Brazil 3-1 Croatia: Hosts grind out a scrappy victory in World Cup opener

The hosts Brazil kicked off the World Cup with a good 3-1 result against Croatia, but a subpar performance. After going behind early to a Marcelo own goal, they needed a lucky Neymar shot from distance to equalize, before going ahead with an extremely soft penalty in the second half. Croatia will feel rightly aggrieved at the scoreline after giving a decent account of themselves against the hosts and tournament favorites. Brazil will have to improve if they hope to beat the likes of Spain, Germany, or Argentina if they meet in the knockout stages.

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