Tears of sadness flowed from Brazil fans as Germany handed their vaunted national squad its worst defeat since 1920.
That’s how long it took for the German national team to turn a full, rollicking Estádio Mineirão crowd of 58,000 or so into a silent-as-the-grave group of mourners.
What they watched was the death of Brazil’s dream to win its first World Cup on its home soil in two tries.
Thomas Müller put the Germans ahead, 1-0, in the 11th minute with a goal off a corner kick in which the forward was left entirely alone to score his fifth goal of this World Cup.
But it wasn’t until 12 minutes later that the roof—almost literally—fell in on the host nation.
First Miroslav Klose became the all-time leading goal-scorer in Cup history with 16.
Then Toni Kroos scored a minute later; then Kroos again a minute after that; then, just three minutes after that, Sami Khedira got in on the fun.
Goals 2 through 5 were scored via short, quick passes in the Brazilian penalty box that discombobulated the defense and left Brazilian keeper Julio César out of position.
All the air went out of the stadium, Germany began to play more defensively, and while the Brazilians were able to mount effective attacks in the second half, so was Germany, which again broke through in the 69th minute with André Schürrle making the tally 6-0.
Schürrle scored another goal—a beauty that caressed the underside of the crossbar—and then Oscar avoided the home side shutout by scoring in stoppage time to make it 7-1.
But it was still the worst defeat in Brazilian national team history since Uruguay beat them 6-0 at the South American Championship of 1920.
Brazil was missing its best player, Neymar, whose back was badly injured in the closing minutes of the quarterfinal match against Colombia. Not that he would have bolstered the defense appreciably.
The player who might have was their captain and starting center back, Thiago Silva, who was sitting out for multiple yellow cards.
But the German bombardment makes it hard to believe that any one player would have made much of a difference.
Brazil, the country with the most Cup victories, hasn’t won one now since 2002.
Germany, which last won the tournament in 1990, as West Germany, now faces the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal between Argentina and the Netherlands on Sunday, July 13 for the championship.