Jun 12, 2014, 11:32 PM EST
It’s been slightly over 47 months since Spain won its first world championship in South Africa, a victory that started soccer quadrennial, seemingly interminable countdown. On Thursday, however, that process finally came to close when the 2014 World Cup kicked off in Brazil.
For the host nation, the festivities on the field couldn’t have gone any better. Despite a sub-par performance, the Selecao produced a two-goal win, with a brace from Neymar complemented by Oscar’s late insurance into give Brazil a 3-1 victory over Croatia. Though a blown call sparked second half controversy that dominated the post-match conversation, the World Cup was still underway, with one of the most storied nations in the sport’s history taking a step toward a sixth World Cup.
The tournament continues on Friday with a rematch of the 2010 final between Spain and the Netherlands. Mexico (against Cameroon) and Chile (facing Australia) are also in action, but in the interim, check out the highlights by pressing the play button, below.
- Player Ratings: Some good, some not so good in Chile’s 3-2 win over the U.S. 7
- Chile 3-2 USMNT: Another lead disintegrates for Klinsmann’s crew 1
- Sheffield United 2-2 Tottenham: Eriksen sees Spurs to All-London final in absolute thriller 2
- Africa Cup of Nations roundup: Lots will be drawn to determine second place in Group D 0
- Queens Park Rangers’ Canadian winger Junior Hoilett on Toronto FC, relegation battles and more 0
- English FA charge Chelsea’s Diego Costa with violent conduct after stamp, may miss Man City match 1