Football

Brazil secure opening World Cup win over Croatia

Published Add your comment

Football News
24/7

Brazil battled back from an early scare to beat Croatia 3-1 in an enthralling opening match of the 2014 World Cup.

The hosts, who had not lost an opening match at the World Cup for 80 years, dominated with large spells of possession, but lacked urgency going forward early on whilst their opponents were hungry to attack from the offset.

Ivica Olic went close to opening the scoring after seven minutes from Ivan Perišić’s dangerous cross but could not make enough contact to test Julio Cesar in the Brazilian goal.

Just four minutes later, the stadium fell silent as Olić sent in a low cross that evaded David Luiz and dropped into the path of the onrushing Marcelo who put the ball into his own net.

The South Americans were keen to stay calm but turned up the heat soon after as Oscar and Paulinho both forced good saves from veteran goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa.

Neymar should have been sent off on 27 minutes after he elbowed Luka Modrić - who was sporting a drastic new hairstyle - square in the face.

The hosts pulled one back on the half-hour mark, much to the vocal delight of the crowd, as Neymar found space in midfield, beat two men and sent a low, angled shot past the sprawling Pletikosa.

Neither side proved much of an attacking threat at the start of the second half until Brazil were awarded a highly-contentious penalty with 20 minutes remaining.

Fred made the most of a slight touch from Dejan Lovren, who was booked as a result, and Neymar stepped up to score his second of the evening with Pletikosa knowing he should have done better than to just get a hand to it.

Croatia had an equaliser disallowed with eight minutes remaining, as the lively Olić was judged to have fouled Cesar before Marcelo Brozović slotted the ball into the empty net.

The visitors piled on the pressure in the final minutes of the game, Modrić and Perišić both testing Cesar with long-range piledrivers but Oscar made sure of the win three minutes from time.

Brazil hit Croatia on the counter-attack and sealed the three points as the Chelsea playmaker toe-poked past a poorly-positioned Pletikosa.

Brazil top the group and will now face Mexico on 17 June, with Croatia set to entertain Cameroon on 18 June.

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
World Cup
Brazil Football
Football

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again