FIFA 2014 World Cup : Brazil v Croatia Opening Game

So the opening game of the World Cup see’s host nation and footballing giants Brazil against Croatia.

For this game I will be taking on the role of Brazil supporter, I’d love to see the home nation do well in the first game.

So we were off to Sao Paolo!

And of course don’t read on if you don’t want to know results…. Please don’t make me write that at the beginning of any blog I do!

Looking at the teams and I can’t help but laughing at Brazil’s line up. I mean come on Hulk, Oscar, Fred…. I’m still not used to their one name thing they have going on (though it did give us that wonderful line from Boyce…..)

Not being a big football fan I can honestly say that I don’t know anyone on the Croatian side, so I’m actually quite interested in seeing them play. I tend to love getting attached to footballers during the World Cup (no I don’t go and learn everything about them but some of them have great personality on the pitch that you can’t help but look forward to seeing them play again) and it is always nice when you look at a team and go “I don’t know where that country is and I don’t know who these people are, lets get invested in their story” especially (and I’m not saying Croatia is one, and I do know where Croatia is thanks!) when they are under dogs.

I did come out of my coma after ITV finally finished babbling on about boring stuff (and since when has England been a dark horse?!?) and have to say I love the look of the Brazil team. OK I’m not too sure what I mean by that but looking at them coming out of the tunnel I personally felt I could feel the importance of this for them and they just looked…. Ready I guess. Then again I love their yellow and green kit and loved the blue jackets over the top of it (plus a lot of them had really cool hair!) I also have to say it made me well up a little bit that the Brazilian team went onto the pitch with one hand on the shoulder off the player in front, it just felt lovely… Well apart from the guy at the back who took his hand off the guy in front.

And I’m not saying this just because I’m a Brazil supporter for this blog but I just love the Brazilian national anthem, maybe its because I’m a F1 fan but its one of those I just remember as a happy tune and can’t help but have happy fuzzy memories when listening to. And it was lovely to hear it being sung as loudly as it was by the crowd and by its players! I can’t help but love that they sang more of the anthem then the music actually played as well!

The first real chance was surprisingly from Croatia 6 minutes in. Though before the 11th minute Brazil were 1-0 down when Marcelo scores an own goal. Not the way to start your home world cup! This is about the time when I feel that my support for Brazil has given them the kiss of death! I apologise to any Brazil fans who stumble on my blog and realise that I’m cursed.

You could tell that Brazil had the pressure on them, specially after the goal as their eyes looked frantic, but I have to say the Croatian goalkeeper Pletikosa is as cool as a cucumber! I love Cesar he’s one of my all time favourite goal keepers and I think Pletikosa will possibly be joining him if he keeps up like this!

First yellow card went to Brazilian Neymar at the 26th minute.  Less then three minutes later though he also then scores Brazil’s first goal bringing them to 1-1. Unintentionally he’s become the most interesting person on the pitch besides the goalkeepers!

The first half was quite Brazil centric, it wasn’t magic and fun like you’d expect from a Brazil game but it wasn’t bad for them. Yeah they have a own goal (sad face Marcelo, sad face) but they had most of the possession, most shots and most shots on goal. Neymar totally dominated the magic that was on show with his yellow card and goal and had a few more interesting tussles and attempts as well.

Yes Neymar so far is the man of the moment, that and Marcelo…. Still sad faces for Marcelo….

The second half saw Croatia attacking just a little more but it did get stuck in a very pedestrian rhythm. Some cracks started to show in the Brazil side and still very little magic to talk of.

On the forum (@GeekMind) Rick, who is spending his first World Cup with people who actually understand football got his first taste of ref rage, the answer to your question Rick is yes by the way!

The first change came when Kovacic was replaced at the 60 minute mark for Brozovic. At this point all we want is someone to come on and give us a little bit of magic… For a brief moment it did come a lot livelier and fast paced. For the whole of a minute.

And when you thought it couldn’t be dramatic (because it was starting to get boring) Brazil are given a penalty, and Mr Neymar was there to take it. Poor Pletikosa was so close but Neymar got his second goal. Kaka as happy in the stands, we do like a happy Kaka! Pletikosa is suddenly my precious for the rest of the match, his little face… He was so close! Though Croatia might not need to score, Brazil are so goal happy tonight Luiz nearly scored for them!

So 2-1 to Brazil (and yes there was a bit of a controversy surrounding the penalty, Fred came down really easy, I’m not sure it was really a penalty and I’m starting to edge towards supporting Croatia just for Pletikosa’s little face! But hey that is the way that football goes!) and I find out that Neymar is only 22. Makes me feel old!

There is an interesting tussle in Brazil’s goal box which unfortunately ended with a non-goal. It was a shame, but it seemed to give Croatia a bit of a boast and kept the ball down the right end of the pitch for a while. Possession starts to creep closer to 50/50 and finally they are making each other play.

In the 90th minute (not the 990th minute I originally had typed) Oscar gets Brazil’s third goal after actually just a ball out of the danger zone and a lucky shot. I have to say as much as Pletikosa is now loved by me he should have saved that one easy.

Well the game had its moments but it wasn’t really that interesting. As someone that just likes to watch the World Cup it would never draw me into football at all.

The best part of the whole match was becoming a fan of both Neymar and Pletikosa who I think were the men of the match for me. Yeah OK Pletikosa let in a easy goal but his attempt at saving the penalty was great and there were some other good saves, Neymar… Well it goes without saying, without Neymar I’d have been asleep by 10pm!

I won’t be able to live blog every match, I’ll try to live blog the biggest matches I watch. But I’ll have a blog post on Sunday evening with the updates to the groups so far (mainly because here the last match of tomorrow will finish about 1amish? Yeah I might stay awake, I might even live blog, but I won’t be doing any thinking by the end of it!) and I’ll try to then do it daily!

My predictions for tomorrow….

Mexico, Spain and Australia to win.

To see other people’s predictions or to join our live commenting next time around visit us at GeekMinds.boards.net or else just leave a comment here!

Phew….. I think it is bed time for me now! 3-1 Brazil, the home boys have drawn first blood. Beat that everyone else!

One thought on “FIFA 2014 World Cup : Brazil v Croatia Opening Game”

  1. It didn’t feel much like a World Cup game. Maybe I’m just getting older or maybe it was the time it was on but it all came pretty mehish for me.

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