World Cup 2014: Brazil v Croatia referee scandalous - Dejan Lovren

Croatia players argue with Referee Yuichi Nishimura

The referee who awarded Brazil a controversial penalty should not be officiating at the World Cup, says Croatia defender Dejan Lovren.

The hosts won 3-1, but, with 20 minutes left and the score 1-1, Japan's Yuichi Nishimura ruled that Lovren had pulled down striker Fred.

Neymar scored from the spot before Oscar added a late third.

"This referee should not be at this World Cup," said Lovren. "It wasn't a mistake, it was a scandal."

The Southampton player added: "It's really disappointing for us because we were playing a good game against a big team.

"Two billion people I think saw that it was not a penalty. I didn't touch him.

"We're really disappointed but what can you do against 12 players? You can't do anything."

Brazil striker Neymar celebrates scoring Brazil's second goal

Fellow Croatia defender Vedran Corluka thought that the decision was "embarrassing".

"Brazil played well, but they didn't deserve to win in this way," said the former Manchester City and Tottenham player.

"It's ridiculous he was so keen to give the decision. It was difficult to accept."

Coach Niko Kovac said Croatia should "give up and go home".

He added: "We talk about respect, that wasn't respect.

"Croatia didn't get any. If that's a penalty, we don't need to play football anymore. Let's play basketball instead. It's a shame.

"If you continue like this, you will have 100 penalties. I think 2.5bn people watching on TV saw this was not a penalty."

Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari believed the referee was right to award the spot-kick.

"Millions didn't see the penalty?" he asked. "The referee did and he said it was a penalty and they are the ones that must decide.

"We also think it was a penalty. I have seen it 10 times and I think it is a penalty."

The decision came at a pivotal moment in the match.

Brazil were dominating possession with Croatia holding out for what would have been a respectable opening draw.

But then Fluminense striker Fred received the ball in the middle of the box with his back to goal and went down under the challenge of Lovren.

Neymar looks on after fouling Luka Modric

"Fred is an 85kg man and I don't believe he can be brought to the ground in such a manner," added Kovac.

"I cannot blame Fred at all. Everyone tries it on. Like it or not, this is part and parcel of football.

"What I want is for referees to stick to the laws of the game and apply them equally to both teams."

Croatia took the lead through Marcelo's own-goal, before Neymar equalised just before the half-hour mark.

The Barcelona forward scored Brazil's second before Chelsea's Oscar toe-poked the third goal from 20 yards in the 90th minute.

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As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brazil11003123
2Cameroon00000000
3Mexico00000000
4Croatia100113-20

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Australia00000000
2Chile00000000
3Netherlands00000000
4Spain00000000

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Colombia00000000
2Ivory Coast00000000
3Greece00000000
4Japan00000000

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Costa Rica00000000
2England00000000
3Italy00000000
4Uruguay00000000

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ecuador00000000
2France00000000
3Honduras00000000
4Switzerland00000000

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Argentina00000000
2Bos-Herze00000000
3Iran00000000
4Nigeria00000000

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany00000000
2Ghana00000000
3Portugal00000000
4USA00000000

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Algeria00000000
2Belgium00000000
3Russia00000000
4South Korea00000000
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