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Neymar Brace Hands Brazil Opening Win

2014 FIFA World Cup

Group A

Full Time: Brazil 3-1 Croatia

Date: 12 June 2014

Venue: Arena de Sao Paulo

A brace from Neymar and a late goal from Oscar saw Brazil come from a goal behind to beat Croatia 3-1 in the opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the Arena de Sao Paulo on Thursday.

It was a fast paced start to the game with the action flowing from end to end, with both sides having their fair share of chances in front of goal.

Croatia had the first shot on goal in the second minute when Mateo Kovacic let fly from 20-yards out, but his effort sailed just wide of the left-hand post.

The European team was at it again five minutes later when Ivica Olic met a right wing cross from Ivan Perisic, but his eight-yard header shaved the wrong side of the post.

In the 11th minute Brazil were stunned when Croatia took the lead after Marcelo turned a low left-wing cross from Ivica Olic into his own net, 1-0.

After conceding that early goal Brazil took firm control of the match and began dominating the possession stakes.

Oscar came close to restoring parity for Brazil in the 23rd minute, but he saw his thunderous 30-yard shot brilliantly saved by the Croatian keeper.

Brazil made their pressure tell on the half hour mark when Neymar equalised with a low 24-yard shot that snuck in off the inside of the right post, 1-1.

Brazil continued to dominate the half, but could not add to the scoreline as the stanza ended all-square.

It was a slow start to the second half as Croatia continued to frustrate the Brazil attack which resulted in chances on goal being few and far between.

Nonetheless, Brazil continued to press forward and were gifted a chance to take the lead when the referee adjudged Dejan Lovren to have pulled Fred down inside the box and pointed to the penalty spot.

Neymar stepped up and slotted the ball home to give his side the lead in the 71st minute, 2-1.

Oscar made certain of the win for Brazil with his goal in the 91st minute, 3-1.

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