FIFA Match Preview: Brazil and Germany Face-off for a Final Berth
Few hours left for the much awaited semi-finals.
Brazil has made it to the World Cup first semi-finals since 2002. After a series of early knock-outs in the last two World Cups , the Selecaos, have lived up to their country’s high expectations since they are also the hosts. Now, they are two matches away from fulfilling their dream of winning the World Cup for the first time on their home soil.
The first thorn in their dream would be Germany, who they will be facing today in Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. Germany has had a consistent run in the World Cups as they are in their fourth consecutive semi-finals since 2002. Unfortunately, they were denied a place in the finals the last two times. They will be facing the five-time, World Champions to end the 24-year trophyless drought.
Brazil will suffer a blow because their poster boy and the nation’s hero, Neymar is missing out the rest of the World Cup. With the Brazilian attack, not living up to the standards set by its past legends till now, Neymar’s injury can make the Brazilian gameplay more defensive.
Another setback for the Brazilians will be the suspension of centre-back, Thiago Silva, who would have been key in warding off the German blitzkreig. This would mean, 30-year-old, Dante, would step into Silva’s shoes.
On the other hand, the Germans seemed to have slowed down on their goal scoring since their intial drubbing to Portugal. But, they have found a way out to win and stay fit amidst the humid Brazilian weather.
Germans will play the short passing game they are known for. Uncharacteristically, Brazil has played a physical brand of football in this World Cup. In their match against Colombia in the quarter-finals, they committed as many as 31 fouls. Against Chile, they have committed 28 fouls with a total tally of 96 for five matches.
The last time, Germany faced Brazil in a World Cup was back in the 2002 World Cup finals, where the Germans lost to Ronaldo’s brilliance. Ronaldo is not here this time around and neither is the most talked about Neymar. This is a different era where both teams have gone through a lot of re-structuring.
Brazil of 2014 hardly resembles the Brazil of 2002. But, when Brazil gets on the field to play Germany in the semis they will not only have the playing eleven but also the whole nation behind them.
-Sayan Ganguly and Sumanth Avian