Germany (7-1) Brazil

Without Neymar & Silva, Can Brazil Win? (UPDATE: Blowout in Belo)



UPDATE: It turns out this match was a World Cup classic, but for all the wrong reasons for Brazil. Germany beats Brazil 7-1, scoring the most goals in a World Cup semifinal match ever, including four in under 30 minutes. Germany advances to the finals, where they will face either Argentina or the Netherlands.

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The Tweet above, from VOA’s Brian Allen, says it all: Brazil knows it’s on the brink of the World Cup final, and the excitement of being so close to not just winning, but winning on their home turf, is palpable.

But Brazil’s facing a few speed bumps on its road to the World Cup finals – specifically, the loss of Neymar to a back injury, and Thiago Silva’s suspension after two yellow cards in as many matches. And even if they can overcome these issues, they still have another major obstacle to face: Germany.

Needless to say, this should be a hard fought match, and potentially a World Cup classic in the making. The showdown gets underway at 4 PM ET (8 PM UTC) in Belo Horizonte.

For play-by-play, minute-by-minute coverage of every ball touch, throw-in, direct kick, indirect kick, yellow card, red card, corner kick, goal kick and every other possible football feat in every World Cup match, tap into VOA’s multilingual, multinational analysis.

Click here to follow the action live, or follow along on Facebook, or on Twitter with #WorldCupVOA.

And for even more exclusive VOA coverage with a special focus on Africa’s national teams, check out VOA’s Francophone blog.

Want the Winner? Look to Germany

Will Germany determine the winner?

If you’re looking to pick the winner of this year’s World Cup, look no further than Germany.

Well, don’t look at Germany – look at who they’re playing.

In the past three World Cups, Germany has lost in the knockout round to the eventual winner: in 2002, they were runners-up to Brazil in the final; in 2006, they lost to Italy in the semifinals; and in 2010, they lost to Spain in the semifinals.

Given their track record, a loss by Germany today suggests that Brazil will win the title. Meanwhile, if Germany wins, look to the winner of the Argentina/Netherlands match to win it all.

…unless, of course, Germany can break their losing streak – as we noted yesterday, it’s up to the Soccer Gods.

Football's Final Four

What’s At Stake

After nearly a month of non-stop soccer, the 2014 World Cup championships are in sight. Four teams in particular have their eyes on the prize: Argentina, Brazil, Germany, and the Netherlands – the last four teams left.

Obviously, all four are playing to win. But what’s their motivation? What are the specific elements that are pushing them towards a win?

Brazil: Win for Their Country

Brazil seeks to win its sixth title on home turf.
Brazil is the most successful country in World Cup history, winning five titles since 1958. But perhaps the most memorable Cup for Brazilians is one they didn’t win – in 1950, when Brazil last hosted the World Cup, the home team lost to rival (and neighbor) Uruguay by 2-1. Over 60 years later, the Cup is back on Brazilian soil – and Brazil is hoping it can win the title on home turf.

Germany: Close it Out

Germany: always the World Cup bridesmaid.
The last three World Cups have not been kind to Germany. In 2002, they were the runner-up to Brazil. In 2006 and 2010, they came in third place, losing to eventual champions Italy and Spain (respectively) in the semi-finals. This year, Germany is hoping to break that streak, and break the conception that they’re always a World Cup bridesmaid, never a World Cup bride.

Argentina: Do It for Messi

Messi hopes to win his first World Cup.
Lionel Messi is arguably the most popular and successful soccer player in the world today. But with all of the titles, the awards, the praise, there’s one prize that’s alluded him: a World Cup title. A contender for the Golden Boot award, given to the player who scores the most goals, Messi’s surely hoping to score not only the award, but a title for Argentina.

Netherlands: Avenge their Loss

Netherlands hopes to avenge their 2010 loss against Spain.
The Dutch came within one match of winning the 2010 World Cup, falling to Spain in the final 1-0. But with the defending champions knocked out in the group stage of this year’s Cup, the Dutch are hoping that they can avenge their loss and finish the job they couldn’t four years ago.

Photo of the Day

World Cup: July 8, 2014

Showdown in Belo Horizonte.
A TV crew member holds a director’s clapboard showing the flags of semi-finalists Brazil and Germany during Germany’s training session at Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte July 7, 2014. Germany will play Brazil in their 2014 World Cup semi-final match on July 8 in Belo Horizonte. (Reuters)