9 Jul 2014

Brazil heartbroken and humiliated

8:58 pm on 9 July 2014

Brazil has been plunged into national mourning after having its dream of winning the World Cup at home shattered in a devastating semifinal loss to Germany.

The Brazilians were hammered 7-1 in in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday (local time) in what coach Luiz Felipe Scolari described as the worst day of his life.

Brazil's devastated midfielder Luiz Gustavo, left, and defender David Luiz.

Brazil's devastated midfielder Luiz Gustavo, left, and defender David Luiz. Photo: AFP

A Brazilian fan reacts to the shock loss.

A Brazilian fan reacts to the shock loss. Photo: AFP

It is Brazil's first defeat at home for 12 years, the first time a team has scored seven goals in a World Cup semifinal and the biggest defeat in one of these games since West Germany beat Austria 6-1 in 1954.

By half-time, it was game over and many Brazilian fans were seen weeping and leaving the Mineirao Stadium when the score was already 5-0.

Not in their worst nightmares did anyone in Brazil think this is how it would end. The scene had been set at the stadium and in street parties throughout the country, the BBC reports.

This was to have been Brazil's inevitable march towards their own World Cup final. But everywhere heads dropped, mouths open wide and people cried as the proud footballing country was completely humiliated.

A thunderous occasion that began with Brazil riding a tidal wave of emotion was reduced to a nightmare as Germany were 5-0 up inside 29 remarkable minutes in front of a disbelieving crowd.

Brazil's players mourned the absence of the injured Neymar before kick-off, but captain Thiago Silva was an even bigger loss. The result was their first competitive home defeat in 39 years, and the end of their hopes of making it to the World Cup final at the Maracana on Sunday.

Instead, Germany will meet either Argentina or Netherlands, who meet in Sao Paulo on Wednesday and are now the favourites to become the first European nation to win a football World Cup in the Americas.

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari called the result "catastrophic" and asked the fans for forgiveness. When asked who was responsible for their dismal performance, he didn't flinch:

"The person who decided the line-up, the tactics, was me. It was my choice. My message for the Brazilian people is please excuse us for this performance."

Football dominates the airwaves and is a hugely important part of Brazilian life and culture. The county was divided on the merits of hosting the World Cup before the tournament began. With their side now eliminated from their own World Cup in such humiliating fashion, whether those divisions, arguments and protests will resume is big question.

German teammates celebrate after the match.

German teammates celebrate after the match. Photo: AFP