World Cup 2014: Neymar hails dream start for Brazil

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Archive: Neymar strike sparks Brazil at World Cup 2014

Neymar claimed Brazil's 3-1 win over Croatia in their opening World Cup match exceeded his dreams.

The Barcelona forward scored twice to ensure the tournament hosts got off to a winning start in Group A.

Neymar is seen as key to Brazil's hopes of winning the World Cup on home soil and admitted his relief after coming from behind to win.

"I think I am happier than I ever dreamt, to start with a victory in the World Cup such as this," he said.

"The whole team deserves praise for being able to keep calm and turn things around."

Neymar, 22, cancelled out Marcelo's own-goal with a fine effort before half-time, shortly after catching Luka Modric with a forearm.

He then converted a penalty to put Brazil ahead and take his tally to 33 goals in 50 international appearances.

Croatia coach Niko Kovac was angered by referee Yuichi Nishimura's decision to award a penalty for Dejan Lovren's challenge on Fred and claimed his team might as well "go home".

Oscar added the third late on and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari felt the Chelsea midfielder repaid his faith.

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Scolari had faced calls to drop the 22-year-old, but believes Oscar made a significant contribution in Sao Paulo.

He said: "[Neymar] doesn't need all of you [the media] to demand that he become the best player in the world. His responsibility is to play for Brazil, and that's what he did.

"Neymar got man of the match, but if there was a second award it should go to Oscar.

"Our statistics after the game shows he was the one who made the most tackles, and made lots of dribbles and crosses - he was our most creative player on the right.

"He was fantastic and that's the kind of player he is and I have always believed in him. Any doubts came from your side, the media. His level may have dropped but I never lost belief in him.

"Our players were excellent, they showed determination to be able to come from behind. They were fantastic."

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