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Klose claims record in Germany's mauling of Brazil

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil - As Brazil learned to their cost on Tuesday, it is best not to give Miroslav Klose a second chance.

The Germany striker became the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer in his side’s stunning 7-1 record thrashing of the hosts in the semi-final in Belo Horizonte.

The 36-year-old tapped home after seeing his first effort saved by Julio Cesar to record his 16th World Cup goal in his fourth consecutive semi-final appearance and pass Brazilian legend Ronaldo in the process.

The first of that run came in 2002 when a Ronaldo-inspired Brazil beat Germany in the final, but Joachim Loew’s men more than set the record straight by inflicting Brazil’s heaviest ever international defeat after storming into a 5-0 lead after just half an hour at the Estadio Mineirao.

Klose is yet to win a World Cup, but after adding semi-final heartache in 2006 and 2010 to that 2002 final defeat, his time may have come when Germany meet Argentina or the Netherlands in Sunday’s final in Rio de Janeiro.

Germany will be heavy favourites whoever they meet at the Maracana based on this performance as they feasted on a wounded Brazil shorn of suspended captain Thiago Silva and injured superstar Neymar.

Klose may have to enjoy his record whilst it lasts given the ease with which his teammate Thomas Mueller is finding the net on football’s biggest stage.

Mueller quietened a fervent home crowd as he took advantage of some awful Brazilian defending to turn home his 10th World Cup goal in just his 12th appearance.

Klose’s moment then arrived midway through the first-half as he showed his predatory instincts to pounce after Cesar had done well to parry his first effort.

With Brazil clearly rattled, Germany showed no mercy having fallen just short of glory at their last four major tournaments.

Toni Kroos brilliantly smashed home Philipp Lahm’s cross to make it 3-0 and added his second of the game two minutes later from Sami Khedira’s cutback.

Brazil had no answer to Germany’s famed pressing and added a fifth when Khedira robbed the ball in the Brazilian half and exchanged passes with Mesut Ozil before slotting home.

With the game ended as a contest, the small white pockets of German fans amongst the yellow masses of Brazil support were in party mood for the second-half.

However, despite their astonishment at seeing hopes of a sixth World Cup emphatically ended, many of the Brazil fans joined the German faithful in applauding Klose from the field as he was replaced by Andre Schuerrle just before the hour mark.

And it was Schuerrle who was to rub further salt in Brazil’s wounds as he took advantage of another Lahm assist for Germany’s sixth.

The best of the lot was to come from the Chelsea winger, though, as he volleyed home off the underside of the bar 11 minutes from time.

By that point many of the locals had upped and left, but those who stayed were on their feet again to applaud Schuerrle’s strike and the German lesson they had just been taught.

AFP


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