Brazil 3 Croatia 1

The Northern Echo: Neymar in full flow Neymar in full flow

NEYMAR lit the fireworks for Brazil's World Cup party to begin in earnest after inspiring victory for the host nation in the tournament's opening match against Croatia.

Neymar, Brazil's Barcelona talisman, proved the key for the 3-1 victory in a sparkling - and controversial - match that may well set the tone for a World Cup of thrills and skills.

Each Brazil goal, two scored by Neymar - the second after a dubious penalty won by Fred - and a third by Oscar was greeted by a flurry of fireworks bursting across the Sao Paulo skyline.

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