Germany coach Joachim Loew says he understands the shock and pain Brazil is feeling after their 7-1 World Cup semifinal defeat on home soil, recalling how the Germans felt in 2006 when they lost to Italy at the same stage.
''We were shocked too and experienced the same thing in 2006,'' Loew told German TV.
It all happened quickly today when Germany scored five goals in 18 astonishing first-half minutes to set up the win that put them into their first World Cup final since 2002.
''They [Brazil] were shocked and didn't expect to fall behind. And after that it was an easy match for us,'' Loew said in a post-match interview.
Loew, who was Juergen Klinsmann's assistant coach in 2006 when they were beaten by Italy 2-0 in extra time, said he thought the enormous pressure on the hosts could end up being a burden.
''We had great hopes in 2006 too and you can feel the pressure that the hosts have in a match like this,'' Loew said.
''All 200 million people here want you to get to the final. That can cause your players to tighten up. I feel sorry for him [Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari]. I think I know how he feels.''
Today's loss was a record World Cup defeat for Brazil and their first at home in 64 competitive matches since 1975. It was the end of the nation's dream to win their sixth World Cup.
The only consolation on a day of abject misery for Brazil after a match featuring truly abject defending from Luiz Felipe Scolari's men was a goal from Oscar in the dying minutes.
''I just wanted to make my people happy,'' Brazil defender David Luiz said.
''Unfortunately, we couldn't. I'm sorry, I'm sorry to all Brazilians, I just wanted to see them smile, everyone know how important it was.
''They were the best, they prepared better, they played better, we let in four goals in six minutes. It is a very sad day and we we'll learn from it.''
Loew was pleased that his team saved their best effort in the World Cup for the Brazil match, a rout that wiped away memories of the tense 2-1 last-16 win over Algeria which triggered widespread criticism back home.
''Five goals in 18 minutes - it's clear that they were shocked and didn't know what to do,'' he said.
''Everyone did their job today with a lot of concentration. But this has to continue. We need to stay humble. We don't want to over-rate this. We have to stay concentrated until Sunday [NZT Monday].''
Loew said he had no preference on playing Argentina or the Netherlands in the final.
''We're obviously going to celebrate a bit tonight, but we have to start focusing right away tomorrow on the next match,'' he said.
''But I'm not worried about that. The players all have their feet firmly on the ground and they won't let this (win) go to their heads.''
Toni Kroos, who scored two goals, was named the man of the match and the midfielder's strongest performance in the World Cup epitomised Germany's improved game.
''We played a great match,'' he said.
''We over-ran them a bit at the start and noticed they were feeling a bit uncertain.
''We started getting a goal every five minutes and put the match away quickly. It was an unbelievable match. We beat Brazil in their own country. That's impressive by itself. But we're not at our goal yet. We want to win on Sunday [NZT Monday].''
Captain Philipp Lahm said his team were just pleased to make it through the semifinal after getting knocked out at that stage in 2006 and 2010.
''We're full of joy that we made it through to the final,'' he said.
''We made it to the semifinals the last two times and our big goal was to get to the final. We're already looking forward to the final.''
Lahm acknowledged Germany had not played as well in earlier matches at the World Cup.
''It's a long tournament with a lot of matches. Not all seven matches could be at the top level. We had to improve throughout the tournament and that's the goal - to win the World Cup.''
Germany defender Mats Hummels said the celebrations in the dressing-room after the match were relatively subdued because it had been decided before halftime.
''We were astonished by what happened on the pitch,'' said Hummels.
''We should just savour this moment and enjoy it. It's something special what we've accomplished. We're going to do everything to fulfil the big dream we still have.''
Brazil were playing without injured forward Neymar and suspended captain and defensive linchpin Thiago Silva and it was the latter's absence that proved far more costly.
The hosts' defence simply caved in.
They conceded four times between the 23rd minute when Klose made it 2-0 and the 29th when Sami Khedira put Germany 5-0 in front. Andrea Schuerrle, who replaced Klose in the 58th minute added two more, the second an angled shot that flew in off the crossbar.
With Germany 1-0 ahead, Klose scored from a rebound after goalkeeper Julio Cesar saved his initial shot for his 16th goal in his 23rd World Cup appearance.
But worse was to follow for Brazil a minute later when Toni Kroos, lurking with intent but unmarked at the edge of the area, smashed home with the outside of his left foot to make it 3-0.
He scored again just two minutes to make it 4-0 and Brazil's pain continued when Khedira made it 5-0 after a one-two with Mesut Ozil in the 29th minute.
Any hopes Brazil had of saving the game ended there but to their credit they rallied at the start of the second and forced a series of saves from Germany keeper Manuel Neuer before Schuerrle struck after 69 and 79 minutes.
Oscar's late goal was greeted by an ironic cheer from the shocked, stunned home fans who were in tears at the end of the most incredible World Cup game ever played.
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