SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Neymar

NeymarBrazil1-Croatia2014WorldCup (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With Brazil down a goal and looking flat to start the World Cup, Neymar showed exactly why he’s being counted on to lead his nation to glory.

The 22-year-old forward marked his 50th cap in the Brazilian jersey with a two-goal performance as Brazil came back from one-goal deficit to defeat Croatia, 3-1, at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo. Neymar’s performance earned him SBI Man of the Match honors.

Neymar scored his first goal in the 29th minute off what looked to be a scuffed shot with his left foot that found the far post and went across the line. He added a second in the 71st minute, scoring a penalty kick goal that was nearly saved by Croatian goalkeeperĀ Stipe Pletikosa.

Neymar only barely beat out teammates Oscar and David Luiz for the honors.

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What did you think of Neymar’s performance? Who stood out the most to you in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, FIFA World Cup, International Soccer, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Neymar

  1. Pepe says:

    This is the choice of someone who doesn’t really understand what they’re watching. Oscar was clearly the man of the match, and one of the few bright spots for Brazil.

    • BrianK says:

      The referee was clearly the MOTM. The Brazilian left back was the Woman of the Match!

    • usaalltheway says:

      Thank you Pepe!!!

      This used to be such a great siteā€¦.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Gotta agree with this one.

      Obviously, it’s impressive that Neymar finds ways to score in almost every international match, but he was really gifted 2 tonight. The Croatian keeper should be kicking himself over letting that first shot in, and it’s beyond indisputable that the 2nd goal wasn’t a penalty. Plus, the ref should have made him retake it for the egregious stutter step.

      Oscar, on the other hand, was one of the only Brazilian players who looked like he was putting in 100% the whole match, and he actually earned his goal.

      • quozzel says:

        It was worse than that.

        Besides the obvious first one – the dive and subsequent penalty, and Neymar’s illegal stop-start (which should have been his second yellow and his sending off), they also took away a Croatian goal…and on the last one, a Croatian midfielder with the ball was blown up from behind by a Brazilian, CLEARLY resulting in the turnover…no call, and Oscar dribbles in and scores.

        That was a three-goal swing…Croatia deserved a 2-1 victory based on legitimate goals.

        Blatant. Blatant. Blatant.

        Of course Brazil bought the ref, and you have to imagine there was collusion from somewhere within FIFA if they were able to get to him. Can you imagine the pandemonium that would have ensued in the streets if Brazil had lost today? Shelling out $5-$10 million to a ref would have seemed bargain basement in comparison. Would have been a major stain, could have even endangered the tournament.

        Hopefully some ref will stand up to this BS and not be bought and Brazil will get what they deserve….

        • Hogatroge says:

          I thought the stutter step was questionable, too, but he never stops moving forward. The newest addendum to the rules says the stutter is legal as long as he doesn’t completely stop.

          Still, the ref should have made him retake it, IMO.

        • Landy Cakes says:

          That’s how Neymar always takes them, apparently its legal as long as you never stop moving forward. Its ridiculous but can you make a rule that says you must move at the same speed the entire time you’re taking your PK?

    • Chris says:

      agree, i thought neymar was very in and out of the match, had some great moments but not very consistent, oscar was great, but i would have given MOTM to david luiz, good service from the back, and was always at the right spot defensively.

    • Dawwilly says:

      +1

    • Reg Chapman says:

      FWIW Ives said on twitter that Oscar was his man of the match.

    • Ted Tran says:

      Yet again SBI gets it wrong, Oscar was MOTM.

  2. The Other Jeff says:

    Oscar

  3. Ben says:

    Oscar was much better. Every time he touched the ball, Brazil looked dangerous. Neymar was good, had an important goal, nearly had his penalty saved, but I think this is an example of over-valuing a player with a big name.

  4. BrianK says:

    My expectations for the tournament have plummeted.

  5. Mestizo & Proud says:

    The refs get my vote for worst participant on the field by awarding that penalty!

    Brazil winning and the media’s spin on it puts the situation in Brazil in a very different context in the mainstream media from whats really going on.

  6. quozzel says:

    Anybody who gives anyone but the ref MOTM wasn’t watching.

    When you see blatant corruption raise its head and you pretend it isn’t happening, what’s the point? Today was an absolute farce – FIFA and Brazil clearly bought it as blatantly as Argentina bought results in the ’78 Cup, and they did it in full view of the world.

    FIFA has to go. That organization cannot be salvaged. Even if Blatter gets the boot, we have freaking PLATINI – who was overtly bought by Bin Hamman – waiting in the wings?

    Today was absolutely disgusting.

    • Riggis says:

      I was thinking the same thing and I’m not cynical by nature. The penalty call was a sham as far as I was concerned.

    • Mestizo & Proud says:

      If you believe it and speculate about it and stop participating (anyone), things will change

      The NSA has program Minerva initiated all over these sites and things will change for appearances sake at the least.

    • Donna says:

      Agreed, if this is how the tournament is going to be called, the whole thing is a farce.

  7. beachbum says:

    Oscar

    but the officiating is the story unfortunately

  8. Omar says:

    Hahaha who ever wrote this was obviously not watching the same game.. Oscar, created soooo many chances and scored a LEGIT GOL. I’m not a Brazilian fan AT ALL, but I can appreciate a good player! Oscar, will make a name for him self on this tournament! BTW, that was absolute baloney of a call on the penalty!!

  9. BFBS says:

    Modric was the best player on the field. Neymar, Oscar and David Luiz weren’t bad, but Modric was on another level.

  10. Joe A. says:

    I was impressed the most by Oscar.

  11. nickp91 says:

    Neymar has a good chance to win the golden boot this year

  12. Ah says:

    Modric was fantastic and deserved man of the match if not for horrible ref and awful goalkeeping. I feel for Croatia here.

  13. Todd in NYC says:

    Oscar. No doubt.

  14. MeroMasta says:

    For me it was either Oscar or Modric.

  15. Raymon says:

    Can we also vote for “Goat of the Match”? My vote is a tie between the Ref and the CRO GK.