We will always remember what happened between the 23rd and 29th minutes of the 2014 Brazil-Germany World Cup semifinal, when the team that hadn’t lost at home in 39 years suffered a total collapse.
There will be books written about those six minutes. Germany scored four goals, one on top of the other. Instead of four separate incidents, it felt like one cohesive sequence, and when the six minutes were over, so was the game.
It’d be far too speculative to say why it happened. But we can at least try to explain how it happened.
When you analyse each of the goals, you find that Brazil made a succession of simple errors during these six minutes. Germany was brilliant, but Brazil looked dazed — guys were caught ball watching, getting stuck out of position, and, worst of all, not even running back to defend when the game was out of hand.
Germany scored its first goal the 11th minute to make it 1-0. The next four goals all came between the 23rd and 29th minutes.
Here’s what happened on each of those four goals:
Goal #1 (23rd minute): Germany beats seven defenders with a brilliant run and pass.
You can’t really fault Brazil too much for this one. Sure, Marcelo is out of position and the centerbacks are static, but it’s a great play from the Germans.
Toni Kroos has the ball outside the box with three defenders around him. Thomas Muller makes a diagonal run, and Kroos splits the defenders and hits Muller in stride:
The Brazilian centerbacks barely move, and Germany has a two-on-one that leads to an easy goal:
Goal #2 (24th minute): Brazil defenders are caught ball-watching on a simple cross.
Philipp Lahm sends in a cross from the right side. There are three Brazil defenders in the box and only one Germany player. But all the Brazil defenders are watching the ball, and no one picks up Toni Kroos making a deep run from midfield.
The cross gets to Kroos at the edge of the box and he scores to make it 3-0.
Goal #3 (25th minute): Brazil turns it over 40 yards from goal, no one comes back to defend.
This is where things really come apart for Brazil.
Fernandinho turns it over in a terrible area. But after that, Brazil simply doesn’t run back to defend.
At the time of the giveaway, David Luiz is about 10 yards outside the box, in position to get back:
At the time of the goal, he had only moved about 8 yards:
Goal #4 (29th minute): Brazil gives up.
This is the worst of the bunch. After a failed tackle at midfield, Germany gets out on a 3-on-3 break.
There are four Brazilian players in a position to run back and try to defend. Instead, they walk back toward the goal while Germany scores.
Germany takes forever on this break, making two passes in the box. But the Brazilians just stand there.
Look what the four midfielders are doing while Germany dinks it around the box. They barely move:
When Germany scores, the four Brazilians are standing in place:
Brazil was a dead team walking during these six minutes. They were going through the motions, and it resulted in a humiliating sequence that will be talked about in Brazil for a long, long time.
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