Published Friday, 13 June 2014
Brazil star Neymar shone for the World Cup hosts. (© Getty)
The host nation held its breath just before kick-off when their star striker seemed to suffer an ankle twinge during the warm-up, but it was ultimately an own goal slip-up that could have cost them.
And there was to be plenty more drama on the pitch - including a hugely controversial penalty call.
"I think 2.5 billion people watching on TV saw this was not a penalty," Croatia's man in charge, Niko Kovac, declared after the game.
"This was ridiculous and if we continue in this way we will have a circus."
But Brazil's Luiz Felipe Scolari insists: "Millions didn't see the penalty? The referee did and he said it was a penalty and they are the ones that must decide.
"We also think it was a penalty. I have seen it 10 times and I think it is a penalty."
© UTV News