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Rediff.com  » Sports » World Cup: When Scolari had no face to show for Brazil's 'sorry' effort

World Cup: When Scolari had no face to show for Brazil's 'sorry' effort

Last updated on: July 09, 2014 11:03 IST

World Cup: When Scolari had no face to show for Brazil's 'sorry' effort

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The nation whose attacking soccer has thrilled the world for generations was left heart-broken on Tuesday after Brazil's humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-finals.

PHOTOS: Germany pump seven past hosts Brazil, make eighth final

Brazil has hosted one of the most memorable World Cups ever but the country's dream of winning on home soil was not the only thing shattered by a ruthless Germany in an extraordinary match in Belo Horizonte.

The South American country's pride took a battering as the carnival atmosphere that had swept over the samba nation gave way to a state of shock and disbelief following Brazil's heaviest ever international defeat.

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari issued a heart-felt apology to a country that had spent more than $11 billion to host the World Cup and invested its heart and soul in making the tournament a success.

"My message for the Brazilian people is this. Please excuse us for this performance," he said.

"I'm sorry that we weren't able to get to the final -- and we're going to try to win the third place match. We still have something to play for."

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Image: Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari reacts during his team's 2014 World Cup semi-finals against Germany at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday
Photographs: Ruben Sprich/Reuters

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'I think it was the worst day of my life'

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"If I were to think of my life as a footballer, as a coach, as a physical education teacher, I think it was the worst day of my life," Scolari told a news conference on Tuesday.

"I'm going to be remembered probably because I lost 7-1, the worst defeat in Brazil's history, but that was a risk I knew I was running when I walked into this position."

It was only the second time that Brazil had lost by six goals and the first was back in 1920. It was by far their biggest defeat at a World Cup.

"My message for the Brazilian people and fans is that we tried to do what we could, we lost to a great team who had the skill to end the game in just six or seven minutes with four goals."

After taking an early lead, the Germans tore Brazil apart with four goals in six minutes midday through the first half, ending the match as a contest before halftime.

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Image: Head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari of Brazil and staff console Oscar after a 7-1 defeat to Germany on Tuesday
Photographs: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

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'They had their best match of the World Cup and we had our worst'

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Scolari described the result as "catastrophic" and "terrible" but tried to sound upbeat as he spoke to reporters, insisting several times that "life goes on".

"We lost one match to a great team. When we spoke to them (the Germans) after the match, they said, 'Even we don't know how this happened, five shots, five goals.'"

Scolari said he took responsibility for the defeat but the pain would be shared by the entire squad.

"I think everyone blanked out after the first goal," he said.

"There was a lack of control... We got into a little bit of panic and everything went well for them and badly for us.

"They had their best match of the World Cup and we had our worst. That was the difference."

Brazil will face either the Netherlands or Argentina in a third-place playoff match in Brasilia on Saturday -- a meagre consolation prize for the hosts and pre-tournament favourites.

"Life doesn't end with this defeat," Scolari said.

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Image: Thomas Mueller of Germany celebrates scoring his team's first goal with Mats Hummels, Mesut Oezil (left) and Benedikt Hoewedes on Tuesday
Photographs: Felipe Dana - Pool/Getty Images

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'I'm sorry, I'm sorry to all Brazilians, I just wanted to see them smile'

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Germany played superbly but were aided by a woeful Brazilian defence, which conceded five goals in a devastating 18-minute burst in the first half.

 "I just wanted to make my people happy," said a sobbing Brazil defender David Luiz.

"Unfortunately, we couldn't. I'm sorry, I'm sorry to all Brazilians, I just wanted to see them smile, everyone knows how important it was."

Germany have the chance to win the World Cup for the fourth time when they play the winners of Wednesday's semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands in Sunday's final in Rio de Janeiro.

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Image: Brazil's David Luiz cries after his team lost to Germany in their 2014 World Cup semi-finals at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday
Photographs: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

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In Germany, the celebrations were in full swing

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Many fans at CopacabanaBeach, who had been happily singing and dancing with excitement before the game, left the planned party before halftime.

In Germany, the celebrations were in full swing, with hundreds of thousands of people flocking to the avenue stretching from the Brandenburg Gate to the golden statue-topped Victory Column in Berlin. Organisers extended the fan zone to 1.3 kilometres in anticipation of the massive crowd who roared with excitement as each goal was banged into the Brazilian net.

"Five goals in 18 minutes. It’s clear that they were shocked and didn’t know what to do," Germany coach Joachim Loew said.

“We played well in the first half obviously. But it continues. We need to be humble. We don’t want to overvalue this."

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Image: World Cup soccer fans cheer near a giant television screen before the semi-final between Brazil and Germany in Berlin on TUesday
Photographs: Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty Images for Beats by Dre

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'We had great hopes in 2006 too and you can feel the pressure that the hosts have'

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Germany's win came exactly 24 years to the day since their last World Cup triumph in 1990, when they beat Argentina in the final.

They lost to Brazil in the 2002 final and were knocked out in the semi-finals when they hosted the tournament in 2006.

“We had great hopes in 2006 too and you can feel the pressure that the hosts have in a match like this,” Loew said.

“All 200 million people here want you to get to the final. That can cause your players to tighten up. I feel sorry for him (Scolari). I think I know how he feels.” 

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Image: Thomas Mueller of Germany celebrates scoring his team's first goal with teammates
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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