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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

World Cup kicks off: Brazil 3 Croatia 1

Despite all the criticism, despite all the scare stories, despite all the demonstrations, the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off today in São Paulo's Arena Corinthians Stadium with President Dilma Roussef looking on. The result was a perfect mirror of the game, with Brazil attacking more and showing more brilliance, yet Croatia was far from an onlooker.

Brazil 3        Croatia 1

Neymar 29   Marcelo (own goal, o.g. 11)

Neymar 71 (pen)

Oscar 90

Hrvatska! This was the first roar the Arena Corinthians Stadium heard this evening as the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off with the Group A game between hosts Brazil and Croatia, when after ten minutes Marcelo poked a loose ball into his own net, the sequence of a Croatia counter-attack from Brazil's first corner of five on nine minutes.

Brazil kept pressing, despite the setback and after 29 minutes, the amazing Neymar equalized, three minutes after getting a yellow card for elbowing. His left-footed shot rebounded off the woodwork, leaving Croatia's solid keeper, Pletikosa, beaten.

In the second half, Neymar (penalty) and Oscar added two more goals for Brazil on 71 and 90 minutes, the last coming seconds after Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar made a crucial save.

Croatia will certainly prove a difficult opponent for Cameroon and Mexico in the same group but can hardly complain about this result, such was the dominance of Brazil's attacking display.

Match statistics

Brazil

Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, T. Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Hulk (Bernard), Paulinho (Hernanes), Fred, Neymar (Ramires), Oscar, L. Gustavo 

Coach: Luiz Felipe SCOLARI

 

Yellow cards: Neymar, L. Gustavo

Croatia

Pletikosa, Vrsaljko, Perisic, Corluka, Lovren, Rakitic, Jelavic (Rebic), Modric, Srna, Olic, Kovacic (Brozovic)

Coach: Niko KOVAC

Yellow cards: Corluka, Lovren

 

Ball possession: Brazil 61% Croatia 39%

Shots/on target: Brazil 14/6 Croatia   11/3

Corners Brazil 7 Croatia 3

Fouls committed Brazil 5 Croatia 20

 

Groups

Group

Country Played Won Drawn Lost Goals for Goals against Goal difference Points

 

Group A                                                       

Brazil Cameroon Croatia Mexico                 

 

Brazil 1 1 0 0 3 1 + 2 3

Croatia 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0

Mexico

Cameroon

 

Goal scorers Neymar (2) Brazil  Oscar 1 Brazil

Own goals Marcelo 1 Brazil

 

Group B

Australia Chile Netherlands Spain

 

Group C                                                        

Colombia Greece Ivory Coast Japan            

 

Group D

Costa Rica England Italy Uruguay

 

Group E                                                        

Ecuador France Honduras Switzerland       

 

Group F

Argentina Bosnia-Herzegovina Iran Nigeria

 

Group G                                                       

Germany Ghana Portugal USA                    

 

Group H

Algeria Belgium Rep. Korea Russia

 

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Pravda.Ru

(timothy.hinchey@gmail.com)

 

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
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