International

Brazil Wins World Cup Opener Against Croatia, 3-1

Marcelo (left) of Brazil and Ivan Perisic of Croatia in action during the FIFA World Cup 2014 group A preliminary round match between Brazil and Croatia at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday. i i

Marcelo (left) of Brazil and Ivan Perisic of Croatia in action during the FIFA World Cup 2014 group A preliminary round match between Brazil and Croatia at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday. Sebastio Moreira/EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Sebastio Moreira/EPA/Landov
Marcelo (left) of Brazil and Ivan Perisic of Croatia in action during the FIFA World Cup 2014 group A preliminary round match between Brazil and Croatia at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday.

Marcelo (left) of Brazil and Ivan Perisic of Croatia in action during the FIFA World Cup 2014 group A preliminary round match between Brazil and Croatia at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday.

Sebastio Moreira/EPA/Landov

Brazil stumbled early on, but came back to overpower rival Croatia in the group A preliminary round match in Sao Paulo at the opening of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

CBSSports.com says:

"The Brazilians surrendered an early own goal before Neymar answered with a first-half equalizer, and a dive in the box from striker Fred led to the go-ahead goal in the second half on a Neymar penalty kick.

"Oscar then added some security in extra time, and Brazil is back on track at the head of Group A.

"It didn't seem that way early, though, as Croatia set the early pace, earning several chances but failing to capitalize. It appeared the Croatians ran out of gas late, and they certainly didn't get the benefit of the referee's whistle."

The Daily Mail says: "Brazil had the best of the game, but were struggling to find a way through when Fred – not as exciting a forward as his name suggests – backed in to Dejan Lovren and then fell beneath the merest contact from the Croatian defender."

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