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Twitter Reacts as Neymar Scores Penalty Kick After Yuichi Nishimura's Decision

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Neymar of Brazil takes a penalty kick against Stipe Pletikosa of Croatia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2014

Brazil were able to grab the 2-1 lead against Croatia late in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup, but they needed some help from the referee.   

In the 69th minute of an even match, which Brazil won 3-1, Brazilian forward Fred had the ball in the box before going down with an apparent foul:

via Bleacher Report

Referee Yuichi Nishimura called a foul on Dejan Lovren and presented him with a yellow card, which resulted in a free-kick. Needless to say, this was quite a controversial decision.

Ian Darke explained his point of view on the ESPN broadcast, via Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe:

Fox and NBC Sports each provided their thoughts on the manner:

English footballer Joseph Barton of QPR was not happy with the call either:

On the other hand, Mark Mravic of Sports Illustrated provided insight as to why the foul was called:

Either way, the call was made and Neymar stepped up from the spot in what became an adventure of its own:

via Bleacher Report

The young star was able to score his second goal of the match to put his team ahead, but Croatian keeper Stipe Pletikosa almost stopped it. Despite the close call and the controversy, though, the goal will count in the scoresheet as Brazil started the tournament off with three points.

Oscar was able to extend the lead in the final minutes to secure the win, but it is clear that the penalty made a big change in the momentum. 

Despite the controversial result, both teams will hope to move past the foul and work to advance out of Group A and into the knockout stage.


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