It was a clear dive. One of those dives you cannot but believe that the ref was bought out to call.
But let’s be honest, Mr. Nishimura is just a weak ass ref. Weak refs make mistake and succumb under pressure and those mistakes tend to favor the home team. We all seen it – specially the major mistakes.
Or has everyone forgotten the Hand of God all of a sudden?
Not to be an apologist for Brazil. They were bad. The team started nervously, completely taken aback by the pressure of being the hosts of the cup and being expected to win. The Croatians played a solid calcio, strong defense and quick, surgical counter-attacks. Then, the own goal. It was very good luck for the Croatians and a devastating blow for Brazil.
The game went on, Neymar finally justified his name and scored a nice goal. In the end of the first half Brazil had finally found its groove. Not coming from Neymar, but actually from Oscar, the underdog player that most did not believe would be a first-stringer for more then one match.
Then there was the dive and the penalty and all that jazz.
Croatia’s annulled goal should have been annulled because Julio “lettuce-hands” Cesar was fouled on. Seriously, look a the replay.
Meanwhile, in the real world…
Protests erupted in major cities. The police violently repressed most of them. Airport workers in both airport in Rio de Janeiro city went on a 24h strike, disrupting much of the air travel for that day. In São Paulo, host city for the kick-off game, subway workers are still fighting to reinstate their 49 co-workers fired during the strike.