The first day of the 2014 World Cup is in the books, but we'll be remembering it for all the wrong reasons.
Last Night’s Action
Brazil 3, Croatia 1: A controversial win for the hosts. Croatia hung in there for most of the match, getting on the board first thanks to a Marcelo own goal, and holding Brazil to a single goal from Neymar. But a penalty, awarded by referee Yuichi Nishimura after Fred slipped in the box, gave Neymar his second and Brazil the most dubious of leads. Croatia felt hard done, especially after a goal of their own was waved off, but perhaps they shouldn't have allowed that third goal poked home by Oscar in stoppage time.
The Play To Watch
It's with a heavy sigh that the first highlight we have worth talking about is Fred's dive, but it swung the match in Brazil's favor and did nothing to stop stereotypes about the sport. Thanks, Brazil!
Croatia coach Niro Kovac didn't mince words after the match: " If that's a penalty, we don't need to play football anymore. Let's play basketball instead. It's a shame."
Mexico vs. Cameroon (12PM ET, ESPN2) The other matchup from Group A will see El Tri get their campaign underway against Cameroon. Mexico struggled through qualification, while Cameroon have been inconsistent in 2014 but did hold Germany to a 2-2 draw two weeks ago.
Spain vs. Netherlands (3PM ET, ESPN) How lucky a draw is this? Defending champions Spain take on the Dutch in a rematch of the 2010 World Cup championship final. Expect the Oranje to want to settle the score after coming so close four years ago.
Chile vs. Australia (5PM ET, ESPN2) Australia's Socceroos, the lowest ranked team in the tournament, will need a strong performance against a good Chile side if they are to have any hope of making the knockout stage.
Need a spot to watch the games? Check out our venue guides for NYC, DC, LA, and San Francisco.
What Else Is Going On?
Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull perform (Getty Images)
The opening ceremony was an hour long fever dream, with costumed dancers, children kicking soccer balls, and Pitbull rocking a tucked-in Brazil t-shirt with white capris. It's mankle season in Brazil!
Cristiano Ronaldo's status is up in the air again, as he limped out of training on Thursday. Knee injuries have been dogging Portugal's forward over the last month, which may hinder Portugal's opening match with Germany on Monday.
Anti-World Cup demonstrations kicked off around Brazil, as protesters clashed with riot cops and threw rocks at the ITV television studio.
Rumors circulated that the US Soccer Federation had been approached by FIFA to form an organizing committee to take over hosting duties from Qatar in 2022, but USSF president Sunil Gulati denied the report.
And lastly: right before the kickoff for Brazil vs. Croatia, three doves were released from the center of the field. Two immediately crashed into the stands and died.