By Michael Place
BELO HORIZONTE, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari refused to blame the absence of Neymar for his team's 7-1 defeat to Germany in their World Cup semifinal here on Tuesday.
Neymar, Brazil's top-scorer for the tournament with four goals, missed the match after suffering a fractured vertebra in his team's 2-1 quarterfinal defeat of Colombia.
"We are not going to make excuses for not having Neymar," Scolari said.
"Germany imposed their rhythm on the match and that's why they were able to score the goals that they did."
Germany all but secured victory by halftime at the Mineirao stadium. Their five first-half goals included four in six minutes as Brazil's defence capitulated spectacularly.
"What influenced the team were those few crazy minutes which Germany made the most of," Scolari said. "Up until the first goal we were well organized. But after that we panicked and things happened naturally for them [Germany]."
The defeat was Brazil's first on home soil since a 3-1 loss to Peru in 1973.
It was also the heaviest loss ever suffered by a World Cup host and equalled the Selecao's biggest losing margin.
"I will be remembered as the person who led Brazil to the 7-1 loss but life goes on," Scolari said. "I knew of the risks when I accepted the job of being Brazil's coach."
"My message to Brazilian fans is that we did everything we could. Forgive us for this result. We are feeling desolate for not being able to play in the final. But we are going to battle for third place in Brasilia and we hope to have their support."