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17 top-class World Cup photos from the Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Aug. 2 2015 4:31 a.m. MDT

In this Wednesday, June 11, 2014 photo, a security guard fails to stop a fan, wearing an Argentine soccer jersey,who storms the pitch past Lionel Messi, center left, and other players, at the end of a training session at Independencia Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.   (Victor R. Caivano, Associated Press) In this Wednesday, June 11, 2014 photo, a security guard fails to stop a fan, wearing an Argentine soccer jersey,who storms the pitch past Lionel Messi, center left, and other players, at the end of a training session at Independencia Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Victor R. Caivano, Associated Press)

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.

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

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