Brazil 3-1 Croatia, World Cup 2014: How It Happened

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The scoreline flatters Brazil, who would not even be regarded as favourites for the finals if they weren't the hosts on that showing. Neymar looked at ease under the pressure, but Oscar was the outstanding performer. The dodgy decisions by the Japanese referee will rightly enrage Croatia, who will be grateful for Mandzukic's return at the expense of Jelavic for the remainder of the group stage.

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Today (22:52) BST
3-1. Game over

Fitting Oscar should cap off his man of the match display, and his toe poke was innovative, however Pletikosa again was caught napping and was alarmingly slow getting down. He got a hand to the ball again but at 35 just looks too old.

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Today (22:50) BST
GOOOOOOOAAAALLLL

Oscar gets a deserved goal but Pletikosa is at fault again.

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Today (22:50) BST
91 min

Cesar saves from Perisic and Brazil are hanging on. There will be four added minutes.

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Today (22:49) BST
89 min

Really good chance for Corluka from a Modric cross. Olic is moaning at him, possibly because he got in his way. The Croats feel aggrieved in general.

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Today (22:48) BST
88 min

Neymar makes way for Ramires as Scolari shores it up.

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Today (22:46) BST
It's this man's night

neymar

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Today (22:46) BST
86 min

Luiz mops up when it looks like Rebic is about to get a shot off at goal. Modric then has a good strike hesitantly saved by Cesar.

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Today (22:43) BST
DISALLOWED GOAL

Olic penalised for fouling Olic, but it was a flappy attempt from Cesar. Brazil are certainly enjoying the rub of the green.

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Today (22:42) BST
81

Neymar's in full flow now and has rarely looked sharper this match. Jelavic has come off for Rebic, although it has hardly changed Croatia's approach. They're still struggling to retain the ball and their centre forward remains isolated.

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Today (22:36) BST
77 min

Great chance for Brazil as the brilliant Oscar whips a magnificent ball in and Luiz, at full stretch, commits to the header. Had he left it for Neymar it'd have been 3-1.

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Today (22:34) BST
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Today (22:32) BST
72 min

Nearly another own goal as Rakitic's diagonal pass is crossed in by Perisic and Luiz spoons the ball over.

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Today (22:31) BST
GOAL

Just. It was a wretched, pompous run-up, Pletikosa got a big hand to it but he punched it into the corner of the net.

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Today (22:30) BST
Abysmal decision

It didn't look like a penalty at the time and it looks utterly risible on the replay. Referee Yuichi Nishimura won't be sticking around long after the group stage.

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Today (22:29) BST
PENALTY

Fred has won it but it looked like a terrible decision. Lovren has been penalised.

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Today (22:28) BST
68 min

ANother Brazilian substitution, and it's the horrendous Hulk who makes way for Bernard.

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Today (22:26) BST
67 min

Alves strikes his free-kick cleanly but there's no dip on it and Pletikosa has it covered.

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Today (22:26) BST
65 min

Calamitous defending from Corluka, who passes rather than clearing on the halfway line and puts Rakitic in trouble. Neymar intercepts and charges forward but dwells on the ball too long and his pass for Fred is cut out. Fortunately for him, Corluka took him out late and Brazil have a free-kick 25 yards from goal.

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Today (22:23) BST
63 min

Brozovic could have made an instant impact had he got his touch right. Had space to shoot but lost the ball instead.

Hernanes has now replaced Paulinho for Brazil.

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Kovacic replaced by Dinamo Zagreb's 21-year-old Marcelo Brozović.

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Today (22:19) BST
59 min

Olic has the beating of Alves again but his cross is too straight and Luiz cuts it out. Jelavic made the run for the cut-back and explains just that.

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Today (22:18) BST
The Olic incident

It was outside the area and, although Alves has grazed him, it looks unintentional. Could have gone wither way, but it'd be harsh to criticise the referee.

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Today (22:17) BST
Flashpoint

brazil croatia

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Today (22:17) BST
57 min

Olic wants a penalty. He was unlikely to get onto the through ball, yet he stumbles suddenly with Alves adjacent to him. No replays yet so no chance of clarifying whether the referee got it wrong or right.

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Today (22:15) BST
55 min

Slick football in the middle third again from Croatia, with Rakitic at the heart of it. They work the ball out wide to the left again, although Brazil are better prepared this time and stymie the attack. Eventually, Perisic has a pot shot that troubles only the spectators behind Julio Cesar's goal.

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Today (22:11) BST
51 min

Free-kick to Brazil near the corner flag after Vrsaljko's ill-timed challenge on the nippy Oscar. Neymar takes it, but it's cleared by Corluka and Modric attempts to engineer a counter-attack, only he's too slow and Oscar is there to win the ball back.

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Today (22:08) BST
49 min

Little has changed. Brazil still enjoying the majority of possession and Hulk is still bad.

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Today (22:05) BST
The teams are back out

Brazil need to upgrade Fred and Hulk from peripheral to pivotal, but Neymar's not doing a bad job as it is.

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Really entertaining first-half. Brazil have dominated, but look shaky against Croatia's wide players and will be thankful Mandzukic is out injured. Brazil look too blunt in attack and it already feels inevitable Neymar will play further forward, in the absence of the anonymous Fred.

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