Good luck to Croatia, who most pundits (myself included) think have little prayer of winning this one. Still, a few of us remember the scrappy Croat side that finished 3rd in 1998 and would like nothing better than to see them do well this time around. Good chance for them about 6 minutes or so in. Maybe should have buried that header. CROATIA SCORES in the 10th minute. Weak defense and a great cross. Own goal technically, but this is super news for those of us who want a good game. Brazil will now have to attack, or at least play with some urgency.
To be perfectly frank, I picked Brazil to make the final against Argentina. Still think that’s going to be the case, but one worries about Brazil’s preparation being this lax early on.
Announcers say that the lights have gone off in parts of the stadium, providing some evidence that perhaps Brazil’s economic issues have made them a less than ideal choice as host.
Great stuff from Brazil 22 minutes in. Keeper comes up strong with a great save.
ESPN shows off their “goal line technology” in replaying the first goal, a score about which there was no question whatsoever. Even the announcers mock this decision.
Neymar gets a yellow for an arm to the face. Should get a red for that haircut. Yellow seems a little harsh for the arm, though.
Neymar SCORES in the 29th minute. Hardly any power on the shot, but right off the post and in. 1-1 on a great shot that the outstretched keeper could do nothing about.
1-1 at halftime where commentator Alexi Lalas blames the Croat keeper for the goal. I have no idea what Lalas is talking about; the shot went in on the post and the keeper was as stretched out as possible.
Boring start the 2nd, but Neymar gets taken down in the 66th on a yellow given that could have been a red. The following free kick is put over the bar. Brazil’s touch on the ball is clearly better, but one has to concede that their defense looks very shaky.
Ref calls a penalty against Croatia and completely blows it. Horrible, horrible call. “Not in a million years,” says a commentator. Really, anything in the box needs to be an instant replay. Goal line technology is wonderful, but we need all penalties reviewed, too. That was so egregiously bad as to be really unfair. FIFA should give the player a 1 game suspension for flopping. Honestly. Neymar’s penalty is deflected but not sufficiently, and it’s 2-1 Brazil. Already in this World Cup the real story is the poor call in an otherwise pretty well officiated game.
Another terrible call in the 83rd minute robs Croatia of a goal. Did not look like a foul to me. The goalkeeper didn’t have it—that’s a free ball. Two poor calls now, both against Croatia.
Yellow to Gustavo of Brazil in the 87th. Neymar subbed out. Good chance for Croatia goes begging.
Oscar scores! Nice goal, beating two defenders and the keeper, but the keeper should have done better on that. 3-1 Brazil in the end. Still think Croatia gets through group in 2nd, especially if they play with this level of intensity.