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This blog reflects on soccer qua football all over the world. The blog has a specific investment in attractive, attacking football and, as such, focuses on Brazil, the most emphatic historical exponent of the beautiful game.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Germany Secures Historic 3-2 Victory over Brazil in Friendly

Germany 3 - Brazil 2
Gottlieb Daimler Stadium, Stuttgart, Germany
International Soccer Friendly

Schweinsteiger, Germany, 61st minute (penalty)
Gotze, Germany, 67th minute
Robinho, Brazil, 71st minute (penalty)
Schurrle, Germany, 80th minute
Neymar, Brazil, 90th minute + 2

Germany scored their first victory over Brazil since 1993 in a thrilling match where the hosts dominated possession and exposed the mediocrity of the Brazilian national football team under coach Mano Menezes. Germany's 3-2 win belies the way in which they controlled the entirety of the game even though Brazil improved significantly in the second half. Brazil were decimated in midfield and reduced to a handful of counter-attacking opportunities from which they were fortunate to convert two goals given their overall lack of possession. In the 61st minute, Bastian Schweinsteiger scored Germany’s first goal from the penalty spot after Lucio was judged to have fouled Kroos in the box. Minutes later, Mario Gotze scored his first international goal after a passing triangle featuring he, Klose and Kroos enabled him to become the recipient of a through ball from Kroos. In his debut match for his country, Gotze rounded Julio Cesar with skill and composure to give Germany a 2-0 lead after 67 minutes.

Mano Menezes started Ralf for the suspended Lucas Leiva, and Fernandinho for Ganso. Both were highly ineffective in midfield and hence, two goals down, Brazil resorted to their time honored tradition of attacking down the flanks. Dani Alves steamed into the box to encounter a foul by Phillip Lahm that earned Brazil a penalty kick. Robinho calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-1 in the 71st minute, but the Germans were not to be fazed by the display of life from their opponent. With ten minutes remaining, Schweinsteiger showed more hunger for the ball than Andre Santos by winning the ball in the box and passing it to the vacant Andre Schurrle, who sent a rocket of a shot into the roof of the net to make it 3-1. Neymar pulled one back for the Brazilians in stoppage time but the victory deservedly went to Joachim Lowe’s young German team.

Coming into the match, Mano Menezes shrugged off Brazil’s failure to win more games under his tenure by noting that the team had never been dominated in play, even amongst their losses. The match against Germany, however, marks the first time Brazil were thoroughly taken apart by their opposition in recent memory, the 2010 World Cup included. Mano talks a good talk but his squad selections have been inconsistent. Brazil fans should expect the Selecao to accumulate more losses as long as the coach plays roulette with the midfield by changing the line-up in almost every game.


  1. I found your site looking for analysis of the Brazil match.....excellent stuff here. I was just baffled by how disappointing that match was on the Selecao's part.

    First, they basically look uncoached, and have a hard time forming any sort of cohesive attack. Everything was so direct, quick, and sloppy. I can imagine it might be difficult to coach guys like Robinho, Neymar and Pato who are going to do whatever they want at all times.

    Second, its amazing that they're having a hard time filling the playmaker spot considering the wealth of talent available. I understand Kaka won't be around for 2014, but right now they have a huge hole there and might as well play him.

    Last......you can probably analyze this better that I, but it appears that Robinho has been largely pointless and replaceable out there lately. I don't think Hulk would exactly solve the problems this squad has in terms of creativity and cohesive attack, but he sure does seem to be a more dangerous option than Robinho right now.

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  3. Thanks very much for your comment. Dinho's inclusion and Robinho's absence represents a welcome opportunity to change the way the team plays in the match against Ghana. That said, Ghana will be a tough opponent for Brazil. Which of the above formations do you think Mano should play from the post on Robinho's absence for the Ghana friendly?