Brazil 2014: right said Fred, let’s have a penalty

WCB2-300x255‘We was getting nowhere’ as Bernard Cribbins put it, so we conned the ref. From‘s WC range

A desperately poor opening match of the 2014 World Cup was effectively settled by a penalty awarded, along with a yellow card, for a non-existent foul by Croatia’s Dejan Lovren after Fred tumbled theatrically to ground while probably fouling Lovren.

Oscar’s neat stoppage-time toe poke gave the scoreline a flattering look – 3-1 – but the damage was done by the fraudulent penalty.

Yuichi Nishimura, the Japanese referee, ought to be on a plane back to Tokyo tomorrow. He had already allowed himself to be fooled repeatedly by Brazilian play-acting in less dangerous parts of the pitch.

Just like watching Brazil, Barnsley fans used to chant. After this limp, skill-free apology for a curtain-raiser, we should be wondering whether seeing the hosts in action is a bit like watching Barnsley.

Neymar took his first goal well, though it was a somewhat speculative long-range shot to equalise a comical own goal by Marcelo who bundled the ball into his own net off an ankle after a decent Ivica Olic cross was completely mishit by Nikica Jelavic.

But Stipe Pletikosa very nearly saved Neymar’s unimpressive penalty kick. And Croatia had half-chances to draw level at 2-2 immediately before the third goal.

Otherwise, lots of Brazilian possession, a few promising Croatian breaks and endless misplaced passes, wasted possession and dreary approach work. Now that was like watching Sunderland in the depths of last season’s more gloomy spells. Any comparison with the noble Brazils of old would be embarrassing. They’ll now go on and win every game in style just to confound me.

Jake scratches his head at our readers' choice
Jake scratches his head at our readers’ choice

Salut! Sunderland‘s own bit of World Cup news is that the United States are our second team, as voted by thumping majority of those who have taken part in our poll. That puts an even greater onus on Jozy Altidore to bang in a few goals and return raring for Premier action.

Voting remains open. If third-placed Belgium or, should England be eliminated, second-placed Uruguay overtake the USA, our second team will change identity accordingly.

Who should be Salut! Sunderland’s second team in Brazil? free polls
Matt's cartoon as adapted by Jake
Matt’s cartoon as adapted by Jake
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8 thoughts on “Brazil 2014: right said Fred, let’s have a penalty”

  1. You forgot to mention that Neymar should have seen red for a pre-meditated forearm smash across a Croatian throat two minutes before his first goal. We might as well give them the trophy now and forget about the whole thing….So Charlie and me had another cuppa tea and then we went home.

    • Should have said ; Same old’!!!

      I am currently in Qatar where the fever pitch is ……….none existent. This is a tiny nation where the expats outnumber the Qatat’rs 10 to 1.

      The corruption in FIFA is a disgrace and now it falls on the field of play… the beautiful game has gone missing…

  2. Conned the ref! Are you kidding?

    This was the most blatant fix I’ve ever seen in a major tournament. Penalty was never on. Croatia got nothing out of the ref at all. Corluka got the ball on the challenge that resulted in a free kick and then a perfectly good goal was disallowed for a non existent foul on Julio Cesar.

    It was revealed (if that’s the correct term for another blindingly obvious fix), that Argentina fixed the game where they beat Peru 6-0 back in 1978.

    This is the worst Brazilian side that I’ve seen since 1974 and yet they are set to win it with the help of officials. the World Cup is 90 minutes old but it’s as bent as a dog’s hind leg.

    Biggest example of daylight robbery since the days of Dick Turpin.

    Any side that’s as poor at defending crosses along the ground when they are facing their own goal deserves nothing from the tournament. Nico Kovac had done his homework. The hosts can’t defend. Get their back 4 facing their own goal and you can play merry hell with them.

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