Brazil Beats Croatia 3:1 in World Cup Opener
Host nation Brazil kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 3:1 win over Croatia in Sao Paulo.
Despite the scoreline, things went far from smoothly for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team, who fell behind after an own goal by Marcelo in the 11th minute. The Croatians played a very strong first half an hour, pressuring their opponent and organizing quick counter attacks.
However, the talent of Neymar surfaced in the 29th minute when his left-footed shot from outside the penalty box deflected off the side post and went in for 1:1.
The second half started in less glamorous fashion, and numerous fouls from both sides broke up the play. It was the Brazilians who went on top however, following a very questionable decision by the Japanese referee to award them a penalty kick in the 71st minute. Once again it was Neymar who scored, although Croatia’s goalkeeper Pletikosa got a hand to the ball.
The Balkan team did all it could to find an equalizer and were close on a few occasions, but just when they were busy putting men in Brazil’s half, Oscar provided a solo display of world class dribbling, ending it with a powerful shot in the bottom corner for 3:1 in the last minute.
Brazil take the lead in Group A while Croatia will remain bottom, at least before Friday’s match between Mexico and Cameroon.
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