BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Germany handed Brazil its heaviest World Cup loss ever on Tuesday with an astounding 7-1 rout in the semifinals that stunned the host nation.
Miroslav Klose scored a record-setting 16th career World Cup goal in a five-goal spurt in the first half as Brazil’s defense was torn apart. Brazil’s previous biggest World Cup loss was 3-0 to France in the 1998 final.
The Germans will face either Argentina or the Netherlands in Sunday’s final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil was playing without the injured Neymar and suspended captain Thiago Silva.
Toni Kroos and Andre Schuerrle scored two goals each for Germany, while Thomas Mueller and Sami Khedira added the others.
Oscar pulled a late goal back for Brazil.
Klose put Germany ahead 2-0 in the 23rd minute for his 16th career World Cup goal in his fourth tournament. It broke the mark of 15 goals he shared with Brazil’s retired star Ronaldo.
The 36-year-old Lazio striker also scored in Germany’s 2-2 draw with Ghana in a group match when he came off the bench to get Germany back into the contest.
With 71 goals in 136 matches, Klose is Germany’s all-time top scorer, having beaten the record previously held by Gerd Mueller.
Germany was up 5-0 after just 30 minutes of Tuesday’s game.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A drenching, tropical rain and an early onslaught of goals by a powerful Germany team deflated the Brazilian football faithful who packed onto the golden sands of Copacabana beach to watch a World Cup semifinal match on Tuesday.
Five early goals by Germany were greeted by mass groans and then eerie quiet from nearly the entire Fan Fest — except for a small contingent of about a dozen German supporters, who burst into excited cheers.
If Brazil loses and is out of the World Cup it’s hosting, “you are going to have the most depressed country ever,” Brazil fan Pablo Ramoz said.
Brazil has spent billions of dollars preparing for the tournament, with expectations that home advantage could deliver Brazil a sixth title.
But with star striker Neymar out injured and captain Thiago Silva suspended for the semifinals, Brazilians were wary they could handle the Germans.
In Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, thousands gathered in the Bohemian neighborhood of Vila Madalena, the streets carpeted with yellow, green and blue — the colors of the Brazilian flag.
Before the match, there was great hope.
“It’s exciting and scary,” said Alan Ferreira, a 41-year-old publicist decked out in a yellow track suit and carrying a replica of the World Cup trophy in one hand and a megaphone in the other. “Every Brazilian is feeling this strong desire to win.”
At the Mineirao Stadium where the match was played, people wore Neymar masks to honor the 22-year-old star and fans of both teams were mingling.
“We heard so many bad things about Brazil before we came, but it’s been an incredible experience so far,” said 29-year-old Michael Beussemer, who has been in the country for more than two weeks following Germany at the World Cup. “The fan atmosphere has been great, we can’t complain about anything. Everyone is hyped up for this match, it’s just great to be able to be here.”
The Brazil-Germany match is the last of the six World Cup matches held at the Mineirao Stadium.
AP Sports Writers Chris Lehourites and Tales Azzoni in Belo Horizonte contributed to this report.