The Super Eagles’ first opponent at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Croatia, are set to test their might against the Samba Boys of Brazil.
The Brazil, Croatia tie is taking place at Anfield barely 24 hours after the England, Nigeria friendly at Wembley stadium.
Aside from Sunday’s friendly being key to the World Cup preparations of Croatia and Brazil, the five-time World Cup winners are buoyed by Neymar’s anticipated return after a fractured metatarsal ended his club season with PSG.
Stay with PREMIUM TIMES for live updates from Anfield as we keep an eye on one of Nigeria’s group opponents in Russia.
Kick off is 3 p.m.
Brazil XI: Alisson; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Paulinho, Casemiro, Fernandinho; Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Coutinho
Croatia XI: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Corluka, Vida; Badelj, Rakitic, Modric, Perisic; Rebic, Kramaric
The game is underway at Anfield
Very impressive start by Croatia as they look to close down Alisson, who is forced to boot the ball out of play for a throw-in
Croatia attempt load one into the Brazil penalty area via a Luka Modric free-kick but Danilo heads it away and Brazil launch a counter.
10 mins played, both sides still trying to find their feet.
Croatia’s Dejan Lovren almost gives his side the lead but heads wide from the corner
YELLOW CARD…Andrej Kramaric gets the first booking as he slides in on Thiago Silva.
Alison forced to make a save from a Kramaric shot.
24 mins played, Brazil yet to have any major chance at goal.
Neymar is on the substitute bench for Brazil and may play in the second half.
A William cross turns to a shot at goal but is saved by the Croatian goalkeeper
35 mins played. Willian has been Brazil’s best attacking outlet. Score still 0-0.
Perisic, the Croatian defender, gets a yellow card for a foul on Gabriel Jesus.
Fernandinho gets a yellow card for a foul. He is first Brazilian to be booked. Two booked so far for Croatia.
Game getting physical as Brazil’s Fernerdinho and Croatia Perisic get booked for rough play
Still goalless as we approach the dying minutes
Marcelo gets a free kick for Brazil aftera push by Perisic
Two minutes added time
Good move by Marcelo on the left flank but Brazil lose possession
Half Time at Anfield .
Brazil 0-0 Croatia
Neymar comes in for Fernerdinho has the second half is set to commence
Second half kick off!
Offside… Gabriel Jesus flagged
Marcelo with a long range effort but goes a bit off target
A free kick is played short into the box and knocked back to Danilo
Neymar with curling effort but Subasic is well placed and easily collects it.
CROATIA SUB: Another change for Croatia, and it is Real Madrid for Real Madrid as Mateo Kovacic replaces Modric.
BRAZIL SUB: Brazil make another of their own, with Marquinhos replacing Miranda.
Brazil have been a little better in this second half, but they are still nowhere near as fluid as you might expect of a team with so many stars.
Brazil takes the lead
Neymar marks his return from injury with a trademark goal
Ivan Rakitic chops down Philippe Coutinho
SHOT! Neymar looks to double his personal tally with a free kick which almost sneaks in at the far post, but Subasic watches it all the way just wide of the target.
GOAL!!! Firminho seals victory
Full time.. Brazil 2-0 Croatia.. goals from Neymar and Firminho gives the Samba Boys of Brazil victory
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