Neymar at the double for Brazil

2014 World Cup Match Report: Brazil 3-1 Croatia
Posted: 13 June 2014
Time: 12:16 am
Brazil came from behind to beat Croatia 3-1 in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup on Thursday night.

Marcelo’s own-goal put Brazil on the back foot early on
but two goals from Neymar and another from Oscar sealed three points for
the hosts.

In
the opening few minutes both sides had half-chances via headed attempts
from David Luiz and Ivica Olic before the first real action of the
game.

Croatia were gifted the first goal in the 11th minute when
Marcelo turned Olic’s dangerous cross from the left flank into his own
net. The ball across the face of goal was pinpoint, and the Brazil
left-back was put off by a slight touch from Nikica Jelavic before his
error put his side behind.

The home side took control of the
match after going one down and forced the first real save out of Stipe
Pletikosa in the Croatia goal in the 20th minute as Paulinho shot
straight at the keeper.

Two minutes later Neymar showed great
skill to cut the ball back from the right byline before Oscar’s
left-footed effort from 25 yards was expertly kept out by Pletikosa
diving to his right.

Neymar pulled a goal back for his side just
three minutes after picking up the first booking of the game. Oscar
showed real grit in midfield to win the ball off two Croatia players
before feeding Neymar, who put the ball onto his left foot before
sending a sweet shot into the bottom-right corner, in off the post, from
25 yards out.

Oscar was proving to be a real thorn in Croatia’s
side as his endeavour down the right continued to create openings for
the Samba Kings.

The second half promised more goals and duly delivered despite a slow start following the half-time break.

In
the 69th minute Brazil were awarded a rather soft penalty as Fred went
down following slight contact from Dejan Lovren in the box. Neymar
stepped up to take it and scored, but only after Pletikosa got a hand to
the effort.

Croatia thought they had an equaliser in the 83rd
minute but the referee had blown for a foul by Olic on Julio Cesar in
the build-up.

In the 91st minute Oscar got the goal he richly
deserved after a fabulous performance after running at the Croatia
backline, beating two defenders and toe-poking a shot from outside the
box into the bottom-left corner.


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Victor Ndah
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what a wow…

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