Brazil 3-1 Croatia: Neymar leads hosts to victory

Brazil came from behind to win opening match.

Brazil 3-1 Croatia: Neymar leads hosts to victory

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SAO PAULO - The World Cup is officially under way. The host nation Brazil took a 3-1 win over Croatia in the opening match of the competition. With two goals from Barcelona superstar Neymar Brazil were able to turn around an early 0-1 scoreline to take all three point in Group A.

The visiting Croatia seemed to come into the match with a good defensive plan and looked very dangerous on the counterattacks. And it was through this medium that the tournament's first goal was scored after only 10 minutes of play.

Olic received a pass into open space from Luka Modric. Olic took the ball down the left wing and sent a powerful low cross. Brazilian defender Marcelo could not clear the ball away and ended up kicking it into his own goal to give Croatia the 0-1 lead.

The Real Madrid defender's mistake would be made up by Barcelona forward Neymar who was able to take a hold of the ball in the middle of the field. He dribbled and cut two defenders before striking a low powerful shot from outside of the box. The ball bounced off the post and went into the net for the equalizing goal.

The match went to the break all level, but for the second half it was the host who dominated and looked for the go ahead goal. Croatia looked to hang on to the 1-1 draw with all they got.

Twenty minutes after the re-start the hosts were awarded a very soft penalty kick. Neymar stepped up and converted the kick from the spot into the goal that gave Brazil the 2-1 lead. Croatia goalkeeper got a hand to the ball but could not send it away from the net.

Croatia would later feel hard done again as their equalizing goal was called off for a foul on the Brazilian goalkeeper.

Chelsea midfielder Oscar sealed the win for Brazil late in the match as he dribbled down the middle of the pitch and had a similar low shot to that of Neymar's in the first half. The Croatia goalkeeper could not reach the ball as it rolled past him for the third goal.

Brazil will next face off against Mexico who take on Cameroon on Friday afternoon. Croatia will go up against Cameroon in their next match.

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