Featured Matches
Previous
Manchester United
Internazionale
(3) 0
(5) 0
FT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
0
1
FT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
0
1
FT
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
4
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Aktobe Lento
Steaua Bucuresti
3:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Qarabag
SV Salzburg
3:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
AEL
Zenit St Petersburg
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
FC Copenhagen
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Apoel Nicosia
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Grasshoppers
Lille
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Besiktas
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Partizan Belgrade
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Standard Liege
Panathinaikos
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
AaB
Dinamo Zagreb
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
NK Maribor
Maccabi Tel-Aviv
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Celtic
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Vitesse Arnhem
Chelsea
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chesterfield
Aston Villa
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Hartlepool United
Middlesbrough
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Walsall
Leicester City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
York City
Nottingham Forest
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Brentford
Espanyol
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bury
Blackburn Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Chester City
Tranmere Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Peterborough United
Charlton Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Yeovil Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Port Vale
Bolton Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sheffield Wednesday
Newcastle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Southend United
Queens Park Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
St Neots Town
Luton XI
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
DC United
Toronto FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New England
Colorado
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chicago
Vancouver Whitecaps
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls
ESPN2 1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Bolívar
San Lorenzo
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 5
Game Details
At. San Luis
Santos
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mérida
Toluca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Necaxa
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Veracruz
Oaxaca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlas
Dorados de Sinaloa
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Celaya
Puebla
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
UNAM
Atlante
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Novo Hamburgo
ABC
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
CR Vasco da Gama
AA Ponte Preta
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
Bragantino
São Paulo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Internacional
Ceará
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Manchester City
Liverpool
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Los Caimanes
César Vallejo
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
UTC
Juan Aurich
8:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Universitario de Deportes
Real Garcilaso
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U. Católica
Mushuc Runa
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Emelec
Deportivo Quito
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Club Deportivo Cuenca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Olmedo
El Nacional
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Liga de Loja
LDU Quito
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Antigua
Municipal
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Washington Spirit
FC Kansas City
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Houston Dash
Seattle Reign FC
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

Duarte: Dunga's return is complicated

Brazil Jul 21, 2014
Read
 Posted by Pablo S. Torre
Jul 9, 2014

A party at the end of the world

FC's Craig Burley, Shaka Hislop and Robbie Earle lay into Brazil for their poor play.

"If we win the Cup, then we go to heaven. But if we lose, then we all go to hell."
-- José Maria Marin, Brazilian Football Federation president

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil -- You could feel it. I swear that you could.

Two whole hours before the most humiliating defeat in World Cup history -- no, all of sports history -- a wind outside the Estadio Mineirao blew cold, ominous. Over the swarmed avenues, from the bars by the Ipiranga gas station to the entrance of the arena, a quilt of grey clouds had rolled in, throwing thousands wearing bright yellow into shadow. The scene throbbed with something like dread.

For a month now, I had watched this continent-sized country behave like a vast organism, its cities roaring and launching fireworks and quaking in harmony with its national heroes. But now Belo Horizonte, Brazil's latest epicenter, seemed claustrophobic with tension. Now the aggression of a pregame carnival seemed newly surrealist, as if imagined by David Lynch. At 3:30 p.m., as two helicopters crossed overhead, I wrote a note to myself on my iPhone: This feels like a party at the end of the world.

There was a prayer circle of some 30 people in No. 10 jerseys, holding hands and kneeling as firecrackers went off in the distance. There were thousands of hard-stock Neymar masks that had been co-opted by German fans within two seconds; painted lines of black, red and yellow sat below the injured superstar's hollow eyes. There were dark palisades of military policemen in black boots and vests, their tall, Plexiglas shields bearing one Portuguese word, in all caps: CHOQUE. Shock.

The media captured Brazil's stunned confusion, which quickly displaced any feelings of anger.
The media captured Brazil's stunned confusion, which quickly displaced any feelings of anger.

The Brahma stands -- and by stands, I mean workers standing between red cases of beer piled atop one another, fort-like -- couldn't pour tall boys into clear plastic cups fast enough. A team of hapless women, attempting to control pedestrian traffic to clear space for oncoming traffic, couldn't keep the crowd from pushing forward.

I heard chanting as a group of fans with a four-foot replica of the World Cup trophy scurried past like ants hoisting a leaf. A television personality wearing fake teeth, a red pantsuit, a brown wig and heavy makeup followed. He was trailed by a camera crew and six security guards -- all at least 6-foot-2, all wearing black polo shirts -- just in case.

Even closer to the arena, where external power generators hummed violently, all the sounds blended together. I stood near the stadium entrance before kick-off as firecrackers kept exploding and choppers hovered, and mobs of people continued to chant from behind the same mask. This was the World Cup semifinal between Brazil and Germany. The country felt like it was vibrating, like these were the gates of hell.

***

Inside the Estadio Mineirao, bunkered in Row U of the media section, it wasn't until the third German goal that I began to worry. Thomas Muller's unmarked strike off a corner kick in the 11th minute was disappointing; Miroslav Klose's score 12 minutes later, off his own rebound, Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar couldn't do much about. But when Toni Kroos sent one in from just outside the box only a minute after that, the vast organism wailed. A bank of lights above me went out -- just like one had in the opener against Croatia in Sao Paulo, when Brazil began this tournament by scoring its first own goal in tournament history.

But there would be no recovery here, of course. Two minutes after that Kroos scored again, Die Mannschaft's fourth goal in seven shots. By then I wouldn't have blamed any of the Brazilians present for lying down, pressing their eyelids shut for a while and checking that they weren't dreaming. I wouldn't have blamed any of the Germans for doing that, either.

When Sami Khedira made it 5-0 about 180 seconds later -- this was, mind you, the 29th minute -- I immediately forgot how it even happened. The method didn't really matter, anyway. After all the booing, my notes just read "5:29 p.m. -- 5. Germans not even celebrating."

Four goals had just been scored in six minutes; five goals had been scored in under half an hour. Neither feat had ever been accomplished in World Cup history -- let alone in a game with a trip to the final on the line. A short-handed side that had called upon a psychologist at every step of the knockout stages was falling apart in front of everyone they loved.

Amid the onslaught, yellow jerseys began to head for the exits and a nation that had carried its players in screaming the Hino Nacional Brasileiro, a cappella, mostly stopped yelling. The noise, instead, was that of chatter, of 50,000 people simultaneously turning the World Cup into a town hall meeting. Whether you could understand Portuguese or not, you could see people turn their backs to the field and have the same conversation, everywhere at once: How the hell is this happening? Which should be the first head to roll?

David Luiz's post-game apologies couldn't soften the blow of an epic defeat.
David Luiz's post-game apologies couldn't soften the blow of an epic defeat.

Factions emerged. Transnational skirmishes broke out. In the section to my right, the most die-hard fans forced themselves to cheer; nearby, a German fan with a death wish kept turning around and pointing his camera at the sad people behind him, who consequently had to be restrained.

Down on the field, right before the whistle for halftime, Hulk -- whose nickname, by now, had been worn smooth of every possible joke -- failed to corral a ball that was speeding out of bounds. Philipp Lahm, the unflappable German captain defending him, patted the forward on the back, as if to say that he was sorry. Every Brazilian looked as small as pocket-sized Bernard, the 5-foot-4 striker and hometown kid who'd been flung into this garbage fire as Neymar's replacement.

The rest of the match unfolded swiftly and sarcastically -- a streak of irony broken only by the crowd chanting "Hey Fred, go f--- yourself" at the long-maligned striker. The fans stood up and hate-applauded German forward Andre Schurrle, who subbed in for Klose in the 58th minute and made it 6-0, then 7-0. They hate-applauded Oscar, who finally beat goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to get Brazil on board in the 90th minute. They hate-applauded David Luiz, the captain in Thiago Silva's absence, who fell to his knees when the whistle blew, like those fans who'd been praying in a circle not long before.

"Desculpa," Luiz mouthed to the stands, crying, as the 27-year-old got up and lurched into the tunnel. I'm sorry.

So complete was their win that Germany stopped celebrating. Brazil will be recovering for years to come.
So complete was their win that Germany stopped celebrating. Brazil will be recovering for years to come.

"It was the worst day of my life," manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said at his postmatch news conference in the bowels of the arena. In a country where pride is fused to the team Scolari coaches, he was hardly alone.

Back on the field, I watched the German cheering section, still in their seats, still singing, still celebrating, as various players came out from below to salute them. They would receive an escort from the palisades of Brazilian military police to exit the Estadio Mineirao.

***

I had left the stadium before the Germans did. I had gone out into Belo Horizonte, back onto those avenues, to see what chaos this repulsed, soccer-mad country had descended into.

As the goals piled up, we journalists had speculated about riots to come, the hallmark of any true sporting catastrophe, much less the worst in memory. Brazil had suffered to make this World Cup happen, investing so much and trampling over so many citizens and would-be protests to reach what the president of the Brazilian Football Federation had dubbed "heaven." Like those clouds, messages from friends and family had rolled in well before the game was over: Be safe.

But now, out in the streets, there was nothing, somehow. Crowds were sparse. The world remained intact.

BrazilBrazil
GermanyGermany
1
7
ESPN, ESPN3 FT
Match 61
Game Details

A red-eyed Brazilian woman and her boyfriend waved off a lone cameraman who trained his lens directly at them. A man in a fur hat held up white poster board that read WELCOME TO RUSSIA 2018. German fans bought beer from that vendor fort, their flags flying with impunity, and someone beat a drum that said GOOD KRAUTS in black letters on the side. I saw the guys with that four-foot World Cup trophy drag it over asphalt that had grown sticky with gallons of Brahma.

Meanwhile, seven motorcycle cops in riot gear idled under a lamppost, their white helmets dangling off a row of handlebars. An ambulance rolled by with nothing to do. As I made my way through the city, back toward my hotel about 45 minutes away, it looked this way for miles.

Who to blame? Scolari is one choice but there were endless theories floating around the stadium.
Who to blame? Scolari is one choice but there were endless theories floating around the stadium.

On my phone, I'd seen reports of an empty bus on fire in a Sao Paulo garage and muggings in Rio. And I'd absorbed all the context for how historically embarrassing the night had been; how no host country in World Cup history had ever lost by so much. How no one had scored six goals on Brazil in 94 years. How no defeat in a knockout round had been this uneven since 1938. How the Selecao hadn't lost an official game at home since 1975.

Yet here at the epicenter, the city where the humiliation had actually occurred, the biggest postmatch collision I witnessed was an arena worker's golf cart accidentally scraping a metal fence. More than anything, the whole nation -- the whole organism -- seemed exhausted. It seemed too painful to care.

That was the most surreal thing about the way Brazil left this place. There was no hell, after all, and no riots. After a month of this World Cup, what you could feel was a host country just wanting to go home.

Pablo S. Torre

A senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com based in New York. You can watch him every week on TV shows such as Around the Horn, The Sports Reporters and Olbermann. Follow him on Instagram (@pstorre) and Twitter (@PabloTorre).

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.