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Your Running Commentary

World Cup 2014: Brazil vs. Croatia: Your Running Commentary

NeymarBrazil3-Serbia (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

The start of the World Cup has finally arrived.

Host nation Brazil kick off the month-long tournament against European side Croatia at the Arena Corinthians, with many of the world’s eyes all facing Sao Paulo today. Neymar earns his 50th cap and former Toronto FC goalkeeper Julio Cesar starts as expected in goal for Brazil.

Croatia counters with their midfield stars of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, and Mateo Kovacic, hoping to upset the hosts and start their World Cup campaign on a high note.

Today’s opener is being shown on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, and Univision.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

102 comments
  • Older & Wiser

    Heard the first goal of the 2014 World Cup was a Marcelo own goal on a Croatia cross.

    Like

    • MidWest Ref

      couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Marcelo was a mean spirited bully in a US friendly a year or so ago. I recall he took a couple cheap shots at some of our US MNT.

      Like

      • TheFrenchOne

        yeah, this just made my day. i assume brazil will pull this out, but that’s something marcelo will get to carry around his neck for a while.

        Like

      • Bitman

        What he also was, as I recall, was absolutely friggin brilliant.

        Like

  • soundersdude

    This has been a great game. Lots of chances, good back and forth action. not a ton of fouls, very open. Great advertisement so far, i think we’d have more soccer fans in the US if more games were like this.

    Like

  • Spectra

    1-1 Neymar with a perfectly placed ball from the top of the box on the ground off the post

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    • reignman

      Pretty sure he mishit that, it ended up looking really nice but I don’t think that is what he was trying to do.

      Like

    • iggy

      keeper probably should have saved that though…it was not moving that fast and pretty far out.

      Like

  • soundersdude

    wow that was such a pointless giveaway.. haha olic is lucky on that one

    Like

  • Big Larry

    Said it before. I talked with someone who says she knows expat. Said he was sticking to his guns, even though Green didn’t start 1 of the 3 friendlies and only played in one, expat still claims Green will make a significant contribution in Brazil, maybe even start a game or two in the group stage. She said he might come back at some point.

    I kind of miss him and his theories on how Green came to the USMNT and what it means for U.S. soccer.
    “I tell you what”, I hope expat is proven right. Because that would mean that Green is making a big. difference in Brazil. I know, it is weird, but I want us to get out of our group.

    Like

    • slowleftarm

      Expat still posts here every day under various names including “Big Larry” apparently. As far as I know the only ones posting on here are me and Expat.

      Like

    • Jack

      I hope he’s some super secret weapon we’re just waiting to really bring out when we need him. Then taking him would at least make sense. However so far it’s not really looked that way.

      Like

  • dasdude

    – Olic with the ridiculous giveaway in his on half.

    Croatia look dangerous

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  • soundersdude

    Kinda surprised there aren’t many comments right now. most people must not be able to find it at work

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    • soundersdude

      probably hurt, i think they are in a three way battle for second, if croatia lose then mexico has a chance to gain ground on second by tying brazil

      Like

  • Brett

    This is your World Cup. Your “beautiful game”. Expect a half dozen calls like this in Brazil’s favor before this is over. Disgraceful.

    Soon will come the injury faking.

    Like

    • BrianK

      What a disgrace!!! Sadly,..this is what the tournament will be,…everyone bowing to a brazil. May as well just give them the trophy and let everyone else play for the real title.

      Like

    • BrianK

      This is going to be Japan Korea all over again,….homer calls for the host!

      Like

      • DB

        Is anyone surprised? We do remember the physical assault they put on Spain in the Confed Cup final with absolutely no recourse from the referee, right?

        It will take the “hand of God” to prevent Brazil from winning this whole thing…regardless if they’re the best team or not.

        Like

  • Spectra

    That call was so awful. I mean we use the superlative a lot for bad calls but that was a horrible horrible call.

    Like

  • Greg

    That call makes the sport of soccer worthless. Why would anyone want to waste time watching a sport where something so bogus and capricious can alter the game so massively.

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      • Greg

        No, you couldn’t. Only in soccer can a player deceive a ref so easily to create an automatic win for his team.

        In other sports, a ref can blow a call, but there is no potential — in fact huge incentive — for a player to cause this to occur. Where a ref blows a call one can be outraged at the ref but ultimately recognize that it happens, occasionally. Where a player representing his country deceives a ref by flopping to the ground and his team is rewarded with a world cup win one can — and in my opinion should — regard the sport as too flawed to invest serious time in.

        This debacle occurred in game 1 of the event. Game 1 is flawed and invalid as an athletic event. How many more invalid games will there be this cycle? To me anyway, this feature of contemporary soccer makes it worthless as a sport.

        Like

      • Landy Cakes

        not true. but in other sports it can only happen at the end of a game. Well maybe baseball, if you call a foul ball a grand slam or something or something.

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      • Mason

        Football: two point game, trailing team has the ball. X runs a Go and the QB underthrows the ball. X stops and the DB runs into X. PI. Trailing team now in FG range.

        I call it “The Flacco,” and I hate that call with the fire of a million white-hot suns.

        Like

    • soundersdude

      Umm what about a horrible foul in basketball that gives a team 2 free points in a close game, terrible called strikes outside of the strikezone that end an inning where runs could have been scored, bad PI calls in NFL, umm seahawks packers call anybody?? happens in every sport.

      Like

      • Greg

        Again, blown calls are inevitable in all sports. It is the fact that players in the most important soccer games in the world can easily deceive a ref and thereby earn wins for their team — and do so, as just occurred — that makes the contemporary version of soccer fundamentally flawed.

        Look, I realize I am arguing to an audience of soccer fans, so I’m not going to continue (and I’m certainly not trolling). It’s my opinion. I used to be a huge fan but this has gotten to be too much.

        Like

      • Increase

        Your not wrong. A blown call in soccer can give away the only goal of a game. A blown call in any other sport would lead to maybe. 1/10th of the total points scored rather than 100%

        Even in hockey a 1 goal games are extremely abnormal.

        Like

    • Matle

      And yet, somehow, it managed to become the most popular sport in the world. Go figure

      Like

  • Spectra

    this might sound weird because I hate replay but we need reviews for PKs the entire game rides on calls like this.

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    • NolaJ

      What they need to do is move the penalty spot further away. When goals are scarce, the temptation to dive in the box is great because a PK is almost an automatic goal and there is almost never a repercussion for diving. The placement of the spot dates from a time when the ball was a lot different then it is now. Make the shot from 15 yards instead of 12 and then a penalty kick won’t be so automatic.

      Like

  • dawwilly

    Mexico is not tying Brazil. Mexico won’t beat Croatia either. Not having Vela is huge. The Tri are a shadow of what they used to be.

    Like

  • Gordoninho

    Take that, Sepp Blatter and your looney “manager’s challenge” idea!

    Like

  • UclaBruinGreat

    That’s one thing about soccer that makes the sport very annoying. The referee has so much power to single-handedly change the outcome of a game. Much more than any sport. And so often they get it wrong. Horrible call on that pk to gift Brazil the lead.

    Like

  • cabrito

    Might as well continue the corruption and bribes….that’s one of the worst penalty calls I’ve ever seen.

    Like

  • Increase

    Really really? Again? What a terrible ref. He gave a goal away and he stole one fro. Croatia

    Like

    • soundersdude

      You’re lying to yourself if you dont expect that will be called a foul almost every time. Like the announcer said, GKs are a protected species.

      Like

      • Increase

        Ya, but he clearly never had control of the ball… and its just another example of bad refing. I even think the whistle was late but It was hard to hear where i was.

        Like

  • dawwilly

    That’s how FIFA pays back Brazil for the former getting a humongous tax holiday.

    Like

  • SoundersFan

    Referee should be banned for rest of world cup, divers should be suspended for rest of group stage and instant replay on Penalties implemented immediately. :0) Ok, I feel better.

    Like

  • Leo

    Hope there are officers at the stadium that can take a report, some Croatians are getting robbed.

    Like

  • Igor

    What a disgrace, that was not a penalty, what an awful dive, way to start a world cup!

    Like

  • soundersdude

    Man croatia’s goalie is weak.. Glad to have Howard thats for sure. Cesar actually hasn’t looked the greatest either

    Like

  • reignman

    That was a clear foul in the midfield in the buildup to the third goal, what a joke

    Like

    • slyboy

      yeah i saw that as well. And we say MLS refs are bad, at least they are just bad, and not blatantly bias

      Like

      • reignman

        Not sure why the announcers didn’t mention it, Ramires clearly fouls him and it leads directly to the goal.

        Like

      • Increase

        Ya I saw it too. It was a huge thing but it definitely happened.

        Like

  • Mason

    That said….

    BRA looks kinda bad.

    And as I’m typing that Oscar scores on a toe poke that the GK should have turned around the post.

    Like

  • dawwilly

    Croatia has outplayed Brazil, but the latter has revealed the Croatia n’s Achilles heel. They have an English keeper in net.

    Like

  • SoundersFan

    I sure hope tomorrows games have better flow than this one, both teams struggled

    Like

  • Brain Guy

    For me, this WC is ABB – anybody but Brazil. They talk like they invented “real” football and have some sort of divine entitlement over lesser, Earth-bound teams, but they complain and dive when it suits their brand of the Beautiful (?) Game.

    Like

  • BrianK

    Referee MOTM! Will always have a home in Brazil! What a sham. Hey, they dropped $11 billion on the tournament,…the least they can expect is a little homer ism!

    Like

  • Matt Bk

    Can we agree to resist whining about refereeing for the next 4 weeks? The US team won’t get calls. We know. Etc. Everyone knows CD falls down, so win the game.

    Like

    • Mr_A

      OK, no whining. But we can keep complaining, right?

      After all, last time they had no laser-goal-detection, and now they do. (I’m sure they’ll malfunction soon, and give goals when the ref pushes a button, but anyway…). The sport evolves, and divers are better than ever, with FIFA restricting the amount of camera time on foul calls.

      Like

      • Clover362

        FIFA restricts camera time on foul calls? If US media companies agree to that, that is pathetic. The only way to improve officiating is to hold officials accountable for bad calls FIFA actively tries to prevent that, I call BS.

        Like

  • Mr_A

    Countdown to when “as lucky as a Croatian in Brazil…” becomes a catchphrase.

    Like

  • Jason b

    I guess gone are the games of the brazilians playing beautifully. No more smiles from ronaldinho and the real Ronaldo…. Now diving by Marcelo, Fred and neymar. What a sad day. Aren’t Brazil too good to do that?

    Like

  • notatallcynical

    Very good display by everyone involved. The ref did his job, gifting Brazil a penalty and making a bunch of other dubious calls. Croatia provided the poor defense and shady goalkeeping efforts. In the end, an unconvincing Brazil got the result FIFA demanded and the score that the crooks in Singapore asked for. It was all very well choreographed. Now the Brazilian people have something to cheer about.

    Like

  • Clover362

    Brazilians will be partying with the win, but I think they should all be concerned with their team. As the tournament goes later the referees should improve and a dive like that will result in a yellow card and not a PK. I thought the back line for Brazil looked pretty mediocre and will struggle against the more elite attacking teams. Also there chances didn’t look like would be goals against better defenses and normal good goalkeeping.

    Like

    • BrianK

      They shouldn’t be concerned about their team,….they will win every game,…thanks to calls like the one this afternoon. Good thing,….the poverty stricken masses in Brazil will be happy!

      Like

  • usaalltheway

    Horrible game.

    Terrible defending by that goalie, horrible build up play and passing by the Brazilians and in general a very lack-luster side from my Seleção.

    I have this feeling this Cup was bought…

    Like

    • Landy Cakes

      All I can say Klinsman is wrong any tournament where these men in yellow are the favorites the USA can win.

      Like

  • beachbum

    wow, those calls took the starch out of a fun tactical chess match to that point. thought Rakitic was awesome, got screwed on that Ramires foul to spring Oscar’s goal. lots of accomplish nothing dribbling for Brazil. all 3 goals included sub standard plays by GK. Brazil was forced wide by compact organized D, expect the same from other opponents who can do it. Brazil’s D presence above the 18 deteriorated I the2nd half, lots of holes

    Like

  • Brain Guy

    How does FIFA choose referees for the WC? Do there have to be representatives from all of the confederations? Some of these jokers (remember the guy from US-Slovenia?) are embarrassments. Even in the absence of outright corruption, it seemed clear to me today that the referee was making his decisions based on reputation, not evidence.

    Like

  • Ken

    The croatian DF did have his hand on Fred’s shoulders, but I would say it wasn’t worth a PK. So I understanding everyone complaining about the judge. But with the current rules, stuff like this happens, and the person who is to blame for all of this is definitely Fred, for he is the one that over reacted when he screwed up with his first touch and pretended to be pulled down by the DF. In this case a dive like this should be given a red card, for one goal can change the outcome of the game, just like an intended foul to prevent a goal. I mean these are things you need to look at a camera replay and determine, unless the referee can look at the scene from 360 degrees or something. Anyways, to all those people saying how other sports are better, if the results are the only things you look at in a sport, you obviously don’t know any sports at all.

    Like

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