A 3-1 victory for the Brazil on Day 1 which, though not entirely convincing, gave the hosts a solid start to their World Cup campaign. Croatia were valiant opponents, but Stipe Pletikosa, the Croatian goalkeeper, will want to forget the game which was tarnished by his awful display.
After Sepp Blatter was booed by thousands of fans pre-match, Marcelo scored the first goal of Brazil 2014. Unfortunately, it was at the wrong end for the Seleçao left back, and it suddenly turned into a nightmare start for the hosts.
Neymar managed to equalise in the 28th minute, firing in a low, spinning shot that beat Pletikosa a little too easily, in off the post.
Then, maybe the defining moment of the match, in the 69th minute a penalty was awarded to Brazil for an apparent foul on Fred. Replays showed that the contact was minimal at best, and that the Brazilian striker had very much made the most of it.
Neymar then shuffled up to convert the spot-kick, despite Pletikosa getting a solid hand to the ball. The Croatian keeper will want that one back.
Oscar rounded out the victory with a breakaway goal, the best of the night. Fending off a defender, he brilliantly toepoked the ball just inside the near post. The Chelsea playmaker was the outstanding player on the park, and deserved his goal.
On to Day 2!
This article can be seen on TheTurf.com as part of their ongoing World Cup coverage.