Brazil vs. Croatia 2014

Brazil opens the World Cup in strange fashion. In a 3-1 win over Croatia, Brazil scored all the goals in the match. Truly, Croatia looked like the stronger team throughout the first half, and definitely in the last 15-20 minutes of the game. If they had scored all of their chances in the end, Croatia would've won. A strong attack by Croatia 11 minutes in yielded some sloppy defending by Brazil, scoring on themselves. Later in the first half, Brazil evened the game with a perfect-placement goal. Truly, it seems like the Croatian goalie wasn't paying attention and didn't cover in time. In the second half, Croatia certainly wasn't helped by the referee. A Brazilian forward threw a dive while handling the ball in CRO's penalty area, fooling the referee into giving a PK. Go-ahead goal despite the keeper getting to the shot. Any other professional keeper in the world, with two hands on a ball like that, would've stopped it. Croatia had lots of strong attacks as the game wound to a close, and another strange call by the referee stopped up an attack that had Brazil's goalie out of position, fallen on the ground. What would've been a goal by Croatia to even it had a mystery foul called by the referee to stop up the play. As Croatia was running out of steam, they gave up on a Brazilian counterattack. Again, the goalie seemed not quite professional as he blew the timing on his leap to stop the ball. It was really a shot that you'd expect any professional goalkeeper to stop. Croatia blew their chances. They'll need to stop up their mistakes to make it out of group stage this year. Even if they'd tied the game, you could still make a Caddyshack-inspired Cinderella Story joke out of it.

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