WC: CRO 0 – 1 BRA: Half
The score belies how much control the Croatians have shown over the Brazilians. They have a great defensive scheme that was only really broken one time–for the goal.
The Croatian captain has gone off the pitch with an injury. I don’t know if that means much from a leadership standpoint. If the U.S. captain, Claudio Reyna, went off with an injury, it might just do the team a favor, so captaincy is sometimes a little overrated. On the other hand, having an experienced, calm persona on the pitch when the Brazilians start doing all of their crazy moves and amazing technical tricks is a good thing as well.
What’s clear is that the Croatians aren’t star-struck or suffering from stage fright. They need a strong fifteen coming out of the half and they could snag a quick goal and be right back in this match. It’s nice to see that the Brazilians are as human as many were postulating.