Lackluster Brazil win World Cup opener – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Lackluster Brazil win World Cup opener




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A lackluster Brazil team have won the opening game of the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

The hosts won their group A opener 3-1 against an unlucky Croatia this evening. Brazil the host nation and many peoples favourites to win the tournament had to come from behind as Croatia took the lead in the 11th minute through an Mareclo own goal.

The opening goal came from a quick Croatian break down the left hand side, where Olic received the ball and put in a low cross which was turned into his own net by Mareclo. Brazil who lacked their usual flare were forced to wait until the 29th minute to draw level when most arguably their best player on the night Neymar received the ball on the edge of the box and his scruffy low drive shot ended up in the back of the net. Croatia began the second half the better of the two sides with Luka Modric being the most lively as he carved opened the Brazilian defence on numerous occasions, but with a croat side missing Mario Manzukic through suspension lacked a final product.

With the game looking like it was heading for a stalemate, Brazil where awarded a dubious penalty decision in the 71st minute, when striker Fred who was non existent in the match up until this point, through himself to the ground under the challenge of Daniel Lovern, the ref then proceeded to point to the spot. With the croats furious with the decision man of the moment Neymar stepped up and drove the ball past an unlucky Pletikosa who managed to get a hand on it but was unable to keep it out. Croatia pressed for an equalizer and they thought they had one in the 76th minute when they had the ball in the net, but it was ruled out for a foul on the Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

With the game closing out and Croatia chasing an equalizer, Brazil scored a third when Oscar received the ball just inside the Croatian half and drove at the defence before hitting a low drive past Pletikosa . The result now means Brazil top group A with 3 points. With two group games remaining against Cameroon and Mexico, Brazil should easily advance to the knockout stage, although they Will have to up their game with stronger opposition expected in the latter stages.

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