At the front desk of the Brazilian Embassy in Wellington this morning, only the score on the screen would have given any clue to the crushing defeat that was going on.
The shocking 7-1 win to Germany was a surprise to all - maybe even to the Kiwi who multiplied his money by a factor of 250 by correctly picking the score before the outset.
At the Brazilian Embassy this morning the chant ''ole - ole, ole, ole, ole'' rung out from the 13th floor. There was singing, laughter, drums, and horns right down to the 90th minute.
The event to watch the Germany vs Brazil World Cup semi-final was co-hosted by German ambassador Anne-Marie Schleich and her Brazilian counterpart Eduardo Gradilone.
But, while there were plenty of Germans there, their presence was barely felt among the Brazilian enthusiasm which refused to be dampened as the Germans racked up goal after goal.
Diplomatically, the two ambassadors sat side by side in the front row, hugging, consoling and - in the final minutes as Brazil finally found the back of the net - holding hands and leaping to their feet.
Speaking after the win, Schleich described the last-minute Brazilian goal as ''wonderful''.
The relative quietness of her compatriots was simply down to ''awe'' as goals escalated so rapidly, she said.
Cristine Werle, who is Brazilian with some German heritage, was firmly supporting the South Americans but now - as Germany progressed to the finals - would switch her allegiance to Germany.
Losing some top players, then losing confidence was the secret to Brazil's defeat.
''They weren't playing well together - it was communication or something.''
The people of Brazil would be in mourning.
While Brazilians always knew it was going to be a tough game which they could lose, nobody would have picked the score, she said.
''It was heart-breaking.''
While the score was unpredictable, one Kiwi who made a $2 bet with TAB for a 7-1 win to Germany walked away with $500.
New Zealanders bet more than $1 million on the game.
Regardless of whether Netherlands or Argentina win their semi-final, Germany were clear favourites to win the cup.
- The Dominion Post
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