Brazil wins first game of World Cup

State Hornet Staff

Before Brazil won the first match of the World Cup 3-1, Croatia put Brazilian fans in a stomach-whirling upset as its team took an early lead after home-team defender Marcelo Vieira da Silva Junior scored a goal on his own team.

The 2014 World Cup Stadium in Brazil glittered with the country’s team color of yellow, but no noise came from the audience for much of the first half, most likely from the demoralizing autogoal. It was not until Brazilian striker Neymar da Silva Santos Junior scored a goal against agile Croatian goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa that the sea of fans responded with cheer momentarily.

Brazil, for many reasons, was the expected victor for the first round of the World Cup Group Stage Round, in which the 32 participating nations are split into eight groups of four. The next round is the Knockout Stage, where winners of each group playoff against each other and runner-ups to determine who survives and moves on to Quarterfinals.

Croatia walked into this game without their most potent striker Mario Mandzukic, leaving it up to other players, like center-back Vedran Corluka, to take on World Cup favorite Silva Santos.

Despite the heavy odds against them, Croatia held off the first half in a 1-1 tie, thanks to Pletikosa repelling Brazil’s repeated attempts of taking back the lead.

Twenty minutes into the second half, Neymar in a tense standoff with Pletikosa, got a shot past the keeper during a penalty kick. Despite grazing the ball with his hand, a goal found its way marginally into the net.

Croatia’s best efforts and momentum from the shock-upset beginning eventually wore off as Brazil took the reigns back. The deal was sealed once attacking Brazilian midfielder Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior slipped a shot past Croatian defenses, subduing any chances Croatia had at a comeback.