Day 1 Review: Opening Ceremonies and Brazil vs Croatia

World Football opened a new chapter today with the FIFA World Cup 2014. Here are the events of day one.

Opening Ceremonies:

The FIFA World Cup 2014 started with an olympic-esque opening ceremony that was full of entertainment. There were many events and happenings.

It started with a lit up ball, representing a football, with all sorts of images all over it. It was massive, about as big as the centre circle, on a stand. It begun with Brazilian flag colours and a message that said “welcome” in various different languages. The ball would inevitably change as it was made with thousands of pixels that were manually put together. This sparked a cultural celebration that covered the country in a geographic sense- from the blazing hot climate of Manaus, to Rio itself. The culture was celebrated with some extraordinary dancing, and then it broke into football. Suddenly, the ball turned into a football, and 64 children came on to do their part in the celebrations.

From Rediff

From Rediff

The children, dressed in costumes that have the same pattern as a traditional football, performed a huge dance routine. The ball started flashing different flags of countries that are participating in the World cup, and then men who represent the referees and other officials.

Suddenly, the ball started to split open, and as it came down and revealed a stage with Claudia Leitte poised to perform as the official anthem, “We Are One”, begun to play. Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez came out of the inside of the ball and begun to sing. This performance closed the ceremony. Although not very long or the best ceremony you will ever see, it did bring the best in for the World Cup.

From Zimbio

From Zimbio

Brazil vs Croatia:

Starting Lineups:

Brazil played the usual team from top to bottom.

Made on Lineup Builder

Made on Lineup Builder

Croatia opted for a few different players than expected in the same formation. Mario Mandzukic received a 1 game suspension in the last qualifying fixture, and he is replaced by Jelavic. Daniel Pranjic also misses out, to include the likes of Sime Vrsaljko.

Made on Lineup Builder

Made on Lineup Builder

Match Highlights:

5th minute: Neymar lined up to take a free kick early in the match with Brazil’s possession. Marcelo took it as a cross, and it was headered into the centre. David Luiz tries to put it past, but Pletikosa is there for an easy save.

7th minute: A beautiful cross from Perisic on the right gets to Olic, who is on the opposite side of the box. Olic is too far from the keeper to convert in the minute.

OWN GOAL FOR BRAZIL! Croatia has the lead! A cross from Olic passes Thiago Silva and a Croatian striker deflects it to Marcelo, who accidentally slips it back. Very nervous play from the Real Madrid man. Croatia 1-0 Brazil, Marcelo OG 10′.

From Q USA Today

Marcelo Own Goal, From Q USA Today

Brazil are unable to convert from 3 Neymar corners.

A great break from Brazil in the 20th minute goes to Paulinho in the box, who is unable to raise or turn the ball enough to beat Pletikosa. Great possession from Brazil.

In the 22nd minute, Neymar runs along the goal line and lets a cross go. Croatia clear it to Oscar, who fires a bullet that Pletikosa has to punch out. Great save, and you can feel a Brazil goal coming at this point.

Perisic is down after Paulinho knocks him over when trying to reach a header, but he stays on in the 24th minute.

Neymar gets a yellow card in the 27th minute as he knocks Modric over. Not the finest from the Brazilian, but at least he didn’t dive.

Srna to take the free kick. It is good, but cleared by Brazil before the Croatians can get a head to it. Brazil are shaky in the back.

Rakitic plays a beautiful ball into the Brazilian box, and Olic crosses. The header is saved by Cesar.

EQUALISER!!!! A stunner from Neymar in the 29th. From outside the box, he plays a beautiful low ball into the right post and in. Unstoppable for Croatia. Croatia 1-1 Brazil.

From Telegraph

From Telegraph

As Neymar wastes another corner, it looks as if Croatia have a stronger defence than Brazil. Rakitic blows a corner as well.

A Rakitic “challenge” on Neymar gives him a free kick in the 42nd. It doesn’t get past the wall.

Half Time: Brazil 1-1 Croatia; Goals, Marcelo (OG), Neymar

Half Time report: Fast match where both teams are very good.

The second half starts.

Oscar is fouled in the 50th, just on the right of the box. Neymar can’t find a yellow jersey in the box.

Substitution: the 60th, Brozovic is coming on for Kovacic.

Substitution: In the 62nd, Paulinho exits for Hernanes.

Corluka takes a yellow in the 65th for a challenge on Neymar. The Brazilian gets a free kick from scoring distance and lines up to take it with Dani Alves and David Luiz. A great kick from Dani Alves goes just over the bar.

Substituation: Bernard comes on for Hulk in the 68th.

PENALTY FOR BRAZIL!!!! Croatia are infuriated. Dejan Lovren gets a yellow. Oscar sets up Fred, who is fouled by Lovren. And the penalty kick is to be taken by none other than Neymar… 70th minute… GOAL!!! Pletikosa couldn’t stop it even though he gets a hand to it. The second goal for Neymar, Brazil 2-1 Croatia.

Neymar After Penalty Goal, From The Guardian

Neymar After Penalty Goal, From The Guardian

DAVID LUIZ!!! He has an open header and it goes wide!

Substitution: Rebic comes on for Jelavic. Jelavic has been VERY dangerous today.

Croatia on the open net are denied by Luiz in the 82nd before they get the rebound in. Olic is called for a foul on Julio Cesar, so no equaliser. Great play from Croatia, and David Luiz.

Croatia are going all out and Brazil’s defence is much better. A shot from far by Modric is hit back onto the field by Cesar as Croatia are full throttle.

Yellow card to Luiz Gustavo after a string of fouls to prevent Croatia from breaking out.

Substitution: Neymar comes off for Ramires. Stunning performance from him, and if he keeps this up he will win the Boot and the Ball.

Croatia are quick on the passing, for what could be their final chance. Brazil get it back, Oscar gives it straight back to the Croatians! Cesar makes a great save after a longshot. Croatia can’t get in, despite playing very well.

GOAL!!! Well deserved in the 90th from Oscar on a counter! He has been one of, if not the best player on the pitch. Brazil 3-1 Croatia

Fred is injured, but the match is pretty much over. Oscar is also injured, with a cramp. He is forgiven, his work rate has been immense.

Full Time: Brazil 3-1 Croatia; Goals, Neymar, Neymar, Oscar, Marcelo (OG); MOTM Neymar

Day 2 has 3 great contests. Mexico and Cameroon will wind up the first set of fixtures for Group A, and 2010 Champions Spain will rematch their final opponents Netherlands before Chile looks to take down Australia in the first set of fixtures for Group B.

Mexico vs Cameroon, June 13 @ 12pm

Spain vs Netherlands, June 13 @ 3pm

Chile vs Australia, June 13 @ 6pm










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