Football

Brazil 3-1 Croatia: Player Ratings

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The 2014 World Cup finals started with a bang thanks to Brazil and Croatia, who produced an enthralling match in Sao Paulo. Two goals from Neymar and a late third from Oscar earned the tournament hosts a hard-fought 3-1 victory in front of a packed an expectant home crowd.

The South American nation got off to the worst possible start, though, as Marcelo turned the ball into his own net. Ivan Rakitic, who is on the verge of sealing a move to Barcelona, burst through the middle of the pitch and took Paulinho out of the game with a pass to Ivica Olic, who stormed down the left flank before firing a dangerous ball into the box. David Luiz momentarily switched off, while the unfortunate Marcelo inadvertently gave Croatia a shock 1-0 lead.

However, when they needed him most, Neymar stood up to be counted - unleashing a strike from 20 yards which trickled into the net off the far post. It may have been a scuffed shot, but it was the biggest goal of the Brazilian sensation’s short career.

The Barcelona forward then grabbed his second goal of the night - and the tournament - 20 minutes before full-time, from the penalty spot. Dejan Lovren was judged to have hauled down Fred inside the penalty area, and Neymar’s spot-kick somehow found its way through the hands of Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa.

And Oscar, who produced arguably the biggest performance of the night, kiled the game off by scoring Brazil’s third of the night. A neat toe poke found its way past the disappointing Pletikosa.

Brazil

Julio Cesar - 6

Dani Alves - 6

Thiago Silva - 6

David Luiz - 5

Marcelo - 6

Luiz Gustavo - 7

Paulinho - 5

Oscar - 9

Neymar - 8

Hulk - 6

Fred - 5

(Sub) Hernanes - 6

(Sub) Bernard - 5

(Sub) Ramires - N/A


Croatia

Stipe Pletikosa - 5

Sime Vrsaljko - 7

Darijo Srna - 6

Dejan Lovren - 7

Vedran Corluka - 6

Ivan Rakitic - 7

Luka Modric - 7

Ivan Perisic - 6

Ivica Olic - 6

Mateo Kovacic - 6

Nikica Jelavic - 5

(Sub) Marcelo Brozovic - 5

(Sub) Ante Rebic - 5


Star Man: Oscar

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Topics:
World Cup
Chelsea
Brazil Football
Football

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