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Paulinho starts as Brazil win opener

13 June 2014|Tottenham Hotspur

Paulinho took his place in Brazil's starting line-up as the hosts won their opening fixture of the World Cup against Croatia in Sao Paulo on Thursday night.

The midfielder played 63 minutes before being substituted as Brazil recovered from Marcelo's early own goal to win 3-1 thanks to Neymar's double - the second from a controversial penalty call - and Oscar.

Paulinho forced a fine save from Stipe Pletikosa in the first half as he looked to support Brazil's attack. He was twice close to connecting with crosses from Oscar and Neymar tried to pick him out from the byline for a tap in but Croatia cleared.

Brazil return to action against Mexico on Tuesday.

The next Spurs interest is in today's first match when Benoit Assou-Ekotto's Cameroon face Mexico in Group A (5pm UK).

Hugo Lloris will then lead France out against Honduras on Sunday (8pm) before four of our players meet as our Belgian trio of Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen take on Nabil Bentaleb's Algeria on Tuesday (5pm).