- Associated Press - Monday, June 16, 2014

After weeks of anxiety over last-minute preparations, the World Cup finally got underway in Brazil, and there was action and surprises for all.

As expected Brazil defeated Croatia in the opening game of the tournament, with Neymar scoring the opening goal.

Then the Netherlands shocked many by demolishing the reigning champion, Spain, with the combined determination and talent of Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben. Van Persie scoring one of the most beautiful goals ever.

Fans around the globe were taken to rapturous heights and nerve-wracking lows as they watched their national teams confront each other on the pitch.

Some Brazilians took to the streets to continue their protests over the high cost of putting on the World Cup.

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Associated Press photographers and photo editors on Twitter: https://apne.ws/15Oo6jo

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This gallery was curated by photo editor Leslie Mazoch in Mexico City.

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