worst nightmare come to life.
1:34 PM: It doesn’t look like the Brazilians have any idea what to do now. I mean, I don’t blame them – they’ve never been in a 5-0 hole in their World Cup history.
1:35 PM: Would it be cruel to say that Brazil is looking like the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII? Because, I mean … they are.
1:41 PM: All five of Germany’s goals scored within the first 30 MINUTES of the match. It’s hard to contemplate what we’re watching, here.
1:42 PM: I’ll just say it – this is why I favored Germany coming into this match. It’s not like we haven’t seen performances like this from Die Mannschaft before: After all, they blew out Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal, 4-0, to start this tournament.
1:47 PM: Well, first half’s at an end. I’m totally shell-shocked, and I’m essentially neutral, here. You have to feel for all of Brazil right now – for many Brazilians, this is their life.
1:48 PM: Right now, this is really the only thing I can think of to represent the pain of all Brazilian futbol fans:
2:03 PM: Second half starting, and it looks like Germany’s just coasting. Until there are signs of life from the Brazilian club, this may simply be totally reminiscent of the second half of Super Bowl XLVIII.
2:06 PM: Even up 5-0, doesn’t look like Germany’s goalkeeper is gonna make things any easier for Brazil’s offense.
2:08 PM: Gotta hand it to Brazil – all they can really do is keep attacking and hope for the best, despite the fact that this is probably already lost.
2:09 PM: The Pro-Brazil crowd around here are starting to get restless. Meanwhile, Germany’s Manuel Neuer will not allow the Brazilians to score.
2:13 PM: It looks like the only thing in doubt at this point is whether or not Die Mannschaft can pitch a shutout against Brazil.
2:14 PM: Miroslav Close comes out of the match. Barring a miracle, he will have a chance to extend his World Cup goals record in the Final next Sunday.
2:15 PM: Another decent chance for Brazil to score. Another ball for German goalkeeper to save.
2:16 PM: Muller got greedy, trying for a second goal – at least this was a ball Julio Cesar could save.
2:20 PM: At least Julio Cesar is keeping it 5-0.
2:21 PM: I started this post fully expecting an exciting semifinal match in the World Cup. Who knew Germany would make this a foregone conclusion before the 30-minute mark?
2:23 PM: That might have been Brazil’s best chance to score. Sure, it was off a flailing bicycle kick, but still …
2:25 PM: And that’s a second goal for Müller. 6-0, Germany. Man, these guys are ruthless when they want to be.
2:26 PM: I realize that this is kind of a moot point right now, but I’m still wondering if Silva and Neymar could have made any sort of difference in this match. I mean, they are the captain and best player on the team, respectively. That was a lot to make up for, even before the match. Ugh. I feel so bad for Brazil.
2:29 PM: Another in a plethora of Brazilian achievements that will no longer be, after this match – they have not lost a match in competitive play since 1975. The streak will be broken at 39 years.
2:30 PM: You have to wonder, now, if the Germans can make this look like an AMERICAN Football score (7-0).
2:33 PM: Whoa, calm down, Muller. You got the SIX-GOAL lead. Ain’t nothing Brazil can do to you now. Except, obviously, injure you. In which case, you’d have every right to be angry.
2:34 PM: Ian Darke of ESPN just called it – this will be Brazil’s worst defeat in 94 YEARS. It’s hard to react to such sports infamy.
2:34 PM: And it’s 7-0, Germany! It’s an NFL score! We got an NFL score! (Sorry, Brasil.)
2:36 PM: And that’s the most goals scored by Germany ever in a World Cup semifinal. Or is it by anyone? I didn’t give myself a chance to take a closer look.
2:40 PM: These guys just won’t stop attacking. Maybe they’re warming up for the Netherlands-Argentina winner.
2:40 PM: Brazil’s got around 5 more minutes to not make this a shutout. It’s not looking good, though.
2:42 PM: I’m quite surprised the pro-Brazil crowd has stuck around. An “Until the bitter end” fandom. Good show, Brasil fans. Good show.
2:43 PM: Well, while I still have time, I think tomorrow’s matchup between the Netherlands and Argentina should be much more dramatic. Scoring for Argentina, even with Messi, hasn’t necessarily been easy. And, with the Netherlands, they’re coming off an exciting PK win. I can only guess goals will come at a premium tomorrow, but hey – after what I saw today, it proves you can’t really assume anything. I mean, I thought Brazil would lose – but never like this.
2:45 PM: One more chance for Brazil to avoid the shutout – and it goes high.
2:45 PM: One more chance for Germany to rub it in – and it goes wide.
2:46 PM: BRAZIL SCORES! BRAZIL SCORES! BRAZIL SCORES!!!!! … Now, it’s 7-1.
2:47 PM: It’s Oscar that scores Brazil’s only goal in the 90th minute. Man, how about that.
2:48 PM: And that’s the final whistle. Germany 7, Brazil, 1. No one would have ever guessed this would happen. The beauty, and the tragedy, of why they play the game, and all that.
Well, to sum up – that was an amazing display by Germany, against the favored host country. They put Brazil on the wrong side of history in a number of categories (most goals ever scored against Brazil, Close breaking the individual World Cup goals record, first loss for Brazil at home, etc.), and did it convincingly.
This was a first-round TKO. This was Seattle vs. Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII (as I said many times before). This was Duke over UNLV.
It was absolutely unbelievable to watch – and I can’t imagine how agonizing it had to be if you were a fan of the Brazilian National team. All I can say now is congratulations to Die Mannshaft for an historic match, and good luck to them in the Final, against either Argentina or the Netherlands.
After today, they deserve the World Cup outright – but, alas, they’ll have to earn it on Sunday.