The greatest half hour in World Cup history?

The Rio Report

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Germany tore Brazil apart in an incredible opening half hour which saw them roar into a 5-0 lead before running out 7-1 winners to earn a place in the World Cup final.

A mixture of shambolic Brazilian defending combined with lethal passing, movement and finishing by Jogi Loew's side contributed to perhaps the most extraordinary half hour in World Cup history.

Germany's performance was spellbinding, an outstanding display of football that far surpassed their exhilarating but ultimately-doomed showings in South Africa four years ago.

But as great as it was for the Mannschaft, it was even worse for the home team: Brazil had only ever conceded five goals in a World Cup match once, back in 1938 when they let in five against Poland.

Despite that it was still a shock to see Brazil fans leaving the stadium well before half-time to avoid watching the rest of what became the greatest humiliation in the nation's illustrious football history.

That unwanted accolade was previously held by the 1950 side which was beaten 2-1 by Uruguay in the final at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium - a defeat known across Brazil as the 'Maracanazo' (roughly translated, the 'Hammer blow of the Maracana'). That infamous defeat has long been a source of national pain, a shocking night which famously prompted the national team to change their strip colours from white to yellow.

The 2014 World Cup was supposed to be Brazil's chance to finally avenge that defeat on home soil. Instead, it became a defeat far worse than anything that the 1950 team could ever have dreamed of - let alone the outstanding Selecao sides that have graced the yellow shirt since then.

Tuesday's embarrassing defeat was far, far worse, with Brazil going behind to Thomas Mueller's 11th minute goal before a devastating 179-second spell from 23 minutes saw a further three goals go in. That early flurry made the rest of the match a formality - yet Germany still added three more goals, and could have had more.

Only time will tell if Brazil's first competitive defeat on home soil since 1975 will prompt more such soul searching - and another change of shirt colour.

But if they did so in 1950, they ought to once more in 2014: not only was the defeat their worst at a World Cup, and worst on home soil - it was also the single worst in Brazilian football history, eclipsing the 6-0 Copa America drubbing at the hands of Uruguay in 1920.

It could have been worse, however: had Mesut Oezil finished off his clear chance in the 90th minute to make it 8-0, Brazil would have ended up on this list of the heaviest ever defeats at the world Cup:

The biggest ever World Cup defeats

Hungary 10-1 El Salvador - 1982

Laszlo Kiss scored a hat-trick, Laszlo Fazekas scored twice while Tibor Nyilasi, Gabor Poloskei, Jozsef Toth and Lazar Szentes completed the victory. Amazingly, Hungary didn't progress from the group stage.

Yugoslavia 9-0 Zaire - 1974

The naïve Zaire team - one of whom famously rushed out of the wall to clear a free kick before the ball had been touched - were thrashed in fine style, Dusan Bajevic earning a hat trick.

Hungary 9-0 South Korea - 1954

The Korean's first ever World Cup match saw them destroyed by the great Ferenc Puskas, who scored twice - while did Sandor Kocsis grabbed a hat trick.

Uruguay 8-0 Bolivia – 1950

On their way to World Cup glory in Brazil, Uruguay collected what was then the joint-biggest win in World Cup history against their South American neighbours. Oscar Miguez earned a hat-trick.

Sweden 8-0 Cuba - 1938

The Cubans only ever World Cup started brilliantly with a win over Romania - but ended in the quarter-finals with a huge defeat that is the biggest ever in the knockout stages.

Germany 8-0 Saudi Arabia - 2002

Germany's biggest ever World Cup win came just 12 years ago, with Miroslav Klose hitting a hat trick in Japan. Somehow, you get the feeling that the victory over Brazil in Tuesday's semi-final will be better remembered...

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