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PHOTOS: Neymar brace brings the smiles back in Brazil

Last updated on: June 13, 2014 04:20 IST

PHOTOS: Neymar brace brings the smiles back in Brazil

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Brazil rallied strongly after conceding an own-goal to beat Croatia 3-1 in the opening match of the football World Cup, which got underway in Sao Paulo on Friday.

The Croatians took the lead following an own goal by the Brazilians after 11 minutes.

Ivan Rakitic advanced and played the ball to Olic, who essayed a low cross from the flank into the Brazil box.

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Image: Neymar of Brazil (left) celebrates after scoring with teammates during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match against Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo
Photographs: Elsa/Getty Images

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Marcelo scores an own goal

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Nikica Jelavic failed to connect and the ball fell in the path of Marcelo, who accidentally deflected it past goalkeeper Julio Cesar and into his own net.

The last time an own goal was scored in the opening game of a World Cup finals was in 1998, when Scotland's Tom Boyd scored in his own net to give Brazil a 2-1 win in France.

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Image: Julio Cesar (left) watches helplessly as Marcelo deflectes the ball into Brazil's goal.
Photographs: Elsa/Getty Images

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Neymar equalises for Brazil

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The Brazilians stepped up the pace and pressed for a reply to the early reverse.

Neymar got the home side on level terms when he intercepted the ball in midfield, surged forward and fired home a grounder from 40 yards in the 29th minute.

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Image: Brazil's Neymar (R) celebrates with teammates Marcelo (L) and Hulk after scoring
Photographs: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

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Oscar makes the scoreline look impressive

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The Barcelona striker also gave Brazil the lead, scoring from a penalty in the 71st minute after Dejan Lovren brought down Fred as he tried to turn in the penalty area.

Croatia's goalkeeper Pletikosa dived to his right, got a touch to Neymar's shot from the spot, but couldn't prevent it from going past him.

Oscar then broke down the middle in stoppage time to score Brazil's third goal and make the scoreline look impressive.

 


Image: Oscar (left) celebrates his goal with Ramires.
Photographs: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

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