Neymar says cool Brazil can thrive in World Cup

AFP| Updated: Jun 13, 2014, 21:52 PM IST

Sao Paolo: Brazil star Neymar said the hosts` cool reaction to going a goal down in their incident-packed World Cup opener had given them a boost in their bid to lift the trophy.

The 22-year-old Barcelona striker, who scored two goals in the 3-1 win over Croatia, said the ability to remain calm under pressure would be vital as the tournament progresses.

The five-time champions next play Mexico on Tuesday, followed by Cameroon on June 23 but they will now be confident of progressing from Group A after winning what looked like their toughest game.

"The game was complicated. We took a while to get into the match because of stress, we were nervous, but thankfully we managed to win," Neymar said.

"We showed we could react and we knew we had to stay calm rather than getting upset.

"Now we have to keep on doing that, to look at the things we did well and keep doing them and try to work out what we did wrong."

Brazil`s campaign had a nightmare start when Marcelo put the ball in his own net in the 11th minute. But Neymar equalised near the half-hour before putting his side ahead with a second-half penalty.

However, Brazil rode their luck and Neymar was fortunate only to receive a booking for elbowing Luka Modric, while replays cast serious doubt on the penalty decision.

Captain Thiago Silva said frank talks at half-time had helped spur Brazil`s recovery, capped by Oscar`s sweet solo strike in injury time.

"We weren`t fighting and there was no blaming Marcelo," he said. "We were just talking about aspects of positioning and I think it`s always good to talk.

"We`re a family, all families have fights and arguments and here it`s no different. He (Marcelo) is one of my best friends."

Brazil has had a difficult build-up but protests over the tournament`s heavy pricetag gave way to celebrations after Thursday`s win.

And confidence is clearly high among the Selecao, now on a run of 10 straight wins, as they try to win the World Cup on home soil for the first time.

"There are six steps ahead of us. We have gone up the first step," said their coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari.