BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil – It was a humiliating home defeat of record proportions that no Brazilian could have seen coming.
With its defense collapsing early and nobody able to spark the attack, Brazil conceded four goals in a seven-minute span, trailed 5-0 at half time and was routed 7-1 by Germany in the World Cup semifinals on Tuesday.
Without suspended captain Thiago Silva and injured star striker Neymar, the Brazilian team appeared rudderless.
Fans were in shock, some leaving way before the final whistle.
Seven years after winning the bid to host the tournament, the five-time champions already know that they can finish no higher than third place. The playoff — some argue the cruelest of the World Cup matches — is Saturday against the loser of the Netherlands- Argentina semifinal.