This is exactly the matchup I would have expected at the beginning of the tournament. But it looks very different than the one I was expecting; I assumed Brazil would blow away Germany at home without too much trouble. Now everyone is assuming that Germany will overpower a Seleção missing both its best player and its captain.
But I’m not so sure. Hulk hasn’t been scoring, but he hasn’t been off by much and I really don’t like Germany’s tall, but slow defenders playing a high offsides trap against him. And if Neuer comes out of the box 20 times to cover for them like he did in one game earlier in the tournament, he likely won’t finish the game. I doubt it will escape Scolari’s attention that France never attacked that high line with central through balls.
Also, Germany has really not been very impressive aside from its first-game demolition of Portugal, which looks considerably less significant after the USA all but beat them. So, I’m going to go against the grain and anticipate that the Seleção will ride the crowd, and the referee’s favor, to an upset of Germany.
UPDATE: ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? Four goals in six minutes. It’s 5-0 and Germany is absolutely humiliating Brazil. Brazil looks like a little kid’s team with no idea how to play defense.
GERMANY 7 BRAZIL 1 And it wasn’t that close. I think we have our answer now about which German team is the real one. It’s the one that destroyed Portugal, not the one that toyed with Ghana, France, and the USA. I’ve played on two teams that beat badly overmatched teams 13-0 (and scored nine of the 26 goals in those games myself), and neither of those victories were as comprehensively destructive as this World Cup semifinal.
Also, between the pass, the first touch, and the finish, I think Schurlle’s goal had to be the goal of the tournament… so far.