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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 16 January 2021
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Breakfast at Bebeto's: All you need to know from the first night of World Cup action

There was some controversy in Brazil’s victory over Croatia while doubts remain over the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Brazil Soccer WCup Brazil Croatia Referee Yuichi Nishimura points to the spot with Fred on the floor. Source: Frank Augstein

On Day 1

BRAZIL AND CROATIA took part in the tournament’s curtain-raiser last night and the hosts were extremely fortuitous to claim a 3-1 win over their European opponents. Real Madrid defender Marcelo scored the first goal of this year’s finals when he bundled into his own net on 10 minutes before Croatian goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa failed to save Neymar’s equaliser.

On 71 minutes, Brazilian striker Fred went down under a soft challenge from defender Dejan Lovren and Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura awarded a penalty. Neymar bagged his second from the spot before Oscar wrapped up the result in injury-time.

Winner

Neymar – Two goals for the Barcelona striker will go some way to easing the huge amount of pressure on his shoulders.

Brazil Soccer WCup Brazil Croatia Source: Andre Penner

Loser

Cristiano Ronaldo – There were worrying scenes at Portugal’s training session yesterday as their star player limped out of the session after around 15 minutes with his left knee heavily strapped up. Portugal take on Germany on Monday evening.

Brazil Portugal Soccer WCup Source: AP/Press Association Images

Joga Bonito

Oscar’s clever toe-poke for Brazil’s third goal in injury-time.

https://vine.co/v/MjUvaYJU7Dz

What have we got to look forward to today?

  • The second Group A game sees Mexico face Cameroon in Natal at 5pm. 
  • In a repeat of the 2010 final, reigning champions Spain face Louis van Gaal’s Holland at 8pm.
  • Also in Group B, Chile and Australia meet in the 11pm kick-off at Cuiba’s Arena Pantanal.

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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