Brazil stood on the brink of football humiliation Tuesday, as Germany pounded the host nation with five goals in the first half of the teams' hotly awaited World Cup semifinal matchup.
Playing without injured star striker Neyman and carded captain Thiago Silva, the Brazilians appeared to lack their trademark spark, fizz and speed from the get-go.
German top scorer Thomas Mueller slipped behind a distracted Brazilian defense in the 11th minute and netted home a corner kick.
The goal opened the floodgates for the German side, as Miroslav Klose, Sami Khedira then scored, and Toni Kroos netted home two.
The two storied teams are the winners of a total of eight World Cups between them.View full gallery
Silva accumulated two yellow cards, resulting in an automatic one-game suspension. Neymar, who has four goals in the tournament, is out with a fractured vertebra.
Football's world governing body, FIFA, on Monday rejected Brazil's request to allow Thiago to play, and failed to take disciplinary action against Colombian defender Juan Camilo Zuniga, who kneed Neymar in the back late in Brazil's 1-0 quarterfinal win on Friday.
FIFA said Zuniga could not be punished because the incident was seen by match officials at the time it happened. The hard foul did not earn Zuniga a yellow card.
Unlike Brazil, Germany has not suffered any major injuries at this year's World Cup.
The other semifinal will be played on Wednesday in Sao Paulo between Argentina and the Netherlands. The Dutch finished second at the World Cup in South Africa four years ago.
The semifinal winners meet for the championship in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
In other news, FIFA announced that the 2014 World Cup has broken online viewing records. The organization said, for example, that in the United States alone, a record 5.3 million people watched the round of 16 match between the U.S. and Belgium on the websites of television networks ESPN and Univision.