Hosts Brazil kick off the 2014 World Cup against Croatia in the tournaments opening match. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

LIVE BLOG: Brazil v Croatia


The moment of pure elation the world over has finally arrived – World Cup 2014 in Brazil is finally here, finally reality.  Hosts Brazil kick off a month of footballing bliss against a tough and talented Croatia side.  Will the Selecao open their tournament, one that is filled with monumental expectations, with the result the people demand? We are about to find out.

The eyes of the world will be on Brazilian wunderkind Neymar. Will he inspire the Selecao tonight? Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The eyes of the world will be on Brazilian wunderkind Neymar. Will he inspire the Selecao tonight? Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

We can fully expect Brazil to feel empowered by way of the awesome energy and passion of the home fans at the Arena de Sao Paulo, but how will Croatia respond.  Blessed with many key players who can impress, Croatia cannot be underestimated.  Will Croatia succumb to the overwhelming spirit of Brazil? Will Brazil thrive or crumble?  Co-Editors Drew and Young will bring up live up to the minute coverage, analysis, debatable content and banter from the first whistle till the last.

 

On tap for during the match will be the following major topics of discussion;

- Can Croatia cope without key striker Mario Mandzukic, suspended after a red-card offense against Iceland?

- How the midfield battle tonight will come to play.  Paulinho and Luiz Gustavo square off against Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

With so many offensive minded midfielders starting for Croatia, how will they try to shut down Neymar all match.

**Disclaimer:  Any and all legitimate topics brought forth by those who have joined us for the Live Blog will not be credited as our own in any way. (note: any and all profanity or disrespectful material that has been submitted by the fans will be dealt with swiftly)**

 

Starting XI

Brazil

Croatia


To access the Live Blog discussion, just simply continuously refresh the page and submit your thoughts and opinions via the comments section – Drew and Young will be reading and will respond in the same fashion – the time stamp for the comments section will be PST for those that may be confused by that.


Live Blog coverage

For me, on this evidence, Brazil are not good enough as they have been in years past.  This team must improve a ton if they plan on winning the whole thing.

FT at the Arena de Sao Paulo and it’s 3-1 Brazil.  Their second goal never should have been, but you cannot question the other two (or can you) – the hosts begin their campaign in earnest

90-min: Oscar!!!! He taps home from just inside the box to beat Pletikosa at his near post after he did so well to create space…terrible keeping again

90-min: Brazil are under siege! Good save by Cesar…

87-min: Neymar on and Ramires on – defensive solidarity ad better shape for Brazil in the final stages now

84-min: Croatia knocking on the door a little bit here…can they get an equalizer and restore parody?

77-min: Young talent Ante Rebic comes on for Jelavic with 13minutes left…

71-min:

71-min: It must be said that Pletikosa had to save that…both hands on the ball, still fails to parry it away…tough on him…

70-min: Neymar bags his brace from the spot – much controversy here but Brazil now have the lead…Pletikosa nearly saved it thouh…

68-min: THAT IS NEVER A PENALTY!!! WHAT A LET OFF FOR BRAZIL!!!

67-min: The diminutive Bernard comes on to replace the imposing Hulk – completely different players…the stage is set now…

66-min: Alves’ effort bends over the bar and does not threaten Pletikosa at all…

65-min: Corluka clatters into Neymar from about 25 yards out and now Brazil have a fantastic look at goal from a set-piece….

64-min: Has anyone seen Neymar lately? He’s gone missing

62-min: Hernanes has come on for Paulinho – he offers more going forward from deep-lying areas, Brazil will look to go for it in the last 30minutes now

60-min: Marcelo Brozovic has come on to replace Mateo Kovacic – like for like change in player-type, can be do better than Kovacic who struggled?

58-min: Olic yet again causing havoc down the left – imagine if Croatia had someone like Hazard or Di Maria there…they’d be 3-1 up surely…

Oscar has been absolutely brilliant this match as well – he really shines for Brazil, had a rough second-half of his season at Chelsea this year, but as been great here.

Despite having some good deliveries tonight, Olic does look awkward on the left, rather than at striker like he has done so many times at club level (Young)

53-min: Croatia seem to be a bit sloppy in the second half…not as assured of themselves as they were in the first 45minutes

50-min: First five minutes of the second half have been largely uneventful – Brazil with a corner now however…

Second-Half is under way – neither side have made any changes

HT: 1-1 as both head into the dressing room.  Croatia is looking to counter but has come out swinging.  Brazil started very slowly but they are in the ascendancy now surely.

Sorry for Young’s silence – he has been scouring high and low on Twitter to see what the world has to say…been doing a fantastic job

44-min:  Fred and Hulk have pretty much been nonexistant. I agree, Willian might be a better choice than Hulk. Bernard is another option. I’d still keep Fred on though (Young)

43-min: Hulk has been more or less invisible this half – decent chance Willian will come on at the half or very soon after…much better player overall

41-min: Neymar’s freekick deflects off the wall for yet another corner…and it comes to nothing yet again

40-min: That’s questionable from Neymar…for me that’s a dive if anything…

39-min: Brilliant stuff from Oscar as he beats two and nearly puts Neymar in through on goal…

It is worth noting here that Neymar has 32 goals in 50 caps for Brazil – at just 22 years old, that is outrageous when you think about it

34-min: Poor corner, and nothing comes from it at all…didn’t even beat the first defender…

33-min: Croatia looking to find their feet again…they have a corner here…

28-min:

28-min: NEYMAR!!!! Brazil’s Wunderkind has leveled matters after his tame effort goes off Pletikosa’s left post and into the net

28-min: Jelavic heads right at Cesar after a decent delivery

26-min: Neymar has been booked for an elbow to the face to Modric though the Croat may be making a little bit too much of it

21-min: Excellent save by Pletikosa on Oscar’s bending effort from outside the box after Neymar found his way into the box on the end-line

20-min: Paulinho skips through into the box but his effort is right at Pletikosa…signal of intent here, a little better from the Selecao

19-min: Another corner for Brazil comes to nothing…they need to be better here

18-min: Alves has been caught out yet again – Croatia clearly are targeting Brazil’s right flank now…so much space to exploit…

16-min:

16-min: Another corner easily dealt with by Croatia, they look very calm at the back thus far

14-min: What a ball from Oscar!! But neither Fred nor Neymar could convert it – Brazil always so dangerous on the counter

13-min: Croatia are certainly not sitting back here

This is what you get with Dani Alves – he’s so good going forward, but he leaves so much space in behind and Croatia have capitalized

10-min: Croatia exploit the space behind Dani Alves…Olic with an excellent ball that misses Jelavic but Marcelo has put it into his own net!!!! 1-0 Croatia!!!!

9-min: Croatia deal with the corner easily as it’s headed clear

8-min: Paulhino’s 20yard effort deflected wide…corner upcoming…

7-min:

6-min: Olic heads just wide after an excellent delivery from Srna! Warning signs as Croatia have started well

5-min: Luiz’s tame header at Pletikosa is easily collected after Brazil threatened from the dead-ball

4-min: Hulk draws a foul on the left flank…dangerous position for Croatia to defend from…

2-min: Croatia clearly looking to catch Brazil on the counter tonight…decent ball from Olic but it’s sniffed out by David Luiz

1-min: Mateo Kovacic tries to test Julio Cesar early but his effort is scuffed wide – Croatia will look to take it to Brazil tonight

0-min: AND WE ARE UNDERWAY!

0-min: You just have to love the way the crowd has taken over the national anthem once again, the same as in the Confederations Cup – this is what football is all about

0-min: Thiago Silva and Dario Srna have led their troops out on the field…and now the national anthems…

0-min: The teams are assembled in the tunnel, a few hugs and handshakes amongst club-mates.

0-min: Only moments away from the teams emerging from the tunnel, the national anthems, traditional photo and then footballing bliss for two hours

0-min: Hello and welcome to WeAreHooligans LiveBlog coverage of the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.  Host’s Brazil take on a tough and determined Croatia, who are looking to take the match to the Selecao tonight.

T 15:


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