9 July 2014 01:42
Germany coach Joachim Low believes his team’s cool heads were at the root of their 7-1 FIFA World Cup demolition of Brazil.
The hosts were astonishingly blown away inside the first half hour of the semi-final as Germany raced into a 5-0 lead, thanks to Thomas Muller, all-time World Cup top scorer Miroslav Klose, a brace from the sublime Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira.
Andre Schurrle came off the bench to continue the carnage with a double of his own after half-time as a once fervent home crowd in Belo Horizonte looked on in horror.
Low identified passion from the terraces as a factor his team could turn to their advantage and so it proved, as Brazil lost any semblance of discipline in the face of Germany’s ruthless brilliance.
“It was important today to meet this passion and these emotions of Brazil with peace of mind, with courage and with our own strength,” he said.
“We knew that if we could capitalise on our strong points, we could win the game. After the second goal, Brazil fell apart.”
Low was Germany’s assistant manager when they lost a World Cup semi-final on home soil in 2006 and felt he saw similarities in how Brazil struggled under the weight of expectation.
“Brazil couldn’t cope under the pressure. We know how Scolari’s team must have felt – it happened to us against Italy in 2006.”
He added: “The lads aren’t euphoric – they’re happy and satisfied to be in the final but we’re not getting carried away.”
Kroos scooped the man-of-the-match award and believed a hesitant opening from Brazil paved the way for the finest team performance of his international career.
The Bayern Munich star told FIFA.com: “It was an impressive performance. It’s the best team performance for Germany I’ve been involved in.
“We started believing from the first minute as we thought that Brazil were a little bit hesitant in their decision-making and we took advantage of that.
“After we scored the first, the goals kept coming. Had someone said we’d have won 7-1 I wouldn’t have believed them but I thought we were outstanding, that’s all I can say.”
And Kroos echoed his manager’s thoughts in guarding against complacency.
“We’re here to become world champions, we’re happy and relieved to go through – but there’s still one game to go. No one has won the World Cup in a semi-final.”