Thursday, 12th June
Brazil vs Croatia
in Sao Paulo.
Brazil open the 2014 World Cup Finals against Croatia, in Sao
The two teams met in Berlin, during Germany
2006, with Brazil claiming a narrow (1:0) victory; thanks to a cracker
The year before, they drew (1:1) in a friendly match; played in Split,
Sixty-four years after they last hosted a World Cup Finals, Brazil
finally get the show on the road for the 2014 edition.
Croatia were not intimidated by the home crowd in Sao Paolo and within eleven minutes they
took the lead thanks to a fast counter-attack on the left.
Ivica Olic's low shot was scuffed by Nikica Jelavic but the ball
reached the feet of Marcelo, then rolled away from the Brazilian and into Julio Cesar's
Eighteen minutes later, Brazil were back on level terms.
Some might say say Neymar was lucky to only see a yellow card from the
Japanese referee, for an arm to the face of Luka Modric, and might not have been on the
But on the pitch he was and he did what he does best, struck the ball
low towards the inside of the Croatian post and watch it hit the back of the net.
Half-time: Brazil 1 - Croatia 1
For much of the second-half, both teams seemed content not to lose the
opening game until a soft penalty was awarded to Brazil, with twenty minutes left on the
After a little delay and some showboating between Stipe Pletikosa and Neymar, the Croatian
almost managed to stop the young Brazilian from scoring his second goal of the tournament.
Just when Croatia looked like they might even the score, the hosts made the scorline look
flattering with a toe-poke from Oscar.
It wasn't quite Samba football but the 2014 World Cup Finals started
positively enough with plenty of encouraging signs for the weeks ahead.
Final Score: Brazil 3 - Croatia 1
0:1 - Marcelo (11 mins - own goal)
1:1 - Neymar (29 mins)
2:1 - Neymar (71 mins pen)
3:1 - Oscar (91 mins)
12-Julio Cesar; 2-Dani Alves, 3-Thiago Silva, 4-David Luiz, 6-Marcelo; 8-Paulinho, 17-Luiz
Gustavo, 7-Hulk, 11-Oscar; 10-Neymar, 9-Fred.
1-Stipe Pletikosa; 11-Darijo Srna, 5-Vedran Corluka, 6-Dejan Lovren, 2-Sime Vrsaljko;
10-Luka Modric, 7-Ivan Rakitic, 4-Ivan Perisic, 20-Mateo Kovacic, 18-Ivica Olic, 9-Nikica
Referee: Yuichi Nishimura - Japan
4 yellow cards:
27 mins - Neymar (Brazil)
65 mins - Vedran Corluka (Croatia)
69 mins - Dejan Lovren (Croatia)
87 mins - Luiz Gustavo (Brazil)
Mexico vs Cameroon
2014 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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