‘What is a match if it is not interesting?’ is a maxim all swear by. However, the match between Brazil and Croatia was not expected to be a nail biting ninety minutes, but that changed immediately after Marcelo scored an own goal, the first in the history of the Brazilian side thus, giving the underdog team a head start. The next eighteen minutes were full of anticipation and frenzy amongst the fans praying and chanting for an equalising goal. A sigh was heaved after Neymar scored one, thankfully this time, in favour of Brazil.
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The match would have then proceeded to be an ordinary one sans the antics of the referee Nishimura. More than the match, the viewers were left amused by his image which came across as a lot akin a Brazilian fan boy. The Croatians would certainly be angered by Nishimura’s controversial refereeing but the recession hit Croatian businessmen should praise him because post the match the business proposition of manufacturing dartboards with the referee’s face is a fool proof way to hit gold. Jokes apart, the Japanese referee erred not just once but twice on the eve of the first match of the 2014 World Cup and, interestingly, both were in favour of Brazil.
Nishimura awarded a penalty to Brazil by flashing a yellow card to Croatian defender Dejan Lovren when he was hardly at fault and then topped it off by not showing the red card to Neymar when he elbowed Luka Modric. These controversial judgements left the Japanese red faced, leading to a volley of memes and jokes floating on all social networking sites. Some of these tongue in cheek jokes termed him to be Brazil’s thirteenth player in disguise.
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The match eventually turned out as expected with Brazil scoring all the goals, including the one in favour of the opposite side. The second goal of the match was scored by Neymar through the controversial penalty awarded to him. Scored late into the match, the third goal was a counter attack efficiently handled by Oscar who dribbled it around the twenty five yards out and shot straight by Pletikosa leaving him hapless. This followed by the final whistle brought forth an ear shattering cheer heralding a spectacular win for Brazil.
The 3-1 win for Brazil was nothing beyond expectations. However, the own goal by Marcelo and the controversial refereeing by Nishimura were certainly the talking points of the first match of this World Cup.
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