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Brazil Beats Croatia 3-1 in 2014 FIFA World Cup Opener
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Brazil Beats Croatia 3-1 in 2014 FIFA World Cup Opener

Jun 13 2014, 1:00am CDT | by

Behind two goals from Neymar, host country Brazil beat Croatia, 3-1, in the 2014 FIFA World Cup opener on June 12.

Brazil beat Croatia, 3-1, in the 2014 FIFA World Cup opener on June 12.  Brazil banked on two goals from Neymar for its first win, per ESPN FC: "Neymar lit the fireworks for Brazil's World Cup party...

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18 weeks ago

Brazil Beats Croatia 3-1 in 2014 FIFA World Cup Opener

Jun 13 2014, 1:00am CDT | by

Brazil Beats Croatia 3-1 in 2014 FIFA World Cup Opener  Photo Credit: Getty Images

Behind two goals from Neymar, host country Brazil beat Croatia, 3-1, in the 2014 FIFA World Cup opener on June 12.

Brazil beat Croatia, 3-1, in the 2014 FIFA World Cup opener on June 12. 

Brazil banked on two goals from Neymar for its first win, per ESPN FC:

"Neymar lit the fireworks for Brazil's World Cup party to begin in earnest after (an) inspring victory for the host nation in the tournament's opening match against Croatia. 

"Neymar, Brazil's Barcelona talisman, proved the key for the 3-1 victory in a sparkling -- and controversial -- match that may well set the tone for a World Cup of thrills and skills. 

"Each Brazil goal, two scored by Neymar -- the second after a dubious penalty won by Fred -- and a third by Oscar was greeted by a flurry of fireworks bursting across the Sao Paulo skyline. 

"Croatia had had the impertinence to take the game to the hosts -- and score first courtesy of an own goal by Marcelo but the drive of Brazil not to fail on such an occasion proved decisive. 

"This was a game brimming with breathtaking technical skill, and not just from Brazil. 

"All eyes had not been on the green and gold shirts in the days beforehand, but inspired by Luka Modric, it was those in red and white checks who had by far the better of the opening exchanges. 

"Croatia, displaying their own technical gifts, gave fair warning when Ivan Perisic's perspective cross was met by his Wolfsburg teammate Ivica Olic with a powerful downward header. Brazil held its collective breath but it bounced up past the angle. 

"The relief turned into dismay in the 11th minute as Olic took advantage of some wide open space down the left to fire in a cross that nicked off Nikica Jelavic's instep and bounced off the bewildered Marcelo to roll into the net. 

"'I stayed calm because if I let myself get down I would have hurt the team,' Marcelo said. 'It's not the first time that this has happened, so you have to stay relaxed to help the team.'

"This started to look serious: Brazil, the only country to play in every World Cup were in danger of becoming the first host nation to lose their opening match unless it raised its game. 

"As it turned out, the shock of going behind was electrifying. Brazil began to attack with gusto, Neymar's wonderful feet at the center of the action. 

"The influence of Chelsea's Oscar began to grow, and his dangerous cross hung temptingly in the air but Neymar's acrobatic attempt failed to make the right contact. 

"Oscar then tried himself, bringing a terrific save from the Stipe Pletikosa as the ball seemed to be curling into his top right-hand corner 

"It was time for Neymar to take centre stage, after being only booked for what looked like a forearm smash on Modric, he struck the equaliser in the 29th minute. Oscar was deeply involved in the build-up and though it may not have been the cleanest strike Neymar has ever hit, his shot went right through the legs of a defender and in off the post.

"The darkening skies around the Arena Corinthians lit up as a nation celebrated. 

"'It's important to start these tournaments with the right foot,  with a victory,' Neymar said. 'I'm happy that I got to score, but the entire team deserves credit. We maintained our calm and showed we could battle back.'

"Croatia's touch deserted them, the task suddenly seemed too daunting, and there was a heady air of expectation among the home fans.

"Into the second half and Brazil took on a more patient approach, putting Croatia under increasing pressure.

"Dani Alves fired a free kick too high after Vedran Corluka had crudely chopped down Neymar, then Oscar picked out David Luiz but he couldn't keep his header down.

"Then came the controversy. Fred manoeuvred for the ball in the Croatia penalty area, and Southampton centre-back Dejan Lovran laid barely a finger on his shoulder for the Brazil striker to fling himself down. Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura awarded the softest of spot kicks, dispatched by Neymar despite Pletikosa getting his fingers to it. 

"'If that was a penalty, we should be playing basketball. Those kinds of fouls are penalized there,' Croatia coach Niko Kovac said. 'That is shameful, this is not a World Cup referee. He had one kind of criteria for them and another for us. The rules were not the same.'

"Croatia tried to respond, and had the ball in the net only for Olic to be penalised for a hefty challenge on keeper Julio Cesar, and it was left to Oscar to surprise Pletikosa with a steered finish with the toe of his boot to send the host into raptures.

"'The team didn't give up,' Brazil defender David Lutz said. 'We knew it would be hard but we played well and got that first goal and then the victory."  

Brazil's head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari lauded Oscar, despite the fact it was Neymar who scored two goals for the team in the win, per a separate ESPN update:

"Neymar stole the show for Brazil in the opening World Cup triumph over Croatia, but coach Luiz Felipe Scolari hailed the impact of Chelsea midfielder Oscar.

"Brazil won 3-1 with Neymar scoring twice -- the 22-year-old's 32nd and 33rd goals for his country in only 50 caps -- with Oscar getting the third after Croatia had taken an early lead through Marcelo's own goal.

"There have been doubts expressed in the Brazilian media about 22-year-old Oscar's form, but Scolari insisted he had never lost faith.

"Scolari, who guided Brazil to the world champions in 2002 and has never lost a World Cup match with the country, said: 'Neymar got man of the match, but if there was a second award it should go to Oscar.

"'Our statistics after the game show he was the one who made the most tackles, and made lots of dribbles and crosses -- he was our most creative player on the right.

"'He was fantastic and that's the kind of player he is and I have always believed in him.

"'Any doubts came from (the media). His level may have dropped but I never lost belief in him."  

Brazil (1-0) will next take on Mexico on June 17 while Croatia (0-1) will tangle with Cameroon on June 18. 

 
Update
11

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Oct 21 2014 2:28pm CDT | Source: SportsGrid

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Source: SportsGrid   Full article at: SportsGrid
 

 
Update
10

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Wales Warren Gatland puts emphasis on experience for November Tests

Oct 21 2014 12:22pm CDT | Source: Sport-The Guardian

Head coach tells players to treat World Cup like Olympics Adam Jones and James Hook omitted by Gatland Continue readin ...
Source: Sport-The Guardian   Full article at: Sport-The Guardian
 

 
Update
9

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Oct 21 2014 11:40am CDT | Source: The Big Lead

  Playing day matches in the summer in Qatar will be untenable, with average highs breaching 100 degrees. For some reason, that factor was ignored during the bidding process. Now, FIFA must move the tournament or make it work. Sepp Blatter has proposed moving the World Cup to November/December. That would irritate the European leagues. A move to January/February would conflict with both the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. Either move would irritate televis ...
Source: The Big Lead   Full article at: The Big Lead
 

 
Update
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Oct 21 2014 11:00am CDT | Source: Stuff.co.nz

Not bad for a second knock in three m ...
Source: Stuff.co.nz   Full article at: Stuff.co.nz
 

 
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For the 20th anniversary of the Predator boot, adidas have been a very busy bunch. Thus far, we've seen blackout, whiteout, a relaunch of old favorites, reds, blues, and World Cup colorways. With just a couple of editions left to go for the year, the sportswear giant has officially unveiled the latest version of what is perhaps its most famous silo along with another trio of lighter boots in wild colorways. ...
Source: SBNation   Full article at: SBNation
 

 
Update
5

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Oct 21 2014 9:03am CDT | Source: Winner Sports

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Source: Winner Sports   Full article at: Winner Sports
 

 
Update
4

8 hours ago

Derrick Rose is Back, and Faster Than Ever

Oct 21 2014 8:41am CDT | Source: The Big Lead

Derrick Rose is back. Well, back to going really fast in NBA games, at least. Rose had a notably bad shooting performance in the FIBA World Cup over the summer, but he at least looks healthy. With the NBA regular season just a few days away, Rose had his best game since returning from injury, and it came against Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Rose was awesome, scoring 30 points on 18 shots ...
Source: The Big Lead   Full article at: The Big Lead
 

 
Update
3

9 hours ago

Analyzing Antonio Conte's First Two Months as Italy Coach

Oct 21 2014 8:00am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

On Tuesday, Antonio Conte will have been in charge of Italy for two months and one week.  In those nine weeks, he has engendered hot debate and optimism in equal measure. Faced with the monumental task of rebuilding the Azzurri after yet another World Cup disappointment, Conte has responded by showing plenty of backbone.  He has excluded the talented but mercurial striker Mario Balotelli from both of his teams so far. ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
2

11 hours ago

Adam Jones and James Hook omitted by Wales for autumn internationals

Oct 21 2014 6:20am CDT | Source: Sport-The Guardian

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Source: Sport-The Guardian   Full article at: Sport-The Guardian
 

 
Update
1

15 hours ago

Ronaldinho surrounded by a bevvy of beauties in a new music video for Trio Ternura [Pictures]

Oct 21 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: 101 great goals

It’s no secret that Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho likes the ladies.Now a new set of pictures have come out showing the Brazilian World Cup winner surrounded by a bevvy of beauties as the Queretaro playmaker starred in a new music video for Trio Ternura.The video is set to be released in the next few days. According to reports,  Ronaldinho will show his “romantic side” in the video. See pictures from the shoot above and below.SPECIAL OFFER!Click here to back Hazard to score anytime v Maribo ...
Source: 101 great goals   Full article at: 101 great goals
 

 

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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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