Football

Brazil win World Cup opener after surviving Croatia scare

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Brazil kicked off the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a thrilling and tense 3-1 victory over Croatia.

Neymar showed the world what he was capable of with two goals as Brazil came behind from a Marcelo own goal to win 3-1. Oscar netted the third in stoppage time, to make sure the Selecao started in style, eventually.

Brazil came into the opening match full of confidence and many expected the Samba Boys to breeze past Croatia. However Croatia obviously didn't read the script as Wolfsburg forward Ivica Olić played in a brilliant cross to Hull City striker Nikica Jelavić in the 11th minute, however it was enough to catch Real Madrid full back Marcelo off balance and the ball trickled into the net past Julio Cesar. 

It was coming clear that the magic and rhythm most football fans are accustomed to when watching Brazil was not there, players such as Hulk and David Luiz seemed to have lost their flair and their fighting spirit. Then in the 29th minute, the poster boy for the World Cup, Neymar, broke through the Croatian midfield and fired a low shot past Stipe Pletikosa which found its way into the bottom left corner to make it 1-1. At that moment the entire stadium and all of Brazil erupted into a frenzy of celebrations.

Brazil made it 2-1 in the 71st minute after Fred was lightly fouled by Southampton centre-back Dejan Lovren in the penalty box and the referee awarded the host nation a penalty. Neymar stepped up to the stop and made it 2-1 to Brazil. Although Pletikosa got a hand onto the ball, it wasn't enough to stop the Brazilian from making it 2-1.It was harsh on Croatia to award Brazil the penalty, with replays showing that Lovren had made minimal contact on Fred.

Chelsea midfielder Oscar put the nail in the coffin with a spectacular goal to round off Brazil's victory. Oscar picked the ball up from midfield and made a sprint towards the goal, shrugging off two Croatian defenders, and beautifully finishing the ball from 20 yard out to make it 3-1 to Brazil.

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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.

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