Brazil Beat: Merkel books seat

Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to the World Cup final in Brazil to watch Germany attempt to lift the trophy on Sunday [Monday, 4am]. German President Joachim Gauck’s office said that both he and Merkel would travel to Rio de Janeiro for the final against Argentina or the Netherlands, who meet in the other semifinal later in the day. Sunday’s match will be Merkel’s second at this World Cup. The chancellor was in the stands for Germany’s opening match against Portugal last month, which Joachim Loew’s team won 4-0.

Bach for fans

IOC President Thomas Bach found himself in an awkward situation, supporting his native Germany in the World Cup semifinal against Brazil, the country that will host the next Olympics. Bach, an avid football fan since his youth in Germany, watched the match on a big screen at a Lausanne hotel, sitting on a couch next to Carlos Nuzman, the Brazilian who heads the organizing committee for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Bach jumped to his feet and raised both arms in celebration after striker Miroslav Klose scored to put Germany up 2-0 after 23 minutes. But he was politely restrained and muted after that as the Germans piled on goal after goal. Germany led 5-0 at the half and extended the lead to 7-0 in the second before Oscar scored for Brazil in the 90th minute. “It is not only a shock for the Brazilians, I think it is for everybody,” Bach said.

Klose record

Miroslav Klose found perhaps the only way to make matters worse for Brazil. On a night when Germany routed the host nation 7-1 in the World Cup semifinals, Klose also became the tournament’s all-time record scorer — surpassing Brazil great Ronaldo. Klose scored Germany’s second goal in the 23rd minute, giving him 16 career World Cup goals. It broke the mark of 15 goals he shared with the retired Ronaldo, who worked the game as a TV commentator. Klose scored after a corner by Toni Kroos. His first effort was parried by Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar, but Klose calmly stroked the rebound home. The 36-year-old Lazio striker, playing at his fourth World Cup, also scored in Germany’s 2-2 draw with Ghana in the group stage when he came off the bench to get Germany back into the contest. While Klose played down the record and attributed his scoring record to Germany’s teamwork and strong set piece, coach Joachim Loew praised the veteran striker. “Miro is incredible.”

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