The Brazilians’ lone goal in the final moments was too little, too late, after Germany stunned them with a string of goals in quick succession that had given it an astoundingly lopsided lead.
Brazil had expected a challenge in facing a powerful German team — but none could envision such calamity. Devastated fans watched in horror as they failed to stop Germany’s onslaught at the net.
Germany’s five goals in just the first 30 minutes of play, including a record-setting 16th from Miroslav Klose, were greeted by mass groans and then eerie quiet from nearly the entire Fan Fest — except for a small contingent of about a dozen German supporters.
With Brazil’s star striker Neymar out injured and captain Thiago Silva suspended for the semifinals, it quickly became clear the Brazilians couldn’t handle the Germans.
“The problem is psychological,” said Brazil fan Fabio Fontes. “It would be normal for the team to lose against Germany, but not in his fashion.”
To make matters worse, at the Fan Fest viewing area on Copacabana beach, hundreds of people stampeded out as a gang of young men carried out a so-called “arrastao” mass robbery, running through crowd, inciting panic and snatching necklaces and bags along the way.
That, coupled with the crushing game, sent many fans heading home.
“You are going to have the most depressed country ever” if Brazil loses and is knocked out of the World Cup it’s hosting, Brazil fan Pablo Ramoz said.
Brazil has spent billions of dollars preparing for the tournament, with expectations that home advantage could deliver Brazil a sixth title, but also spending that ignited intense anger and protests against the World Cup, with demonstrators lamenting the costs when the nation is saddled with woeful public services.
Few thought Germany’s stomping of Brazil would spark renewed mass protests — but it’s certain to put a severely sour taste back into the mouths of the nation’s fans.
In Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, thousands gathered in the Bohemian neighborhood of Vila Madalena, the streets carpeted with yellow, green and blue — the colors of the Brazilian flag.
“What shame, what shame!” one woman cried out as a man nearby was banging his head against a bar table.
After Germany scored an early goal samba groups simply stopped drumming in apparent shock.
In addition to the goal Klose scored, Toni Kroos scored twice for the Germans in two minutes, and Thomas Mueller and Sami Khedira added the others.
Klose made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute at the Mineirao Stadium, pushing him past Brazil striker Ronaldo’s 15 career World Cup goals. The Germany striker had his original shot saved, but he followed up as Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar spilled the ball. Klose then easily scored from the rebound.
Kroos scored his first goal in the 25th minute, knocking in a cross from Philipp Lahm that bypassed Mueller in the middle. He made it 4-0 a minute later, beating Cesar after a defensive mistake from Fernandinho left the ball on the feet of Khedira.
Brazil had not lost an official competitive match on home soil since 1975, when Peru won 3-1 at the Mineirao Stadium in the Copa America.
On Tuesday, with Bernard playing in Neymar’s place as the third forward, Brazil attacked from the start. But they failed to get any solid chances, and it wasn’t long before the Germans opened up the defense and started the rout.
Mueller scored the first goal, one-timing a corner from Kroos past Cesar in the 11th minute. Khedira made it 5-0 in the 29th, taking a pass from Mesut Ozil and again beating Cesar.