Story of the match:

  • Neymar scores twice for hosts
  • Croatia angry at penalty decision
  • Oscar also on target for Brazil
  • Vanishing spray used for first time

Neymar stole the show as Brazil came from behind to open the World Cup with a victory over Croatia in Sao Paulo, but the match turned on a controversial penalty.

The striker responded to the responsibility of being his country's poster boy by finding the net either side of half-time after Marcelo had scored an early own goal.

Oscar cemented the result with a wonderful individual goal late on but the adulation at the Arena de Sao Paulo went to Barcelona's Neymar.

His first goal was a low, sweeping effort that crept into the net from 25 yards. His second, 19 minutes before the end, was altogether more controversial.

Watch Neymar's long-range equaliser for Brazil against Croatia

Dejan Lovren was judged to have fouled Fred in the box. Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura pointed to the spot, despite replays showing little contact had been made. Neymar converted, the ball deflecting in off the out-stretched arm of goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa, to spark scenes of celebration.

It ensured a 10th consecutive win for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side but Brazil demonstrated flaws and fragilities. They did not play with the fluency or flamboyance that saw them swat aside Spain to win the Confederations Cup so emphatically last year.

The moments before kick-off had been typically rousing. A passionate Brazilian crowd delivered another fervent rendition of the national anthem. Croatia were no more than an afterthought to most outside the thousand travelling fans.

Neymar celebrates scoring against Croatia

Neymar has scored six goals in his last four appearances for Brazil.

That soon changed. From the off, Ivica Olic worked tirelessly, chasing lost causes, committing Brazilian defenders. He might have scored after seven minutes only to head Ivan Perisic's right-wing cross narrowly wide at the back post.

Four minutes later he was at the heart of the move that stunned the home crowd into silence.

With Dani Alves committed upfield, Olic found space wide on the left. His low, teasing cross found Nikica Jelavic who made glancing contact. It was enough to catch Marcelo off balance. The Real Madrid defender watched on as the ball deflected off his ankle and rolled into the net beyond goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Brazil were struggling for rhythm; insipid not inventive. Neymar was fortunate to escape a nasty first-half incident - when he caught Luka Modric in the face with a swinging forearm - with only a booking.

But when they needed a moment of magic, the man whose image had been splashed across every newspaper and TV station in Brazil provided it.

Chelsea midfielder Oscar fought through two challenges and found Neymar.

"Unfortunately the referee probably made the headlines when we wanted to be talking about Neymar or Luka Modric instead.

"Croatia have been hard done by. The referee has cost them a point that they thoroughly deserved. I don't think Brazil have been that convincing. They are a good side but have had a little bit of good fortune."

When the striker turned for goal, moving the ball on to his left foot, he had one thing in mind. The contact was not pure but the shot was unerringly accurate, creeping in from 25 yards, glancing the right post on its way.

On the touchline Scolari was swamped by his players as all 23 Brazilian squad members rejoiced in the overwhelming sense of relief. Fireworks echoed in the streets around the ground.

Croatia, though, were far from finished. Dejan Lovren provided solidity and strength in defence; Ivan Rakitic, the spark and substance in midfield.

For long periods, Brazil struggled to find the zip in their passing, or the vim and vigour in their movement, to elude markers and dismantle Croatia's effective and organised defensive system.

Dani Alves curled a dipping free-kick just over but that was the sum of Brazil's second-half efforts as the final 30 minutes approached. That was to change.

Oscar put a gloss on the final score with a tremendous late goal that his man-of-the-match performance warranted. With Croatia committed upfield, he burst forward and toe-poked in from 25 yards, taking Pletikosa by surprise with a low drive.

Brazil are off and running.

Brazil v Croatia

Croatia take a surprise lead as Marcelo scores past his own goalkeeper.

Brazil v Croatia

Neymar is shown the yellow card after catching Luka Modric with a swinging forearm before scoring moments afterwards.

Brazil v Croatia

Neymar celebrates scoring against Croatia, his two goals taking his tally for his country to 33 in 50 appearances.

Brazil v Croatia

Croatia players react with fury after referee Yuichi Nishimura awards Brazil a controversial penalty with the game 1-1.

Oscar

Brazil players congratulate Oscar after he scores Brazil's third

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Brazil

  • 12 Julio César
  • 02 Dani Alves
  • 06 Marcelo
  • 17 Luiz Gustavo Booked
  • 03 Thiago Silva
  • 04 David Luiz
  • 11 Oscar
  • 08 Paulinho (Hernanes - 63' )
  • 09 Fred
  • 10 Neymar Booked (Ramires - 88' )
  • 07 Hulk (Bernard - 68' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Jefferson
  • 05 Fernandinho
  • 13 Dante
  • 14 Maxwell
  • 15 Henrique
  • 16 Ramires
  • 18 Hernanes
  • 19 Willian
  • 20 Bernard
  • 21 Jô
  • 22 Victor
  • 23 Maicon

Croatia

  • 01 Pletikosa
  • 11 Srna
  • 02 Vrsaljko
  • 07 Rakitic
  • 05 Corluka Booked
  • 06 Lovren Booked
  • 04 Perisic
  • 10 Modric
  • 09 Jelavic (Rebic - 78' )
  • 20 Kovacic (Brozovic - 61' )
  • 18 Olic

Substitutes

  • 03 Pranjic
  • 08 Vukojevic
  • 12 Zelenika
  • 13 Schildenfeld
  • 14 Brozovic
  • 15 Badelj
  • 16 Rebic
  • 19 Cruz Campos
  • 21 Vida
  • 22 Eduardo
  • 23 Subasic
Ref: Yuichi Nishimura
Att: 62,103

Match Stats

Shots

14 11

On target

6 3

Corners

7 3

Fouls

5 20

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Brazil 3, Croatia 1.

90:00 +4:43 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Brazil 3, Croatia 1.

90:00 +4:09

Attempt missed. Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Luka Modric.

90:00 +0:30 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Brazil 3, Croatia 1. Oscar (Brazil) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ramires.

90:00 +0:07

Attempt blocked. Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

90:00 +0:04

Attempt saved. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Luka Modric.

87:59

Attempt missed. Vedran Corluka (Croatia) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Luka Modric with a cross following a set piece situation.

87:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brazil. Ramires replaces Neymar.

86:59 Booking

Booking Luiz Gustavo (Brazil) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

86:51

Foul by Luiz Gustavo (Brazil).

86:51

Luka Modric (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86:00

Luiz Gustavo (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86:00

Foul by Ante Rebic (Croatia).

85:32

Attempt saved. Luka Modric (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marcelo Brozovic.

84:31

Hernanes (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:31

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Croatia).

83:57

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Dani Alves.

78:44

Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

77:41 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Croatia. Ante Rebic replaces Nikica Jelavic.

76:03

Attempt missed. David Luiz (Brazil) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Oscar with a cross.

75:16

Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

74:17

Foul by Oscar (Brazil).

74:17

Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:26

Attempt missed. Dejan Lovren (Croatia) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

71:56

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by David Luiz.

70:29 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Brazil 2, Croatia 1. Neymar (Brazil) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

68:53 Booking

Booking Dejan Lovren (Croatia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

68:44

Penalty Brazil. Fred draws a foul in the penalty area.

68:44

Penalty conceded by Dejan Lovren (Croatia) after a foul in the penalty area.

68:22

Oscar (Brazil) wins a free kick on the right wing.

68:22

Foul by Ivica Olic (Croatia).

67:54 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brazil. Bernard replaces Hulk.

66:21

Attempt missed. Dani Alves (Brazil) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

64:55 Booking

Booking Vedran Corluka (Croatia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

64:52

Neymar (Brazil) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

64:52

Foul by Vedran Corluka (Croatia).

63:58

Marcelo (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:58

Foul by Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia).

62:58

Thiago Silva (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:58

Foul by Nikica Jelavic (Croatia).

62:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brazil. Hernanes replaces Paulinho.

62:20

Foul by Luiz Gustavo (Brazil).

62:20

Darijo Srna (Croatia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

60:37 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Croatia. Marcelo Brozovic replaces Mateo Kovacic.

58:22

Marcelo (Brazil) wins a free kick on the left wing.

58:22

Foul by Darijo Srna (Croatia).

57:00

Marcelo (Brazil) wins a free kick on the left wing.

57:00

Foul by Ivan Perisic (Croatia).

55:02

Attempt missed. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Luka Modric.

53:31

Oscar (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:31

Foul by Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia).

51:54

Hand ball by Ivica Olic (Croatia).

51:18

Foul by Paulinho (Brazil).

51:18

Dejan Lovren (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

50:07

Oscar (Brazil) wins a free kick on the right wing.

50:07

Foul by Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia).

45:00

Second Half begins Brazil 1, Croatia 1.

45:00 +2:08 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Brazil 1, Croatia 1.

45:00 +1:29

Luiz Gustavo (Brazil) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00 +1:29

Foul by Nikica Jelavic (Croatia).

44:51

Attempt missed. Hulk (Brazil) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left.

43:50

Fred (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:50

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Croatia).

42:57

Offside, Brazil. Marcelo tries a through ball, but Oscar is caught offside.

41:30

Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Ivan Rakitic.

41:27

Attempt blocked. Neymar (Brazil) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

40:20

Neymar (Brazil) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

40:20

Foul by Ivan Rakitic (Croatia).

40:14

Attempt blocked. Dani Alves (Brazil) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Neymar.

38:59

Marcelo (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:59

Foul by Darijo Srna (Croatia).

33:27

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Marcelo.

32:21

Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

28:30 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Brazil 1, Croatia 1. Neymar (Brazil) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Oscar.

28:07

Attempt saved. Nikica Jelavic (Croatia) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ivan Perisic with a cross.

26:08 Booking

Booking Neymar (Brazil) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

26:03

Foul by Neymar (Brazil).

26:03

Luka Modric (Croatia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:54

Paulinho (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

23:54

Foul by Ivan Perisic (Croatia).

21:56

Attempt missed. Hulk (Brazil) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Marcelo.

21:42

Attempt saved. Oscar (Brazil) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

20:08

Attempt saved. Paulinho (Brazil) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Oscar.

19:03

Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Sime Vrsaljko.

15:39

Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

15:33

Attempt blocked. Neymar (Brazil) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Paulinho.

10:15 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by Marcelo, Brazil. Brazil 0, Croatia 1.

10:14

Attempt missed. Nikica Jelavic (Croatia) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ivica Olic with a cross.

8:18

Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Sime Vrsaljko.

8:16

Attempt blocked. Paulinho (Brazil) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Neymar.

8:08

Luiz Gustavo (Brazil) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

8:08

Foul by Ivan Rakitic (Croatia).

7:18

Marcelo (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:18

Foul by Ivan Perisic (Croatia).

6:34

Attempt missed. Ivica Olic (Croatia) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ivan Perisic with a cross.

5:13

Attempt saved. David Luiz (Brazil) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Thiago Silva with a headed pass.

4:11

Hulk (Brazil) wins a free kick on the left wing.

4:11

Foul by Vedran Corluka (Croatia).

0:42

Attempt missed. Mateo Kovacic (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ivica Olic with a headed pass.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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