BRA 3 – 1 CRO: The opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup came and went in a furore of passion, skill and controversy. Don’t let the scoreline fool you, this was not the conventional fairytale Brazil hoped for to start the tournament. After a somewhat bizarre opening ceremony, the Brazilians were shocked as an industrious Croatia took the lead through a Marcelo own goal. Neymar equalised shortly before half time with a tame strike that Pletikosa should have done better with. It was to and fro in the second half and neither team looked as if they had the creativity to win the game. The Japanese referee then handed Brazil an unwarranted penalty after Fred fell theatrically allowing Neymar to grab his brace and put Brazil ahead. Shortly before full time Oscar toe-poked in a third after more poor goalkeeping by Pletikosa sending Scolari and the home nation into dreamland. The penalty decision spoilt what was an intriguing game with Croatia just about edging the play with Modric and Rakitiic controlling the middle of the park. If Mandzuckic was on the field I feel the result could have been reversed but Jelavic failed to have much impact. The favelas will be lively tonight…but in a good way. That could change if Brazil don’t improve. Croatia will feel hard done by, and rightly so. They have to pick themselves up to win their next two games, which I think they will do. Exciting stuff, when is the next game…?