World Cup 2014 opener Brazil vs. Croatia following a colorful opening ceremony took center stage Thursday at the Sao Paolo stadium, home to the Corinthians football club.
Croatia came into the match as strong rivals in Group A against Brazil. They carried their weight throughout the game, scoring the first goal in the game. In actuality, it was a self-goal by Marcelo, which left the Brazilians embarrassed and looking for a goal to justify the error. This was exactly the kind of threat commentators had predicted Croatia would be capable of during the World Cup 2014. And it worked.
The World Cup 2014 opener Brazil vs. Croatia progressed with Neymar answering the call of duty with his first goal, bouncing a right-footer off the right post into the net – only he could have done it with such style and finesse. Prior to the game, analysts had mentioned that it could turn out to be Neymar’s World Cup. And it certainly looks like it.
Neymar is known for grace under pressure and creating fresh attacks and plays. His goal from a distance proved that he was as good as any world footballer and that he carry the team on his shoulders. Neymar has been labeled as the extra edge for Brazil required for Brazil to win World Cup 2014 on their own turn. Many soccer fans say that Neymar is of Pele’s caliber and he could go on to play in three World Cups. Certainly, Brazilian fans expect a lot from him.
The second Brazilian goal during the World Cup 2014 opener Brazil vs. Croatia was a penalty shot by Neymar. The penalty looked less promising than his previous goal, a skilled performance at the least. However, the penalty began with a ruffled run to fake the goal keeper and a shot fired smack in the center, which the goalie deflected. The good part was that Neymar whacked the ball hard enough for the ball to reach the back of the net.
A third goal by Oscar redeem the Brazilians once more, but overall Brazil put up a lackluster performance. Although Scolari said he is not concerned about style or form, but getting the goals and the wins to get Brazil into the second round and into the final stages of the tournament.
Even as the goals were scored in the stadium, there were fireworks outside and protesters criticizing the political plight of the country were making their point about contrasting themes outside the tournament and the need for living shelters and basic social reform like education for Brazil’s children.