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Belo Horizonte (Brazil) (AFP) – Germany crushed shambolic World Cup hosts Brazil with a record 7-1 defeat on Tuesday to book their place in the tournament final in a match that shook football’s superpower to the core.

Brazil were booed by their fans and gathered shell-shocked on the Mineirao pitch with coach Luiz Felipe Scolari after the worst defeat in their 100 years of competitive football.

The team who have won five World Cups have never put on such a chaotic defensive performance as during an 18 minute first half period when Germany scored four goals, three of them in just 179 seconds.

Brazilian fans were left in tears — many just left the stadium unable to put up with the pain.

Thomas Mueller scored in the 11th minute, Klose after 23 to take his World Cup total to a record 16, Toni Kroos in the 24th and 26th minutes, Sami Khedira after 29 and substitute Andre Schuerrle in the 69th and 79th minutes. Oscar scored Brazil’s goal in the 90th minute.

Germany will face either Argentina or the Netherlands at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium after their stunning show of power. The Germans fell just short of their World Cup record 8-0 win over Saudi Arabia in 2002.

With superstar Neymar out with a fractured vertebrate and captain Thiago Silva suspended, Brazil fell into disarray on an emotionally-charged night as the Germans exploited gaping holes.

Mueller began the rout with only 11 minutes gone, before Klose made history of his own with his 16th World Cup goal to become the tournament’s all-time sole top scorer.

With the Selecao defence shaken and their fans leaving in droves after just 25 minutes, Kroos scored twice in as many minutes before Khedira added the Germans’ fifth.

Substitute Schuerrle then added Germany’s sixth and seventh before Oscar grabbed Brazil’s late consolation goal.

There were constant reminders of Neymar’s absence at the Mineirao Stadium before kick-off with captain David Luiz and goalkeeper Julio Cesar clutching the Number 10 shirt bearing his name during a deafening rendition of the Brazilian anthem.

But the hosts’ passions played into their opponents hands and the Germans’ early goal only highlighted the absence of Silva’s organization at the back.

Kroos floated in a corner and Mueller was left unmarked at the far post to tap home with 11 minutes gone.

The goal rattled the hosts and Germany ran riot with four goals in six incredible minutes.

Klose made history on 23 minutes as he slotted home Julio Cesar’s parried save to become the sole World Cup top-scorer having equaled Brazil legend Ronaldo’s record in the group stages.

Kroos then floored the hosts with two goals in two minutes after firstly latching onto Philipp Lahm’s teasing pass across the box to fire past Cesar for Germany’s third on 24 minutes.

Hundreds more Brazilian fans left after Kroos grabbed his second on 26 minutes and the only sound to be heard in the stadium was the small pocket of German fans singing “Oh, wie ist das Schoen!” – “Oh, isn’t it beautiful!”.

With the Brazilian defense in disarray, Khedira led a German counter-attack and selfishly passed off to Kroos for a simple tap-in on 26 minutes.

The Brazilians had barely caught their breath when Khedira made it five with just 29 minutes gone.

Mesut Ozil and Klose combined to lay the ball back and Khedira slammed his shot into the bottom left corner.

Coach Felipe Scolari made two changes at the break with Hulk and Fernandinho making way for Paulinho and Ramires, but it was too little, too late for Brazil.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Paulinho was denied by two rapid-fire saves from Neuer straight after the break.

Germany coach Joachim Loew took off center-back Mats Hummels and Klose to keep them for the final.

Klose’s replacement Schuerrle then compounded the hosts misery with his two strikes, the second of which on 79 minutes from the right which gave Cesar no chance.

Oscar pulled a 90th-minute goal back for the Selecao as Germany’s Manuel Neuer was finally beaten, but there was no denying the ruthless Germans.

AFP Photo/Vanderlei Almeida

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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The baseless claim that the FBI may have planted evidence while carrying out a court-approved search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday has surged through right-wing media, as the former president’s allies continue their effort to turn their audiences against the probe and shield Trump from accountability.

The FBI searched the premises after obtaining a warrant from a federal magistrate judge and “removed a number of boxes of documents” as part of a federal investigation into whether Trump had illegally “taken a trove of material with him to his home at Mar-a-Lago when he left the White House that included sensitive documents – and then, in the Justice Department’s view, had failed to fully comply with requests that he return the disputed material,” the New York Times reported. Politico concluded after consulting with legal experts on the handling of classified documents that “it’s highly unlikely the DOJ would have pursued – and a judge would have granted – such a politically explosive search warrant without extraordinary evidence.”

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