Liam Hoden’s World Cup Watch: Wow, just wow

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How many of you supporters of our local clubs were saying ‘We’d beat them if they played like this’ as they watched Brazil’s complete capitulation last night?

At times it wasn’t so fanciful to suggest the Owls or Blades would be able to get a goal or two against a Brazilian defence so static, Luiz Felipe Scolari may as well have fielded a set of training dummies.

It was an astonishing game of football to witness. It will take something special for this not to be the defining moment of the 2014 World Cup, a competition Brazil now want to forget.

Trying to describe how dominant Germany were against the hosts is incredibly difficult.

It could easily have been the most one-sided game of football I’ve ever witnessed – although I did see Wednesday’s demolition of Leeds earlier this year.

Brazil offered no resistance whatsoever, yet somehow managed to offer even less as a counter assault.

The towel was thrown in the minute Thomas Muller so simply side-footed home from a corner. The six minutes from Miroslav Klose’s record-breaking goal to the brilliant Sami Khedira netting the fifth were unbelievable.

It was difficult to watch yet compelling viewing at the same time.

As bad as Brazil were, Germany were brilliant as their ruthless efficiency sliced through everything in front of them.

After winning the pressing battle over the first 20 minutes, they barely had to break sweat for the next 70 as they continued to pass the ball until a chance appeared.

Very little was wasted meaning they should be hot favourites for the final on Sunday.

Brazil were arguably beaten before they had even started with the bizarre celebration of Neymar, complete with David Luiz holding up his shirt during the national anthem.

His absence was mourned and that carried over into the game, when Brazil really should have been worrying about the absence of their real key man, Thiago Silva.

Let’s get it straight – Neymar is still alive and has just suffered a bad injury. It was particularly unsettling to see such over the top scenes when there was nothing in the way of a tribute to the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano who had died a day earlier.

How good would he have had to be to counteract the shocking performance that would have been going on behind him. Quality of an impossible level would have been required.

So we move on, and the hosts are left awaiting the identity of the side they will be forced to raise themselves up for in the third-fourth place play-off.

By the way, what the hell was that EastEnders advert during the BBC coverage?

SEMI-FINAL 2: WEDNESDAY, JULY 9, 9PM

Argentina v Holland, Sao Paulo

Follow that one then.

Surely we are not going to get anything resembling last night from the second semi-final. But you wouldn’t back against plenty of drama.

Louis van Gaal has been subject of an incredible amount of praise for his tactical work in the build-up and during this World Cup.

And he is going to have to prove himself worthy of such plaudits if he is going to get the Dutch into a second consecutive final.

The Dutch have been very good at times and rather vulnerable at others. You don’t really know what you’re going to get from them, but that could also be said for the opposition.

The worrying thing for the Dutch is that Argentina have yet to hit anything like what has been expected of them through this tournament. And Gonzalo Higuain has started scoring. And Lionel Messi is Lionel Messi.

If someone has proven himself capable of taking a game by the scruff of the neck and doing enough to get his side over the line in this tournament, it is Messi.

Argentina were labelled ordinary by Belgium boss Marc Wilmots after their quarter-final clash, and it is hard to argue with that summation.

Yet Messi has produced the goods in almost every game so far. He didn’t score against the Belgians but he was a clear man of the match.

If van Gaal can find a way to nullify his threat, the Dutch have a great chance of meeting the Germans in the final.

Team news

Holland’s Robin van Persie has been struggling with a stomach upset and could miss out if not 100 per cent according to boss Louis van Gaal. Nigel de Jong could make a remarkable return to the side after seemingly being ruled out of the tournament with a groin problem and Ron Vlaar and Leroy Fer both trained yesterday. Argentina will definitely be missing Angel Di Maria with a thigh problem but Sergio Aguero could be back.

Betting

Argentina 9/4 Draw 6/4 Holland 2/1