In between the World Cup and Continental Championships (Euros, Copa America, African Nations, Olympics? etc), the Confederations Cup was played every two years – since 1995 – before FIfa decided to host it every four years instead. Brazil won the last three (2013: Beating Spain 3-0, 2009: Beating USA 2- 3, 2005: Beating Argentina 4-1). Of these three victories, their 3-0 defeat of Spain was most telling as Spain, had won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, beating Germany (1-0) and Italy (4-0) respectively. In between, they had also won the World Cup 2010, beating Holland 1-0 AET. With Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona players central to their squad, it was also noteworthy that Barcelona had featured in five consecutive Champions semi-finals between 2008 and 2012, and one more in 2013, when Pep had left: (United 1 – 0 Barcelona AGG), 2009 (Barcelona 2 – 0 United, Winners), 2010 (Barcelona 2 – 3 Inter Milan AGG) 2011 (Barcelona 3 – 1 United, Winners), 2012 (Chelsea 3 – 2 Barcelona AGG.) Although in April 2013, they were eliminated by Munich, two months later, many of these Barcelona players would reaffirm themselves on the international stage and lift the world cup, en route, beating Germany, in the semi final, along the way.
Having been eliminated by France in the 2006 World Cup, Spanish football had come a long way, and although they were stunned by USA in the 2009 Confederations Cup Semi Finals, they were expected to beat Brazil in the 2013 final, only to be stunned once again in the final by a Neymar led attack. Brazil looked set to honour their host nation status and win the 2014 World Cup in their backyard, but Germany had other plans. In the semi-final, they dominated and humiliated Brazil racing ahead in the first half thanks to five goals, with four of them coming in 9 minutes. After the game, lots of criticism was levelled against the Brazil squad, and yet, the irony was that the starting eleven was not very different from that team that had beaten Spain months earlier. Brazil were missing Silva (suspension) – replaced by Dante – and Neymar (injury) – replaced by Bernard – but the side featured 7 starters from 2013, whilst Paulinho, a starter in 2013, came on at half time. Miacon replaces Alves, completing the four changes, meaning that there were only four changes, with two of them being forced.
2013 Brasil 3 – 0 Spain 2014 Brasil 1 – 7 Germany
12 Julio Cesar 12 Julio César
02 Alves 23 Maicon
03 Thiago Silva 13 Dante
04 David Luiz 04 David Luiz
06 Marcelo 06 Marcelo
11 Oscar 11 Oscar
17 Luiz Gustavo Dias 17 Luiz Gustavo Dias
18 Paulinho (Hernanes – 88′ ) 05 Fernandinho (Paulinho – 45′ )
09 Fred (Jo – 80′ ) 09 Fred (Willian – 69′ )
10 Neymar 20 Bernard
19 Hulk (Jadson – 73′ ) 07 Hulk (Ramires – 45′ )
Brazil’s collapse, then, cannot simply be attributed to their squad, despite it being deemed so average. Maybe the likes Ramires and Paulinho could have started the match, but would it have made much of a difference. More importantly, the question of the Brasillian defence is the real question here, for at least five of Germany’s goals came from Brazil errors.
1 Marcelon gives the ball away and eventually, an unmarked German score from the corner
2 Hulk misplaces a pass and after a counter, Klose scores after Paulinho fails to intercept
3 After a hopeful Luiz long ball, Germans counter. Mueller misses cut back but Kroos doesn’t
4 Seconds later, Kroos steals from Paulinho in his own half, and exchanges passes to score
5 Luiz misplaces a hopeful pass, then pulls out of a tackle as Khadeira goes on to score
6. Lahm, unmarked, takes advantage of Marcelo out of place, and squares it to Schurle
7 Players get caught chasing Lahm, after a long throw, as he plays it back to Schurle
We might argue that if not for these criminal errors, the score line would have been very different even if, as the summary below suggests, Germany had at least three more chances to score. Brazil did, however, miss three decent chances, and so, did themselves no favours, but the fact remains, it was more a case of an implosion than a conquest.
09:35 Marcelo misplaces a pass from Hulk, deep in the German half, and the Germans break. Marcelo tracks back and intercepts a cross earning a corner for Germany. From a Kroos (18) cross, an unmarked Mueler volleys the ball in for the first.
21:37 In the opposition half, Hulk misplaces a pass (intercepted) and Germany break, winning a throw deep within Brazils half. Muller then plays a ball to Kroos that Paulinho fails to intercept – actually misses the ball. The pass is played to Klose who scores on his second attempt after the keeper’s parry “…And Brazil looking very weak defensively here.”
Seconds after Bernard fails to control a long diagonal from Luiz, the keeper collects. Neur throws to Mueller, and after 4 passes – Mueller – Khaideira – Kroos – Mueller – Lahm. Lahm cuts the ball back from the wing, and Mueller misses the shot only for Kroos to pop up and lash the ball home. “It’s getting too easy for Germany”
*Paulinho should have pressed Kroos early, but also, should not have let him continue to run after, but got distracted by Mueller.
Again, seconds later, Kroos spots a Dante pass to Paulinho and tackles Paulinho from behind, deep within the Brazil half. He plays to an unmarked Khadira who has broken loose in a CF position. He plays back to Kroos who slots the ball in
“…its mayhem..Its total collapse for Brazil; It’s goals and glory for Germany”
Commentator reminds us they lost a 4 – 0 lead against Sweden in the qualifiers
28:40 Mueller misplaces a through ball to the feet of Luiz who plays a long ball forward, but it is missed by the forward. Clearing up, the defender races forward from the DM position into the OM position in Brazils half. Despite a bad touch, his lunge beats Luiz to the ball and plays it on to Khadiera who following a 1-2 with Ozil to his left, sweeps the ball home. Note: Dante fails to play Ozil offside whilst Maicon is indecisive in who he is picking up
“Game 61 of 64…it’s five and Brazil are in absolute tatters. Germany are wiping the floor with them”
50 Klose fails to control a ball that would have made it 2 on 1 against the Brazil keeper
5130 After great work by Marcelo on the left, he passes to Ramires who puts Oscar in only for a weak shot straight at the Keeper
5240 After a corner kick, and a clearance, Ramires headers the ball through to Paulinho who does not trouble the keeper
5800 Schurle is on for Klose and begins with a foul on Marcelo
58:40 Fred takes a shot instead of bringing his partner into play
59 Under pressure, Luiz misplaces a pass back in his own half, however, Mueller is not able to round the keeper completed as it goes out for a goal. A minute later, the keeper makes a great one handed save from a left footed Mueller curler.
61 David Luiz finds Maicon with a fine ball, which he controls on his first touch in the German box, but then falls over under a ghost challenge, as the ball goes out for a corner, essentially wasting a dangerous position
64 After a Luiz past does not find its player , German counter but player on the wing cannot locate Ozil who is advancing or Schurle who is free, unmarked, on the far right
66 Luiz far up the field does not complete his pass, as the block is intercept up field to Mueller, who after playing a 1-2 with Khadiera, releases it to the two free players on the right, but the Brasillian keeper sweeps up
6830 from German defence, play develops up to Lahm who, after playing an exchange with Khadiera on the right, moves into the box, and plays the ball square to Schurle who just got ahead of Mueller to score his first of the game. Marcelona caught out and no one marks Schurle in the box as three are caught ball watching (Willian is bought on immediately for Fred)
75 Khedira off as Draxler comes on
78 After Luiz intercepts a pass for a throw, Germany build from the left, then suddenly, following a Mueller pass from the left wing, Schurle lashes the ball past the keeper. Stunning! The long throw caught them off but also, they were caught chasing Mueller who was in quite a harmless position.
8830 Oscar, played through at a tight angle, shoots the ball wide rather than cutting it across. Only 30 seconds later, Bernard skies a shot, and then, 30 seconds later, as the Germans counter, Ozil completely miscues a 1-on-1, sending his shot wide. (Schurle, although catching up, was wide open on his right) then finally, on the Brazil counter, Oscar scores the final goal. After Marcelo plays it high to the left wing, having beaten the offside trap with a diagonal run, Oscar cuts in past Dante, and shoots the ball over the falling keeper.