Croatian head coach Niko Kovac describes the crucial penalty decision in their World Cup opener as ‘ridiculous’, reports Sky
As expected, Brazil won the opening match of the 2014 World Cup, beating the Balkan side 3-1. But what should have been a joyous and celebratory occasion was marred by controversy, following the highly contentious award of a 71st-minute penalty for the hosts.
With the scores level at 1-1, Fred fell dramatically to the ground in the penalty area despite very little contact from Croatia’s Dejan Lovren, and Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura pointed to the spot. Despite goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa’s best efforts, Neymar’s kick found the net, giving the Sele