HEAVYWEIGHT MATCHUP Today it's Brazil's not-quite-beautiful play against Germany's ruthless efficiency.
Fulltime: A friend says he's looking forward to a Germany vs. Holland final, because they have a rivalry going back decades—an elderly Holland fan was telling him during the last game how in the 1960s, the Dutch were bitter about WWII, when the Germans took the Dutch bikes and processed them into weapons...
I'm pulling for Argentina and Messi 100 percent. An all European final in Brazil feels wrong, and Messi could finally lay claim to World Cup glory and the mantle of best player of all time. They face Holland in the last semifinal match tomorrow at 1 p.m. Catch you then.
92 mins: No. It's over.
90 mins: GOOOOOOOOOOOAAALLL! Brazil's comeback begins, with two minutes of stoppage time remaining! 7-1. Oscar gets the ball beyond Germany's back line and with acres of space, dribbles gingerly into the box and knocks the ball past Neuer.
80 mins: My yam and tomato sandwich with ajiamarillo was brilliant. So was Schurrle, who half-volleyed into the high corner. 7-0 Germany. This is the team that the USA held to a 1-0 victory in the first round.
69 mins: Dear me. 6-0 Germany. Brazil leave two players unmarked in the box and allow Schurrle to tap the ball in from yards out.
I commend Brazil's defense for going on strike to protest FIFA corruption and social injustice in Brazil. #WorldCup — William Lafi Youmans (@wyoumans) July 8, 2014
64 mins: The cashier, however, is a "huge" Germany fan. She's ecstatic. Brazil have lost a bit of their breakneck momentum.
57 mins: I'm going to eat a sandwich now, at this charming Peruvian restaurant called Cafe Rumba in Bellingham, where the crowd has fallen silent. The owner says this game is a "tragedy."
54 mins: Brazil, who've shored up their defensive posture by substituting Ramiers on in midfield, look positively possessed. But they can't get a shot past Neuer and you have to worry that they're leaving gaps in the rear as they surge forward.
The hopes of a nation rest on a middle-manager called Fred. — The Public Archive (@public_archive) July 8, 2014
50 mins: If Brazil play like this for the rest of the half, even if they don't score, they'll have salvage a bit of their pride. They're feisty and quick and have already forced Neuer into making two saves.
46 mins: We're back underway. Brazil's options are as follows: Substitute Marcelo for a swarm of angry green locusts like the one that randomly landed on a player in the quarter finals; inject Hulk and get him to transform into his namesake; or reanimate the spirit of Pelé.
Halftime: The replays show Germany intercepting Brazil's passes or overrunning their players, passing around to open up space, then seizing their chances and placing the ball past Caesar, who cried tears of joy after saving penalties against Chile in the quarterfinal. Must be heartbreaking for him (although, it must be said, he's clearly past his prime as a keeper.)
45 mins: Brazil seem to have regained their composure, but since the onslaught of goals, the German defense has been unyielding. They haven't had a single shot on goal. I kind of wish Neuer, the German keeper who's known for straying outside his box and playing like an outfield defender, would try and take it down the field, just to see what happens.
26 mins: For the sake of Brazil's national psyche, I hope they can stem the tide. The camera cuts to sobbing fans in the stands. For the third goal, Toni Kroos is wide open on the eighteen-yard line and he volleys an unstoppable shot into the left corner.
25 mins: Oh my god. This is getting painful to watch. 4-0. Brazil's defense is at sea.
24 mins: Brazil are getting torn to shreds. 3-0.
22 mins: Wuh oh. 2-0 Germany. All-time World Cup record goalscorer Miroslave Klose receives the ball yards out after some simple give and go passing—he side-foots into Julio Caesar, who parries it back, then he hits it past him into the corner.
17 mins: Holy shit, this is thrilling, top quality stuff. Marcelo races into the penalty box, but the defender times his sliding tackle to perfection and gets all ball. Marcelo flops to the ground, though, and German keeper Manuel Neuer gets in his face about it. Minutes later, Germany are breaking away, but Brazil cut out the pass and retain possession. Really even-looking game so far.
13 mins: Now that Neymar is out, David Luiz and Hulk are looking like Brazil's most creative players. Luiz strides from deep in his own half past three defenders, brushing off one with his arm, then threads a nea through ball down the left side. But the cross is cut out by a German defender.
10 mins:1-0 Germany!!! That man Thomas Muller (say: moooler) volleys straight past Julio Caesar into the goal from the far post off a corner kick. Five goals in six games for him. Crazy.