World Cup agony for Paulinho
08 July 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Half-time substitute Paulinho was powerless to prevent Brazil from crashing out of the World Cup with a heavy defeat on Tuesday evening.
Opponents Germany thrashed the host nation 7-1 in the first semi-final of the tournament in Belo Horizonte, Oscar’s late strike a mere consolation after Joachim Low’s men added to their 5-0 first half advantage with two further strikes in the second period.
Midfielder Paulinho was called upon at the break, going on along with Ramires as Brazil sought an improvement on an earlier collapse that saw them concede four goals in six minutes.
The 25-year-old was soon in the thick of the action – and was presented with one of Brazil’s best chances to score on 53 minutes, only to be denied twice in quick succession from a tight angle by a fine double save from Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
An audacious bicycle kick that saw the ball flash across the face of goal proved academic due to an off-side flag, while Neuer was again forced into action to keep out the substitute’s rising shot from the right side of the box on 74 minutes.
Germany’s goals came from Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose, Toni Kroos (2), Sami Khedira and Andre Schurrle (2).
Attention for Paulinho and the host nation now turns to Saturday’s third place play-off, where they’ll face the loser of Wednesday’s semi-final between the Netherlands and Argentina. Kick-off on Saturday is at 9pm.