Brazil beware: The top 5 goals from World Cup opening games
All eyes will be on the likes of Neymar and Hulk to provide Brazil with a memorable opening goal against Croatia.
The Barcelona man managed that at the Confederations Cup but the Selecao sensation could face competition from the likes of Luka Modric and Dario Srna as the Croatians go in search of an upset.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a top five best goals from the opening game of the World Cup.
Erwin Vandenbergh – Belgium vs Argentina – Spain 1982
Belgium went into the 1982 World Cup as dark horses after a runners-up finish at the European Championships two years earlier.
European top scorer with Lierse in 1981 after notching up 39 in 34 games, he scored his only goal at the finals against Argentina, controlling a ball crossed from the left, on his chest, before finishing coolly to put the Red Devils on course for a 1-0 win.
Alessandro Altobelli – Italy vs Bulgaria – Mexico 1986
Italy may have failed to defend their 1982 crown in Mexico, but things were looking pretty rosy earlier on after Altobelli gave the Azzurri the lead against European minnows Bulgaria.
Set up by a wonderful free kick, the Inter Milan man hit the ball first time, passing it into the net in what is an often overlooked but nevertheless impressive goal for a World Cup opener.
Phillip Lahm – Germany vs Costa Rica –Germany 2006
The Bayern Munich full-back eased many of the home fans’ concerns with this early thunderbolt against Costa Rica. Just five minutes were on the clock when Lahm cut in from the left hand side before firing past Jose Porras in the Costa Rica goal to put Die Mannschaft on course for a 4-2 win.
After two decades of scrappy goals in opening games from the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann and Papa Bouba Diop, it was a welcome strike.
Torsten Frings – Germany vs Costa Rica –Germany 2006
It’s fair to say confidence was high among the hosts after this game which featured not one, but two fantastic goals which sandwiched the proceedings in between.
Lahm may have struck the first but it was teammate Torsten Frings who had the final word with a thunderbolt of a goal that secured the win for Germany and put them on the road to the semi-finals.
Siphiwe Tshabalala – South Africa vs Mexico – South Africa 2010
After Germany’s Lahm-Frings double act of 2006, South Africa faced an uphill task to go one better in the opening game of the 2010 finals, with little expected of the Bafana Bafana going into this game.
But on 54 minutes something incredible happened, racing on to a through-ball from Teko Modise, home-based star Siphiwe Tshabalala let rip from the left-hand side of the Mexico penalty area to send an entire nation, and the BBC commentator, into hysteria.
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