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World Cup Daily Digest: June 13th

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Opening day of the World Cup saw a colorful opening ceremony, refereeing controversy, and the host team unbeaten streak continues.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Opening day recap

As per tradition, there was an opening ceremony. Pitbull, Claudia Leitte, and Jennifer Lopez got on the act too.

Brazil 3 - Croatia 1

After a particularly emotional singing of the anthem by the Brazilian players, it was time to play some football.

Marcelo scored the first goal of the 2014 World Cup, to his own goal, Croatia with the shock lead after 10 minutes or so.

Neymar then leveled the score after 29 minutes, with a low drive to the bottom corner. 1-1 at half-time.

Controversy ensued in the second half, as Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura award a penalty for Brazil, after Fred went down rather easily under minimal contact.

Neymar stepped up to give Brazil the lead, though Stipe Pletikosa gets a hand on it.

Oscar rubbed salt to Croatia's wound by toe-poking the ball past Pletikosa to give Brazil the perfect start to their World Cup campaign.

Brazil vs Croatia - Reactions

Croatia's head coach Niko Kovac was, understandably, furious at the referee's decision:

"If anybody saw this was a penalty anywhere in the stadium, raise their hands."

"I don't think this was a penalty. It will never be, this is ridiculous."

Dejan Lovren, who was judged with committing the foul:

"Why don’t they just hand out the trophy to Brazil right away? Everything is going their way, everyone is saying they must win it, so why do we play then? The ref didn’t even speak English. I asked him why did he give the penalty and he just mumbled something. My team-mates tell me the same thing – how can you have an international ref who is officiating the opening match, but he doesn’t speak English and you can’t even speak to him?"

Felipe Scolari, agrees with the referee's decision and also heaps praise on Oscar:

"I watched it 10 times and, for me, it was a penalty."

"He (Oscar) is this player we all know, I had no doubts. He is wonderful, excellent."

Van Persie ready for Spain rematch

In Group B's opening fixtures, Robin van Persie believes that despite the amount of youth in the current Dutch squad, this current group is ready to prove themselves against the reigning World champion:

"Although as a squad, we may be much younger than four years ago, there are also lots of opportunities."

"We are looking forward to it and really eager to get started."

Spain ready to defend title

Iker Casillas and David Villa is confident that Spain have the capabilities to add "a second star in their jersey".

Last minute works still underway

Arena Fonte Nova which will host the game between Spain vs Netherlands are still undergoing some last-minute work as recent as yesterday.

Suarez returns to full training; Ronaldo's knee on ice

Two attackers that will be expected to lead their respective country's attacking line are in contrasting situations. Luis Suarez has return to full training, indicating that he'll be fit to start for Uruguay against England in the second match.

Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, had to leave training early and was spotted having his knee wrapped in ice pack.

TODAY'S SCHEDULE

Mexico vs Cameroon (Kickoff: 17.00 BST)

Spain vs Netherlands (Kickoff: 20.00 BST)

Chile vs Australia (Kickoff: 23.00 BST)