Monday, Nov 24, 2014

Sparkling German blend is toast of the World Cup

Germany retained all the attributes that were so attractive in their youthful and exuberant 2010 World Cup squad (Source: Reuters) Germany retained all the attributes that were so attractive in their youthful and exuberant 2010 World Cup squad (Source: Reuters)
Reuters | Belo Horizonte | Posted: July 9, 2014 5:05 am | Updated: July 9, 2014 5:08 am

pass to Toni Kroos when others would have taken the shot and then scoring himself.

It was that attacking impetus from his midfield that Loew had yearned for in Brazil and he got the full 90-minute show.

Captain Philipp Lahm, who had been tried in midfield, again played in his familiar right back role, just like against France in the last eight, to eliminate any threat from winger Hulk.

Left back Benedikt Hoewedes crowned his best performance by shutting out the injured Neymar’s replacement Bernard.

Loew showed he has learned from his mistakes and Lahm’s short-lived midfield adventure looks to have been shelved, especially after the 30-year-old’s mediocre performances in that position earlier in the tournament.

Defenders Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng hit top form at the right time after several efforts to find the right mix in central defence over the past four years.

The 54-year-old Loew also timed his use of a sole striker perfectly as Miroslav Klose, who had been on the bench for much of the tournament, netted his record 16th World Cup goal.

Right behind him Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil and Toni Kroos wreaked havoc in the Brazil defence, which was badly missing suspended captain Thiago Silva.

The trio’s lightning-quick passing game and scoring prowess made Brazil’s defence look frozen under the waves of attacks.

Kroos delivered the first goal for Mueller and then added two himself in a sensational first-half display that will no doubt seal his expected move away from Bayern Munich.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer stood up to be counted early in the second half when Brazil looked for an early goal to cut the deficit, making three superb saves in a row to kill off any unlikely comeback hopes Brazil had harboured.

Even Loew’s substitutions were worth their weight in gold with Andre Schuerrle slamming in two quick goals to turn the scoreline into a stunning spectacle and Per Mertesacker looking solid at the back after coming off the bench at halftime.

The result was the toast of the World Cup for advocates of attacking football and a damning indictment of the negative tactics adopted by Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Sometimes results comes through playing the beautiful game the way it was meant to be played and never was that adage more fitting than on an unforgettable night in balmy Belo Horizonte.

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