World Cup Results 2014: Scores, Updated Group Table and Fixtures After Day 1

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2014

Brazil's Neymar, left, celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press

The host country Brazil got to celebrate early Thursday with a 3-1 victory over Croatia, but the game was much tighter than the two-goal deficit would suggest.

It was actually Croatia that jumped out to an initial lead after Brazil knocked in an own goal, much to the shock of the nervous fans in attendance. You could almost feel the breath get knocked out of the entire nation through the television screen.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Neymar of Brazil lies on the field after a challenge in the second half 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 Kev
Kevin Cox/Getty Images

However, Neymar led his squad back with two goals, the second of which came after a rather controversial penalty call in the box that set up the decisive penalty kick. Perhaps if Croatia had taken Grantland's Shane Ryan's advice after that initial goal, they would have been victorious:

While fans will certainly outcry over the penalty call that gave Brazil the lead, the important takeaway from this contest is that the home squad garnered the three points they were looking for from the start. ESPN Stats & Info painted the picture of Brazil dominance before the game, and this victory only served to extend the streak:

Brazil will have to play much better than that going forward though if it hopes to capture the World Cup title. The competition will be much stiffer than Croatia in the latter stages, and Croatia had plenty of chances to at least tie this contest in the final minutes before Brazil countered with a third goal in the final moments.

Now that one match is officially in the book, take a look at the updated group table and the initial fixture for every team in the World Cup.

 

Group Table

2014 World Cup Group Standings
Group A
TeamPWDLPts
Brazil11003
Croatia10010
Mexico00000
Cameroon00000
Group B
TeamPWDLPts
Spain00000
Netherlands00000
Chile00000
Australia00000
Group C
TeamPWDLPts
Colombia00000
Greece00000
Ivory Coast00000
Japan00000
Group D
TeamPWDLPts
Uruguay00000
Costa Rica00000
England00000
Italy00000
Group E
TeamPWDLPts
Switzerland00000
Ecuador00000
France00000
Honduras00000
Group F
TeamPWDLPts
Argentina00000
Bosnia and Herzegovina00000
Iran00000
Nigeria00000
Group G
TeamPWDLPts
Germany00000
Portugal00000
Ghana00000
United States00000
Group H
TeamPWDLPts
Belgium00000
Algeria00000
Russia00000
Korea Republic00000
FIFA.com

 

Initial Fixtures

2014 World Cup Initial Fixtures
Group A
MatchDate
Brazil vs. Croatia (Brazil wins 3-1)Thursday, June 12
Mexico vs. CameroonFriday, June 13
Group B
Spain vs. NetherlandsFriday, June 13
Chile vs. AustraliaFriday, June 13
Group C
Colombia vs. GreeceSaturday, June 14
Ivory Coast vs. JapanSaturday, June 14
Group D
Uruguay vs. Costa RicaSaturday, June 14
England vs. ItalySaturday, June 14
Group E
Switzerland vs. EcuadorSunday, June 15
France vs. HondurasSunday, June 15
Group F
Argentina vs. Bosnia-HerzegovinaSunday, June 15
Iran vs. NigeriaMonday, June 16
Group G
Germany vs. PortugalMonday, June 16
United States vs. GhanaMonday, June 16
Group H
Belgium vs. AlgeriaTuesday, June 17
Russia vs. South KoreaTuesday, June 17
FIFA.com

 

Day 2 Match To Watch 

Spain vs. Netherlands

CURITIBA, BRAZIL - JUNE 11:  Javi Martinez of Spain faces the media during a Spain press conference at Centro de Entrenamiento do Caju on June 11, 2014 in Curitiba, Brazil.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Don’t let Spain midfielder Javi Martinez’s comments fool you, this initial game for Spain and Netherlands is certainly a big one. Still Martinez brought some perspective, via The Guardian:

In 2010 we showed that if you lose the first game it’s not all over, but we want to get off to a winning start. To win the tournament you have to win as many games as possible, but in the last World Cup we showed that even after losing the first game, we wanted to get to the final.

The World Cup final between Spain and Netherlands from four years ago was dominated by physicality and intense defense. In fact, the two squads combined for 28 fouls and an astounding 14 yellow cards, nine of which went to Netherlands.

Spain finally broke through in extra time to break the scoreless tie thanks to the World Cup-winning strike from Andres Iniesta.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 10:  Jordy Clasie, Robin van Persie (kicking the ball) and Daley Blind in action during the Netherlands training session at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil held at the Estadio Jose Bastos Padilha Gavea on June 10, 2014 in Rio
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain is certainly on the short list of World Cup contenders after capturing the 2010 version and winning the past two European Championships as well. What’s more, they were unbeaten in the qualifying stages and looked like an absolute juggernaut at times.

As for Netherlands, they went out in the group stage of the 2012 European Championship but were still impressive in qualifying. The trio of Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben should be very familiar to soccer fans, but Netherlands is dealing with injuries elsewhere.

Look for one of those veterans to strike for the initial goal and set up some early tension for Spain, much like we saw in 2010. However, Spain’s superior depth and skill level will prove worthy over the 90 minutes.

Spain will score once before the end of the half to ease the minds of their fans and then use that momentum to strike again early in the second half.

From there, they will drop back on the defensive side and hang on for the 2-1 victory.

 

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