The sun came up over the hilly, dejected city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Wednesday morning, and 200 million Brazilians across the nation awoke to the realization that, no, what happened at Estadio Mineirao on Tuesday night was not just a horrible nightmare.
It really happened.
Germany humiliated Brazil 7-1 in a shocking and implausible World Cup semifinal that already has been called the most disgraceful day in Brazilian sports history, eclipsing the 2-1 loss to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup final, the last time Brazil hosted the tournament. It was Brazil's most lopsided loss in a major tournament since 1920, and its first loss on home soil in an international match since 1975.
For the second time in 64 years, the golden World Cup trophy will be lifted by a team other than the host Brazilians at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium, Brazil's soccer temple.
That loss to Uruguay led to coining of the phrase "Maracanazo," meaning a disaster. By Wednesday morning, there was another word in the Brazilian vernacular -- "Mineirazo," a disaster worse than a Maracanazo.
The front-page headlines on the nation's newspapers Wednesday expressed the sentiments of the grieving nation. Among them (translated in English): "Biggest shame in history," "Historical humiliation," "A humiliation for all eternity," and, perhaps harshest of all, "Go to hell, Felipe," with a giant photo of Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Despite the somber mood that fell over the country, there was no widespread rioting or violence, as had been feared. The World Cup went on Wednesday, and Brazilians did their best to remain gracious hosts.
Many Brazilians even swallowed their pride and rooted for rival Argentina, their South American neighbor, against the Netherlands.
And, yes, plenty of locals were still patriotic enough to wear their yellow shirts.
Other than a kiosk robbery at Copacabana beach in Rio and a few small skirmishes elsewhere, Brazilians coped by commiserating -- and even joking -- with friends and strangers on the streets, at cafes, at bars and in taxi cabs.
Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to the World Cup final Sunday in Brazil, giving Germany's most prominent fan perhaps her best chance yet to watch the team lift a trophy after eight years of very public support.
Merkel has become a frequent sight at Germany matches since the country hosted the World Cup in 2006, a few months after she took office -- and a regular visitor to the team's dressing room.
Nigeria: FIFA has suspended Nigeria from international competition after football leaders were fired by the government following the team's World Cup exit amid a dispute over player bonuses. The suspension took effect immediately Wednesday, with Nigerian teams and officials barred from international matches and meetings. FIFA rules protect its 209 member federations from influence by third parties, including politicians.
Social media: It won't be what Brazil's fans will remember, but the first World Cup semifinal is the most tweeted-about sports event in Twitter history. The social media company says there were 35.6 million tweets sent out during Germany's rout of Brazil. That easily beat Twitter's previous record of 24.9 million set during the Super Bowl in February.
Ticket scalping: The director of a World Cup hospitality company implicated in ticket scalping surrendered his tournament credentials. The MATCH group, which owns rights to sell World Cup hospitality tickets, says Ray Whelan denies wrongdoing. MATCH acknowledged Whelan and Algerian national Lamine Fofana discussed cash sales of World Cup final tickets for $25,000 in telephone calls wiretapped by Rio de Janeiro police.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.