Group A

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Neymar: “The history of Brazil’s five world titles reveres the figure of the craque. He resolves the most complicated hours, improvises and scores decisive goals.”

And breathe Brazil! There had been no panic after the host’s unconvincing displays in its first two game of this World Cup. Frustration, preoccupation(...)

Mexico captain  Rafael Marquez  celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the World Cup Group A match against Croatia  at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Mexico 3 Croatia 1In a bad-tempered Group A battle for second place Mexico won through to claim the dubious privilege of playing the Netherlands in Fo(...)

There’s no lack of passion from Brazil’s Marcelo, David Luiz and Julio Cesar as they sing their national anthem before the game against Mexico.

The first thing Argentina had to contend with upon their arrival in Belo Horizonte was a banner at their base welcoming “the next World Champions”. T(...)

Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic celebrates with  team-mate Vedran Corluka after scoring against 
goal during the group A World Cup soccer match between
 Cameroon.

Mario Mandzukic has been advertising a chocolate bar back home, and there is a certain melt-in-your-mouth goodness to Croatia’s attacking play in B(...)

Cameroon’s Achille Weboc  tries to separate teammates Benjamin Moukandjo and Benoit Assou-Ekotto after they clashed at  the Amazonia arena in Manaus. Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters

Cameroon coach Volker Finke has called his team’s performance at the World Cup “disgraceful” following their 4-0 defeat to Croatia. Wednesday’s Group (...)

 Alex Song of Cameroon walks off the field after receiving a red card for elbowing Mario Mandzukic in the back during the World Cup Group A game  at Arena Amazonia  in Manaus. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Croatia 4 Cameroon 0Croatia gave themselves a fighting chance of reaching the World Cup knockout phase when they thrashed toothless Cameroon 4-0 in Ma(...)

Mexico’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa dives to stop a shot during their  World Cup Group A  match against Brazil at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza. Photograph:  Francois Xavier Marit/Reuters

Brazil 0 Mexico 0There has been plenty of talk of footballing ghosts here for Brazil and the scariest one for them is generally considered to be Urugu(...)

Mexico’s Miguel Layun pretends to tie the shoelaces of team-mate Oribe Peralta after he  scored his side’s goal in the Group A game against Cameroon at Dunas Arena in Natal. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

Mexico 1 Cameroon 0: This was the second game of the World Cup and for the second game all the talk after the final whistle was about the referees. Th(...)

Yuichi Nishimura shows Dejan Lovren of Croatia  a yellow card after awarding the penalty kick to Brazil. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

Furious Croatia coach Niko Kovac blamed “out of his depth” referee Yuichi Nishimura and warned the World Cup could turn into a circus after a content(...)

Croatia’s players crowd around referee Yuichi Nishimura of Japan after he awarded a penalty against them for a foul on Fred. Photograph: Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters

And we’re off. “Is it not over yet?” asked a heathen yesterday, but to be honest, it did feel like the build-up to it all began when Methuselah was a (...)

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