No pressure, Brazil, no pressure. Thoughts inevitably turn to 1950, when FIFA’s peculiar decision to have a group stage for the final round of the competition left Brazil – hosts then, as now – needing a draw from their final match against Uruguay to win the competition. So it was that over 199,000 turned out at the Maracana and saw the host nation take the lead, before freezing and allowing Uruguay to win the competition for a second time. This loss turned out to be a psychological scar that some say the country never quite recovered from, even though they have won it five times since then. It’s now been twelve years since they last won the tournament, and this summer’s jamboree is considered theirs to lose.
Croatia, meanwhile, rode their luck a little just to be here. Qualifiers through the play-offs after a two-legged win against Iceland which wasn’t as comfortable as it should have been, there’s been a shake-up behind the scenes with Davor Suker taking over as the president of their football association, their friendly results – wins over Mali and Australia, and a draw against Switzerland – haven’t been especially impressive, and hipster’s choice Chile are likely to be breathing own their neck in this group, if we presume that Brazil shouldn’t mess up qualifying from this group. But anyway, we’ll be back shortly for pre-match canapes, followed by live commentary on the match in Sao Paulo. Well, live commentary on the match in Sao Paulo until we get bored and start talking about something else.
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The ITV studio has been pelted with stones. Seems you can pick up ITV Player in Brazil, after all.
‘Perhaps not the finest game’
Great opening line from Adrian there.
Brazil were way below par but still won 3-1. The Cup is theirs.
3-1 to Brazil. Oscar with a toe poke from just outside the box. Keeper should have done better…again.
Can’t argue with that.
If they give a shit, Brazil should be the team that they give it to.
I can’t get enough of Luis Gustavo’s facial fluff.
Nervy final five for Brazil ahead.
Can’t believe Lovran was booked for that ‘foul’ on Fred. I guess the ref got caught up in the moment.
They’ve certainly limited my expectations that they’ll win the whole thing.
Could be the wake up call they need though.
Quite glad you noticed. That was my prediction – a jog not a run.
Should be mentioned that Neymar was a bit lucky there. Good hands to the penalty but didn’t manage to keep it out.
His stuttered run up was akin to the fabled Roberto Carlos Freekick (though without the power or the swerve)
A god of punditry
Fred gets pulled down by Lovren, although it looks a bit weak to me.
Penalty to Brazil. And it could be argued that its a bit harsh.
Fred sparks a Barney.
Bernard coming on for Hulk (who’s been a bit invisible tonight)
Been impressive at Shaktar this season and likes to take players on.
Let’s agree to disagree.
He also managed to get “better” into a single sentence twice early in this second half.
Sure Mark appreciated it.
Definitely not a foul in my books… now I’ve had the chance to review.
Olic screaming for a free kick on the edge of the box there. Didn’t see much of it and ITV haven’t granted us a replay.
Would have been a last man tackle too from Alves.
I take that back. Croatia are seeing plenty of the ball now – though they aren’t doing much with it.
Vrsaljko has been covering well. Olic doesn’t get back quick enough anymore so he’s having to get up and down quickly.
We’re back up and running for the second half. Chance are we will see more possession from Brazil and Croatia looking to make something on the break.
Jelavic needs to keep himself in the game by chasing the back four down. On this performance Mandzukic is definitely coming back for the Cameroon match.
Ronaldo, Messi and – obviously – Victor Moses
Well Done Samsung.
(I deviated to the Ad-break again)
I also hear it is great for reducing odours.
Any Kittens or Puppies to Housetrain nearby?
Interesting fact for you:
Rakitic owns a team from his hometown which play an international team once a season in a friendly. Usually Croatia for obvious reasons.
Rakitic sporting a late eighties Mark King hairstyle if I’m not mistaken.
Can we have a sweepstake on the first referee to draw a cock and balls using that spray?
As an aside, Ian and I were both wrong with our score predictions.
I’m hoping for better luck during the three games tomorrow.
Neymar demonstrating that his left foot is as effective as his left elbow.
Brazil 1-1 Croatia. Goal from Neymar.
Not the sweetest connection but hit the inside of the right post and slightly shook the back of the net.
Left footed shot from just outside the area.
Maybe the Brazilian’s were hopeful there had been a momentary mirage.
Modric doesn’t look right with short hair…. I know that’s a poor comment but with the sound down he’s hard to follow.
Are you 100% sure that was the first time? Surely 20 minutes “plus” is a new record?
If Brazil go two down then a power outage is a sure fire escape route. Didn’t ITV mention electrical problems earlier?
It’s shocking, the pitch quality and stadium checks have made this whole event a bit of a mess.
Not to mention the countries economic situation.
I bet the bookies are rubbing their hands together.
It’s suddenly very quiet in Sao Paulo.
Well that’s a GOAL…. calamity for Brazil. Marcelo turning in an Olic cross. The first goal of the 2014 World Cup is an own-goal.
David Luis was slow to get back there. Great direct crosses will always cause problems.
Croatia could be playing a more attacking game with Mandzukic to aim at. I just can’t see Jelavic holding off Thiago Silva are David Luis for very long with these long balls forward.
If they keep it on the floor though I think their chance are worse.
And until a few weeks back he was owned by a Championship team…
This new look PSG central defence pairing for next season could do wonders for the national side.
Julio Cesar is already fragile so I think those early butterflies could cause him to have some messy shorts.
That’s surely the start we were all expecting…. you wait, 2018 Adrian Chiles will be commentating too.
That Score Bar is Hideous.
Julio Cesar is crying already – I think he already believes they’ve won it!
So, this stadium is a bit full. If Brazil go one down I could see a lot of boo’s echoing our fragile eardrums. I’m still a little off balance after that Jennifer Lopez opener.
To keep those of you up to date: during the opening ceremony both Ian and I decided a Brazil win was the eventual outcome of the next 90 minutes. Which basically means Croatia are going to get something out of it.