Brazil open their campaign with a 3-1 win over Croatia, but this was far from a convincing performance from the World Cup hosts.

Date: June 12, 2014

Result: Brazil 3-1 Croatia

Goalscorers:

Brazil

  • Neymar 29
  • Neymar 71 (pen)
  • Oscar 91

Croatia:

  • Marcelo og 11

Venue: The Arena de Sao Paulo

Attendance: 62,103

 

Match overview: No host country had ever lost the opening match in the previous 20 World Cups.

Key moment: Referee Yuichi Nishimura’s contentious decision to award a second half penalty when Brazil striker Fred collapsed under minimal contact from Dejan Lovren. It set Brazil on their way to a fortuitous opening day victory.

Man of the match: Neymar. The man upon whose shoulders the hopes of a nation rests. Scoring twice on his World Cup debut allayed fears that the 22-year-old would be overwhelmed by the occasion.

 

Stats:
Goal attempts

  • Brazil 23
  • Croatia 14

On target

  • Brazil 9
  • Croatia 4

Corners

  • Brazil 7
  • Croatia 3

Matter of fact: At the tender age of 22, Neymar has now scored 33 international goals.

Talking point: The record books will show a 3-1 win to Brazil, but this was not a convincing performance by the hosts and tournament favourites. Croatia will feel that were it not for the performance of the referee, they would have got something out of the game.

Line-ups:

Brazil:

  • 12 Julio César
  • 02 Dani Alves
  • 06 Marcelo
  • 17 Luiz Gustavo
  • 03 Thiago Silva
  • 04 David Luiz
  • 11 Oscar
  • 08 Paulinho (Hernanes – 63′ )
  • 09 Fred
  • 10 Neymar (Ramires – 88′ )
  • 07 Hulk (Bernard – 68′ )

Croatia:

  • 01 Pletikosa
  • 11 Srna
  • 02 Vrsaljko
  • 07 Rakitic
  • 05 Corluka
  • 06 Lovren
  • 04 Perisic
  • 10 Modric
  • 09 Jelavic (Rebic – 78′ )
  • 20 Kovacic (Brozovic – 61′ )
  • 18 Olic

Goals:

Brazil:

  • Neymar 29, 71, Oscar 91

Croatia:

  • Marcelo og. 11

Yellow cards:

Brazil:

  • Neymar 27 Luis Gustavo 88

Croatia:

  • Corluka 66, Lovren 69

Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)