Neymar thrilled by opening Brazil win

Brazil striker Neymar has said that his two goals in the opening match of the World Cup on Thursday exceeded his dreams, BBC Sport has reported.

The hosts eventually won 3-1 against Croatia in an entertaining, though eventually controversial encounter. Niko Kovac’s side took the lead after only 11 minutes when Brazilian left-back Marcelo turned the ball into his own net following a cross from the left, but Neymar drew his side level 17 minutes later with a low shot that went in off a post.

The second half saw Brazil see plenty of the ball, but Croatia were holding the off comfortable. However, the game changed just after the three-quarter mark when referee Yuichi Nishimura awarded a controversial penalty to Brazil for a foul on Fred. Neymar converted from the spot, before Oscar added a breakaway third late on.

Neymar’s performance and brace of goals saw him earn the man of the match award, and afterwards he said: “I think I am happier than I ever dreamt, to start with a victory in the World Cup such as this. The whole team deserves praise for being able to keep calm and turn things around.”

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