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FIFA World Cup: Is Brazil just a 'one-man-show'?

Besides the talismanic Neymar, rest of Brazil's players made zero contribution. Here's how...

June 12: Brazil 3-1 Croatia

Group A match against Croatia
Brazil defender Marcelo (left) watches as the ball touches his foot and leads to an own goal during their Group A match against Croatia in Sao Paulo

The hosts kickstarted the World Cup with a shoddy own-goal from Marcelo (11th min). Fortunately for them, Neymar began with a bang and a brace. His first goal (29th min) was a beauty from 25 yards after which he scored a penalty (71st). Oscar did score late (91st min), but had it not been for Neymar, the hosts would have been shocked first up.

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June 17: Brazil 0-0 Mexico

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa
Brazil’s Neymar (yellow) rises for a header only for Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa (blue) to effect a fine save

Brazil struggled to score against their South American rivals. Only Neymar came close to breaking the deadlock, and on one occasion (26th min) had a point-blank header on target but was denied by Mexican ’keeper Guillermo Ochoa, who dived full stretch to come up with one of best saves of the tournament.

June 23: Brazil 4-1 Cameroon

Cameroon's Joel Matip
Cameroon's Joel Matip (green) celebrates after scoring against Brazil in Brasilia

Again it was Neymar, who set up the hosts’ win by scoring two. His first (17th min) was a deft touch off a low cross and second (35th min) was a right-footer from the top of the box. Fred (49th) and Fernandinho (84th) scored too but long after Neymar’s decisive strikes earned Brazil a Last-16 spot.

June 28: Brazil 1(3)-1(2) Chile

Chile's Gonzalo Jara
Chile's Gonzalo Jara (right) scores an own-goal that was credited to Brazil’s David Luiz (next to him) during the Round of 16 match in Belo Horizonte

David Luiz was credited with a Chilean own-goal (4th win) following which Alexis Sanches scored the equaliser and the game went into penalties. Neymar decided to take the decisive fifth spot-kick and scored, after which Chile missed and the hosts somehow managed to crawl into the quarter-finals.

July 4: Brazil 2-1 Colombia

Colombia's James Rodriguez
Colombia's James Rodriguez shoots to score against Brazil during their quarter-final in Fortaleza. Pics/AFP, Getty Images.

An unmarked captain Thiago Silva tapped in a Neymar cross for 1-0 after which David Luiz scored off an unconventional free-kick. But five minutes from full-time, Colombian Juan Zuniga’s knee into Neymar’s back broke Brazil’s spine. A Neymar-less Brazil went on to lose 1-7 to Germany (semis) & 0-3 the Netherlands (third-place tie).

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