'Just relief' for Marcelo, Brazil after own goal

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm •  Published: June 12, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) — It wasn't meant to start this way for Brazil.

Defender Marcelo turned and stared off into the distance, his eyes wide open in disbelief after his own goal early in the opening game of Brazil's great World Cup party.

"It was kind of sad," he said.

It was almost devastating for the home team.

The vast majority of the 62,000 fans packed into Itaquerao Stadium on Thursday were just as stunned by the 11th-minute error and Croatia's surprise lead. This was not how they saw it going on opening night.

The Real Madrid player stood still for a moment, bewildered, after skewing his attempted clearance past goalkeeper Julio Cesar and into his own net in the first World Cup game in Brazil in 64 years. Cesar glared at him, then pushed his hands downward in a calming motion toward his teammate.

"It was very tense," Marcelo said. "The game was very intense.

"I stayed calm because if I let myself get down I would have hurt the team. It's not the first time that this has happened, so you have to stay relaxed to help the team."

Luckily for Marcelo, and the country that longs to win the World Cup on home soil, forward Neymar rescued the game with two goals and Oscar sealed a 3-1 win. That final, victory-clinching goal prompted Marcelo to run and leap into the arms of Cesar, his despair turned to joy. He fell to his knees, arms pumping out in front of him, and kissed his shirt.