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A stirring start to Cup

Brazil’s Neymar celebrates with  Hulk after Neymar scored his sides first goal during the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) WCTH136

Associated Press

Brazil’s Neymar celebrates with Hulk after Neymar scored his sides first goal during the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) WCTH136

After seven years of waiting and a record $11.5 billion worth of preparations, Brazil had an emotional start to the World Cup with a tense 3-1 victory over Croatia on Thursday. On what was declared a holiday in Brazil, fans began arriving at Arena Corinthians by the thousands more than six hours before kickoff. Most came without tickets, just wanting to be near the first World Cup game in Brazil in 64 years. Some fans came to protest the cost. Neymar (above front, with Hulk) nearly broke down during the national anthem, then scored twice. Brazil took the lead for good on Neymar's penalty kick after a controversial foul called when forward Fred was knocked down in the box. Croatian coach Niko Kovac said the call was "shameful.'' Coverage, 3C

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Today's schedule

Mexico vs. Cameroon, noon, ESPN2

Spain vs. Netherlands, 3 p.m., ESPN

Chile vs. Australia, 6 p.m., ESPN2

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A stirring start to Cup 06/12/14 [Last modified: Thursday, June 12, 2014 11:40pm]
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