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German win no surprise

By JOEL BAILEY Wednesday, July 9 2014

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TRINIDAD AND Tobago football team coach Stephen Hart and former national defender Brent Sancho were not surprised by Germany’s victory over Brazil in yesterday’s FIFA World Cup semi-final at Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

But the pair admitted they did not envisage the Germans romping to a 7-1 humiliation of the 2014 tournament hosts.

Germany got two goals each from Toni Kroos, in the 24th and 26th minutes, and Andre Schurrle, in the 69th and 79th minutes, while Thomas Muller (11th), Miroslav Klose (23rd) and Sami Khedira (29th) contributed one apiece. Oscar got the lone consolation for Brazil, in the 90th minute.

Hart said yesterday, “I was on TV a few nights ago and I said this was probably one of the worst Brazil teams that I’ve seen.

“I didn’t think (coach Luiz Felipe) Scolari knew his best team but, at the end of the day, nobody expected this kind of performance or lack of performance. Four goals in six minutes summed up the entire game.”

Putting on his coaching hat, he stressed that the Brazilian midfield was completely invisible.

“They didn’t help the back-line at all,” Hart said. “The first set of goals all came from (left-back) Marcelo’s side. As soon as the ball was won from Marcelo, they just attacked down that side.

“Brazil never recognised the problem or were able to recognise the problem, but when you get four goals in six minutes, it’s hard to rectify anything. The game was over before 30 minutes (were played).”

Sancho stated, “I don’t think the Brazilians played particularly well throughout the tournament. They were always a couple games away from getting that kind of beating. And it happened.”

Asked if he saw Germany cruising to such an emphatic victory, Sancho replied, “Of course not. They’re still a quality team. (Yesterday) they got punished for their mistakes. The Germans were very clinical.”

Brazil were missing injured striker Neymar and suspended captain and defender Thiago Silva.

“They were a big loss,” Sancho said. “When you lose your two top players, you’ll always find it very difficult to replace them. That being said, you can’t take anything from the German efficiencies. Every opportunity they had to score, they finished. They were clinical.”

On Sunday, in the final, Germany will face the winner of today’s other semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands.

Hart stated, “(Germany) have shown that they and Holland are the two most consistent teams in the tournament. As they have gotten through their hurdle, it all depends on the next game.”

Sancho noted, “one thing this World Cup has taught us is that it’s difficult to predict. And it’s no different in the final. I’ve said before the beginning of the World Cup that Argentina will win and I still hold true to that.”

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