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Thread: Brazil - Croatia 3:1 (1:1)

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    Brazil - Croatia 3:1 (1:1)

    Total Goals scored

    MARCELO (BRA) 11' Own goal, NEYMAR (BRA) 29' , NEYMAR (BRA) 71' Penalty goal, OSCAR (BRA) 91'






    Brazil


    Croatia
    Line-ups
    Line-ups
    12
    JULIO CESAR

    (GK)
    1
    PLETIKOSA

    (GK)
    2
    DANI ALVES
    2
    VRSALJKO
    3
    T SILVA

    (C)
    4
    PERIŠIĆ
    4
    DAVID LUIZ
    5
    CORLUKA
    6
    MARCELO
    6
    LOVREN
    7
    HULK

    (-68')
    7
    RAKITIĆ
    8
    PAULINHO

    (-63')
    9
    JELAVIĆ

    (-78')
    9
    FRED
    10
    MODRIĆ
    10
    NEYMAR JR

    (-88')
    11
    SRNA

    (C)
    11
    OSCAR
    18
    OLIĆ
    17
    L GUSTAVO
    20
    KOVAČIĆ

    (-61')
    Substitutes Substitutes
    1
    JEFFERSON

    (GK)
    12
    ZELENIKA

    (GK)
    22
    VICTOR

    (GK)
    23
    SUBAŠIĆ

    (GK)
    5
    FERNANDINHO
    3
    PRANJIĆ
    13
    DANTE
    8
    VUKOJEVIĆ
    14
    MAXWELL
    13
    SCHILDENFELD
    15
    HENRIQUE
    14
    BROZOVIĆ

    (+61')
    16
    RAMIRES

    (+88')
    16
    REBIĆ

    (+78')
    18
    HERNANES

    (+63')
    19
    SAMMIR
    19
    WILLIAN
    21
    VIDA
    20
    BERNARD

    (+68')
    22

    EDUARDO
    21
    17
    MANDŽUKIĆ
    23
    MAICON
    15
    BADELJ
    Coach Coach
    SCOLARI Luiz Felipe (BRA) KOVAC Niko (CRO)

    Cautions

    NEYMAR (BRA) 27' , Vedran CORLUKA (CRO) 66' , Dejan LOVREN (CRO) 69' , LUIZ GUSTAVO (BRA) 88'

    a.e.t.: After extra time (C): Captain PSO: Penalty Shoot-out
    GK: Goalkeeper N: Not eligible to play I: Injured
    Y: Misses next match if booked Pos: Positions A: Absent

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    Neymar fires Brazil to comeback victory

    Neymar was the star of the show as Brazil came from behind to secure a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Croatia in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup™. The hosts’ star No10 equalised after Marcelo’s own-goal, and converted a second-half penalty after Fred had been fouled by Dejan Lovren. Croatia had the ball in the net before the end of the game, but Ivica Olic was adjudged to have fouled Julio Cesar in the build-up, and Oscar made sure of the victory late on.

    The opening goal of the 2014 World Cup was remarkable in itself, the first own-goal scored by a Brazilian in the history of the tournament. Ivica Olic received the ball on the Croatia left and ran unopposed into the Brazilian half. His low cross fizzed across goal and was turned in by Marcelo, who failed to readjust his feet in time. Ivan Perisic was ready to pounce if the Real Madrid man had not made the final touch. The crowd were stunned, but they rallied behind their side, who were level before the half-hour mark.

    Oscar worked hard to regain possession for Brazil in the middle of the park, before passing the ball to Neymar. The Barça man skipped free of a Perisic challenge, steadied himself, and fired hard and low with his left foot across Pletikosa. The ball rebounded off the post, nestled into the back of the Croatia net and the Arena de Sao Paulo erupted. The remainder of the first half saw Brazil dominate possession, with Croatia looking dangerous on the counter-attack.

    After more Seleçăo pressure in the second-half, the hosts went ahead. The ball was played into the box towards Fred, who tried to swivel to hit it towards goal. He was impeded by Lovren and the referee pointed to the spot. Neymar stepped up, delayed his run-up, and hit hard to Pletikosa’s right-hand side. Croatia’s No1 got a hand to it, but could not stop it putting Brazil ahead. Despite a valiant effort by Croatia, including their disallowed goal, Brazil wrapped up the three points when Oscar fired home from the edge of the box.

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    Brazil-Croatia: Quotes Brazil-Croatia: Quotes

    Luiz Felipe Scolari, Brazil coach
    The players were fantastic. They kept calm and turned around the Opening Match of the World Cup, which is not easy. The fans deserve an even bigger hand, though. The support here in Sao Paulo was amazing. It was out of this world and people can’t imagine what it was like. There used to be stories about how Sao Paulo doesn’t get behind the national team that much, but you can’t say that any more. Croatia are a very good side. They have the ability to play the ball in behind the defence from the flanks, and they deserve a lot of praise for that.

    Neymar (BRA), Budweiser Man of the Match
    I’m very happy, really happy. This is more than I even dreamed about and it’s vital to start a tournament like this with a win. I’m happy with the two goals, but the whole team deserves a pat on the back because we kept cool and came from behind. We’re very strong individually and when we play as a unit we’re very difficult to beat. It’s not down to just one, two or three players: it’s the team as a whole that works.

    Nico Kovac, Croatia coach
    I really am very proud of Croatia despite the defeat because I know that we came up against a great team in every sense of the word. We put in a fantastic performance, from the first minute to the last. Brazil were very strong but we deserved at least a point. I’m proud because we showed that we can survive the group phase.

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    Marcelo: The fantastic support won it for Brazil

    In the week leading up to their first match at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, the members of the Brazil squad spoke a lot about the sense of calm and composure that prevailed in the camp. As soon as they stepped out on to the pitch, however, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men found their patience and resolve severely tested by a spirited Croatia side, and none of them more so than Marcelo. Though A Seleçao would ultimately recover to claim the three points, the Real Madrid fullback endured a stern examination of his character in the opening stages of the game. Marcelo’s travails came about in the 11th minute of the game, when Croatia striker Nikica Jelavic attempted to force Ivica Olic’s cross home only to deflect it into the path of the unwitting defender, who had little time to react and ended up turning the ball into his own net - the first such goal that Brazil have ever conceded in the world finals.

    As if the thought of putting through his own net in the opening match of a tournament that his country is hosting were not enough for the unfortunate Marcelo to deal with, there was also the fact that the game was being played in Sao Paulo, a city whose supporters are known for being especially hard to please. Given the stakes, then, just how would the player react? Answering that question in conversation with FIFA.com, Marcelo said: “The first thing I thought was just to stay calm and not make it worse for the team. If I’d let my head drop, I might have ended up making life even more difficult for us. That was the first thing I had to make sure I didn’t do.”

    That measured reaction showed the maturity of a player who once found it much harder to keep his cool. In recent seasons, however, he has cut a composed and unruffled figure for his club side Real Madrid, and was one of the keys to their comeback win in the recent UEFA Champions League final. That said, his experience would have counted for little had it not been for the support of his team-mates and the thousands of fans who packed into the Arena de Sao Paulo for Brazil’s first outing of the tournament.

    “The fans were right behind me after I scored the own-goal and they were chanting my name,” he said. “My team-mates also came up to me and that helped me clear my head straightaway. I got back into the game immediately.” The setback did not stop the rest of Scolari’s men from keeping their minds on the job in hand. Though goalkeeper Julio Cesar and the much-vaunted Brazilian defence would be tested several more times before the night was over, the hosts stuck together and remained cool, calm and collected, aware that they had nearly 80 minutes in which to repair the damage.

    “I’m delighted at how the team reacted and that we had the presence of mind to come up with the perfect response to the situation,” match-winner Neymar told FIFA.com afterwards. In scoring his two goals, the nimble forward also had to bide his time to some extent, first watching as his low bobbling shot crept its way past Stipe Pletikosa and in off the post to bring the Brazilians level, and then looking on anxiously as the Croatian keeper got a hand to his firmly struck second-half penalty but could not prevent it hitting the back of the net.

    “The ball struggled to get over the line for both my goals but they all count,” said Neymar. “It’s seeing it lying there in the back of the net that matters.” Marcelo’s own goal also counted, though the defender has well and truly put it behind him.

    “These things happen in football,” he said. “We started off a little bit tense today, but we managed to turn the game around, thanks to the fantastic support of the fans.” Relieved at the outcome, Marcelo can look back with satisfaction on a night when he made a significant comeback of his own.

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    Scolari hails goalscorer Oscar

    Neymar stole the show for Brazil in their opening FIFA 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 be 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 shows 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 your side [the media]. His level may have dropped but I never lost belief in him." Neymar admitted he had had a dream start to the World Cup. The Barcelona forward said: "I think I am happier than I ever dreamt, to start with a victory in the World Cup such as this. "The whole team deserves praise for being able to keep calm and turn things around."

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