Monday, July 7, 2014
Brazil vs. Germany 2014 World Cup Semifinal Match Preview / Have a Fun Flag Wig !
Host nation Brazil defeated Colombia 2-1 in what was an aggressive encounter, and Germany coasted to a 1-0 victory over France, setting up a classic semifinal in Belo Horizonte.
The other semifinal will see Argentina take on Louis van Gaal's Netherlands.
Brazil's win was marred by the injury to their superstar forward Neymar, who suffered a fractured vertebra after being kneed in the back by Juan Zuniga.
The 22-year-old was stretchered from the field of play clearly in major distress but said afterwards, per BBC Sport: "I'm certain my team-mates will do everything so my dream, which is to be a champion, comes true."
Germany saw off a poor French effort after a goal by centre-back Mats Hummels sealed the win early in the first half.
Many felt that Brazil would now be out of the tournament after facing a brilliant Colombia side who were in top form and had James Rodriguez leading the line.
But it was not to be for the South American pretenders, who could not rise to the occasion, allowing a dogged and wilful Brazil to proceed.
Now the hosts face their biggest challenge, as they play a ruthless and efficient Germany team.
Germany put France to the sword with surprising ease, bucking the immediate trend of form that has seen them look vulnerable in their games against Ghana and Algeria.
The French had been in the ascendancy before the quarter-finals, but on Friday they were caught cold in their boots and could not find the back of the net.
Germany will fancy their chances of getting to the final now, as Brazil must face them without either Neymar or their inspirational captain, Thiago Silva.
Silva was booked for a stupid block challenge on the goalkeeper in the match against Colombia―a foul that was wholly unnecessary and had no tactical benefit whatsoever.
The singular event could cripple Brazil, as they face a German team with a workhorse of a striker in Thomas Mueller.
Losing Neymar will have a crushing effect to Brazil, as the public see him as a celestial figure in the team and for the country.
The 22-year-old has led brilliantly from the front and has seemed like a veteran many years older than he actually is.
Against Colombia, Neymar had very little impact in the final third as the game turned into a war―initiated by the Brazilians, who tried to kick James off the pitch.
This led to the frantic second-half finish and Neymar's subsequent injury.
Brazil simply do not have the depth of form in their first-team that they need to beat Germany. Hulk and Fred have flattered to deceive through the whole tournament and now, without Neymar, they are the players toward whom the fans will look.
But they appear to be short of what is needed to face a unit as efficient as Germany.
The Germans have a wealth of experience in big matches, with Champions League winners running through their squad. Yes, Brazil do have star names themselves, but without their two main protagonists, their dream home World Cup finals is likely to collapse, at this stage.
Before the tournament, not many commentators were speaking about Thomas Mueller or the impact he could have.
But with Joachim Low only taking one recognised specialist striker in Miroslav Klose, it was always going to be left to Muller to find the goals that his country needed to succeed.
Muller has hit four goals in five games at the World Cup, per WhoScored.com, and his general form has been electric.
In extra time against Algeria, and versus the French in the quarter-finals, his herculean fitness levels were on display for all to see, and this fact gives the Germans a huge edge against opponents. The heat has not affected him in any way, shape or form.
It was felt that the conditions would destroy any hopes for European teams in Brazil, but Mueller and Germany have proven that this is not the reality.
David Luiz now has the additional responsibility to stop Muller, with Thiago Silva's suspension, and he will find it hard to defend against him.
So far, Luiz has been one of the players of the competition, but as a defender, he always has a mistake in him, waiting to happen.
The match should be a tight affair, as Brazil will rely on strength of will rather than flair and ability, but Mueller should be the difference between the sides.
by BR / www.FlagWigs.com