Daily Cup Check: Day 1
We’re off and running. Our monthlong vacation from sanity, work, or general use to society began today in Sao Paulo with a pretty strange match. Step inside, walk this way, hey hey!
Brazil 3 – Croatia 1
I guess it was always going to be a goofy one when neither team fielded a defensive midfielder, both keepers could be described as “abstract,” and the overwhelming pressure on the home team left them gasping for air. A strange one indeed. Let’s get to the bullets for this one.
-You feel Croatia could have had more than a 1-0 lead if they were just a tad more ambitious. With Paulinho pushing so far up the field and Alves and Marcelo not even knowing the zip code to their own half, chances on the counter were there. Croatia scored off one, they had a couple more, and could have had more.
-But not fielding a holder/destroyer themselves came back to haunt them, as Oscar was able to fight off three challenged, if you can call them that, and then there was no one there to close Neymar down as Rakitic looked like he was on the Architecture Tour. Sure, his shot was apologetic in nature as it crawled in off the post, but should have never taken place.
-Brazil were saved by the penalty call. They had run out of ideas. Usually when you get something this mythical there’s another camera angle showing a shirt-tug or a real pull, Nope, this was just a referee brain bubble.
-Julio Cesar is going to let in a pretty hilarious goal at some point this tournament. But he’ll have to let in two to match Pletikosa, who moved around like David Seaman at his current age. Like Seaman, he apparently needs someone to hold up a giant sign saying, “I’M SHOOTING NOW!”
-Modric is such a player, and was getting such space. Too bad he had to cover for his entire midfield and couldn’t get up the pitch enough.
Player Of The Game
I’m sure Neymar will take all the plaudits, but we’re taking Oscar, who did all of Paulinho’s work in midfield, set up one goal, scored another, and looked like one of the few Brazilians who wasn’t more concentrated on getting to the party after the game.
Anyway, we’ll be more in depth tomorrow. But at least it’s here. Saddle up.