BRAZIL GET OFF TO A WINNING START

Brazil won the opening game of the World Cup against Croatia in Sao Paulo, though it was by no means straightforward and without its fair share of controversial moments. The hosts suffered a disastrous start after Marcelo put the ball in his own net but managed to stage a comeback through a brace from their talisman Neymar, and a goal from Chelsea star Oscar that added gloss to the score line.

Unfortunately, poor refereeing decisions overshadowed much of the match. Neymar was fortunate not to be shown a straight red card after his clear elbow on Luka Modric, and the Croatian team were incensed when the home side were awarded a penalty after Fred’s theatrical tumble in the box. The Croatian keeper Pletikosa had a night to forget after failing to keep out Neymar’s weak shot and not getting into position to keep out Oscar’s third.

Brazil entered the World Cup as favourites, but Croatia exposed some of their defensive frailties and had their fair share of opportunities to get at least a point out of the game. The Brazilian public will expect nothing less than seeing their side lift the World Cup trophy on 13th July, but whether this current squad are capable of doing this remains to be seen.

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