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Dirty Tackle

Brazil's streak of dominance at home comes to shocking end at 2014 World Cup

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Brazil’s loss in the World Cup semifinal to Germany was shocking. It wasn’t the loss itself, but the way the home side bowed out of the tournament, going down 5-0 by half time before leaving the field in disgrace under a 7-1 scoreline.

It has been a while since Brazil watched their national team lose a match on home soil. Twelve years, to be exact. During a friendly against Paraguay, the Seleção fell 1-0 on Aug. 21, 2002, their last loss before a 42-match home winning streak that would eventually come to an end Tuesday.

Almost two months before their match against Paraguay, Brazil was celebrating their fifth World Cup title after a 2-0 win over Germany. The August friendly was their first since the tournament and took place at Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza, site of the 2014 squad’s quarterfinal victory over Colombia. 

Brazil put out a very similar squad to the one they used in Japan/South Korea during the 2002 World Cup. The main names were there — Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldhino. Paraguay, meanwhile, were without regulars Jose Luis Chilavert, Roque Santa Cruz and Francisco Arce.

In the 28th minute, Nelson Cuevas received a pass outside the Brazil box, juked right and fired a rocket off the goal post and past an outstretched Marcos for the only goal Paraguay would need: 

The loss was Brazil’s first in 15 matches at the time, and first at home since 1998. The match also served as the final one for manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, who had tendered his resignation eleven days earlier. Scolari would return ten years later to lead the national team again.

Friendly's aside, Brazil's last competitive loss at home came 39 years ago this September.

During the 1975 Copa America the group stage was played over a two-week period at the end of July into mid-August. Brazil cruised through Group A, winning all four of their matches -- two each against Argentina and Venezeula. They would advance to the semifinals with a two-leg playoff set against Peru, who beat out Chile and Bolivia to advance out of Group B. 

In front of 75,000 fans at the Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte, Brazil were level 1-1 with Peru as the final whistle approached, but the visitors would score twice, thanks to Teófilo Cubillas (82nd minute) and Enrique Casaretto (88th minute), and leave with a 3-1 victory.

Today, Brazil will not be celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime achievement by winning a sixth World Cup on home soil. After Tuesday's soul-crushing 7-1 loss in a rematch of the 2002 final, ending a run of dominance in front of their countrymen, they have four days to gather their emotions and end their tournament with a show of pride.

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