It’s been slightly over 47 months since Spain won its first world championship in South Africa, a victory that started soccer quadrennial, seemingly interminable countdown. On Thursday, however, that process finally came to close when the 2014 World Cup kicked off in Brazil.
For the host nation, the festivities on the field couldn’t have gone any better. Despite a sub-par performance, the Selecao produced a two-goal win, with a brace from Neymar complemented by Oscar’s late insurance into give Brazil a 3-1 victory over Croatia. Though a blown call sparked second half controversy that dominated the post-match conversation, the World Cup was still underway, with one of the most storied nations in the sport’s history taking a step toward a sixth World Cup.
The tournament continues on Friday with a rematch of the 2010 final between Spain and the Netherlands. Mexico (against Cameroon) and Chile (facing Australia) are also in action, but in the interim, check out the highlights by pressing the play button, below.