By Ryan Howden
The wait is over the World Cup is here! And Ian Wrights budding romance with a pretty German surfer-man on the beach cheered me up after I realised Adrian Chiles had opened my World Cup.
There was also that creepy ass Nike advert we all saw and will haunt our nights for weeks to come.
The opening ceremony began with a celebration of the Amazon (without the loggers and bulldozers) but it was actually kind of chill and awesome, I mean it had ent’s and crazy flower people. Then it was time for the carnival as all the colour and excitement you would expect from Brazil flooded the arena, there was even some capoeira (but no Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, booo, how sick would some arm-bars have been).
Then everything changed when the football nation attacked and a celebration of Brazil’s football youth bagan. Next someone sang I’m not sure who I was getting a beer.I did see J-Lo and Pitbull arise from the bowels of the earth though to sing the official World Cup song with rapping that would make even John Barnes shake his head.
After what seemed an age the game finally started, and what a start it was, Brazil had what I think may be the first a capella national anthem with a passion Gazza would nod to.
The game had a slow start as the two sides settled into the world cup. In really one of the first attacking moves of the match Marcelo scored an own goal as an Olic cross deflected off of Jelavic on 11 minutes saw the samba stall.
The game then settled back in for a while, with only Neymar flying in at the far post like Dan in Street Fighter IV being a highlight. On 29 minutes though Neymar scored a rough effort from 20 yards that beat Croatian keeper into the bottom corner. The game for the end of the first half was all Brazil with Croatia performing some world class defending.
Half-Time, pundits are on so time for me to get a beer.
The second half started very slowly with the only real chance early on being a Dani Alves free-kick on 66 minutes going just over the bar. On 68 minutes though a penalty was given as Lovrens was seen to be impeding Brazil’s Fred, who went down like a sack of spuds.
Neymar converted the penalty with a cocky effort that was almost saved by Pletikosa who got a hand to it.
More referee drama on 82 minutes when Croatia had a goal disallowed, for what I believe was the ball apparently going out of play in the preceding cross but it was not clear.
The last 5 minutes were constant pushing by Croatia looking for an equaliser and Modric came close on 86 minutes, there attack though was punished when Oscar scored on the break in injury time with a well struck effort.
Brazil 3-1 Croatia
Full time and feels for Croatia who were better than the scoreline suggests and look good enough to make the last 16, Brazil had flashes of brilliance but it was soured by the diving of Fred for the penalty.