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Soccer Fans Across City Tune In as World Cup Kicks Off in Brazil

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TWC News: Soccer Fans Across City Tune In as World Cup Kicks Off in Brazil
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The World Cup is underway and Brazil fans across the city cheered after the host country defeated Croatia in tournament's first game Thursday.

In Little Brazil, on 46th Street near Times Square in Manhattan, fans of Brazil gathered to watch the game. Businesses in the neighborhood are expecting an increase in revenue during the month-long tournament.

"It's like carnivale," said one fan.

"I'm a complete, soccer crazy nut," said another fan. "In Brazil, it's a part of the culture. It's not just about soccer as a sport, it's actually part of the culture."

Croatian fans gathered in Astoria to watch the game Thursday. Croatia started off well, scoring a goal when one of Brazil's players accidentally kicked the ball into his own net to give Croatia a 1-nil lead in the first half.

But the host country and one of the favorites to win the tournament came back to tie it in the first half on a goal by Neymar. Brazil then took the lead in the second half on a penalty kick by Neymar. They would score again late in the game, making the final 3-1.

Before the kickoff, Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull entertained the crowd at the opening ceremonies in Sao Paulo.

The $8 million ceremony featured a soccer-style carnival.

Thirty-two nations qualified for the month long tournament, which takes place every four years.

With immigrants from around the globe living in New York City, nearly every team in the tournament has a rooting section.

Team USA plays its first game Monday against Ghana.

Defending champion Spain plays its first game tomorrow against the Netherlands.

The first game of the World Cup is in the books

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