Brazil 3 (Neymar Jr 29, 71 penalty; Oscar 90)
Croatia 1 (Marcelo own goal 11)
By Simon Kuper in Sâo Paulo
This was the joyous start the World Cup needed. After all the Brazilian anger about wasteful spending, and Fifa’s anger at Brazil’s tardy preparations, this was a surprisingly attacking, open, cheering game.
It was also played in perfect conditions: the stadium looked ready, the weather handily cooled off just before kickoff, and Brazil’s players and crowd got us into the mood by continuing to belt out the national anthem for half a minute after the music had stopped.