Thursday, June 12, 2014

Brazil Open 2014 World Cup with 3-1 Win Over Croatia

The 2014 World Cup has officially started, and Brazil have won the opening match 3-1 over Croatia. All four goals were scored by Brazilians, as Marcelo started the scoring with an own goal in the eleventh minute. Croatia's low drilled cross was flicked on by Jelavic, and the Brazilian defender wasn't able to get out of the way before the ball scuffed in off the tip of his boot. It was a nightmare start for Brazil, and when Neymar elbowed Modric in the 27th minute, Brazil's starlet graciously received a yellow card which could have been red.

Just a couple of minutes later Neymar steadied his nation's nerves with a low diagonal shot which pinged off the post for the equalizer. It was a deserved goal, as Brazil finally began to ease into the match creating some good chances, with Oscar forcing a flying save from Croatia's keeper Pletikosa. The two sides went into halftime even, both having created some dangerous opportunities without finishing them off properly.

Marcelo's unlucky start to the 2014 World Cup
In the second half Croatia lowered their tempo and sat further back in their half, letting Brazil attack in their hunt for the winning goal. While Neymar was always dangerous with the ball, Croatia defended well, stifling Brazil with a bit too much ease. However the turning point came in the 70th minute, when Fred let himself fall in the box and was awarded an inexistent penalty. It was Neymar who stepped up and had his effort nearly saved by Pletikosa, the Croatian keeper almost managing to stop Neymar from putting Brazil in front.

A few minutes later Croatia managed to put the ball in the back of Brazil's net, but their goal was disallowed because of Olic's barge into Brazil's keeper Julio Cesar during the buildup. While at this point Brazil's victory might have seemed undeserved, it was Oscar who made sure to seal the opening win with a brilliant goal. After slipping through the Croatian defence and running towards goal, the Chelsea player toe punted the ball into the bottom corner just out of Pletikosa's reach to make it 3-1.

Although Neymar delivered on the night with his two goals, it was Oscar who gave Croatia a lot of problems throughout the match, assisting Neymar's first, and scoring the final goal. It was a fairly shaky start for Brazil, and the home country will have to step up their game if they plan on competing with some of the other top teams in the tournament.

What are your thoughts about the opening match of the 2014 World Cup? Can this Brazil team go all the way? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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