A brace from Neymar and a late strike by Oscar sealed a three-one victory for Brazil in front of thousands of home fans in Sao Paolo as the five-time world champions overcame a resolute Croatian team that had taken an early lead.
Under huge pressure to win, the Brazilians, who feature a star-studded line-up of players from Chelsea, Barca and Real Madrid, were left stunned after defender Marcelo’s own goal opened the World Cup for 2014.
The Croatian team, led by Real Madrid maestro Luka Modric, struggled early to contain Brazil, although it took a deflection to lead to the opening as Marcelo made history albeit for all the wrong reasons.
Neymar Jnr., however, would score the equalizer, his weak left-footed shot squeezing in amidst a mass of Croatian defenders.
This in turn set the momentum, although the Croatians’ resolute cover made it difficult for Brazil to make headway.
A controversial moment was when Forward Fred was adjudged to have been fouled in the box.
Oscar sealed the three-one win with a poke on the edge of the 18 yards box.
Brazilian fans cheered as their campaign was opened on a positive note, much to the relief of their team.
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