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Brazil 3-1 Croatia

Thursday June 12, 2014

It was the opening match of the 20th World Cup, hosted in Brazil for the second time in 64 years, and the first hosted in South America in 36 years.

This World Cup's first goal was an own goal, coming after only 10 minutes of play.

An Ivica Olic cross rolled across the penalty area, and was missed by several nearby players before reaching the foot of Real Madrid man Marcelo, whose clearance attempt went horribly wrong, gifting Croatia a 1-0 lead.

Then wonder boy Neymar took over the show.

Shortly after delivering an ugly elbow to the face of Real Madrid's Luka Modric, the Barcelona forward Neymar equalized on a left footed shot that was weakly hit but managed to roll it's way to goal, just nudging itself between an outstretched keeper Pletikosa and the far post.

The 22 year old Neymar then made it 2-1, his 33rd goal for Brazil in 50 matches.

But the goal was controversial.

It came courtesy of a penalty awarded for a diving Fred in the box, whose fakery antics resulted in a highly unjustified penalty, and visibly angered Croatia coach Niko Kovac.

Croatian keeper Stipe Pletikosa got good hands on the penalty shot, but the ball was hit relatively hard by Neymar, giving it enough energy to still make it past the goal line.

Oscar sealed the deal late with Brazil's third goal, giving coach Luiz Felipe Scolari a dream start to the tournament.

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