2014 World Cup Match Report: Brazil 3-1 Croatia
Posted: 13 June 2014 Time: 00:16
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.
READ: All the minute-by-minute action
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.