THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

12 June ~ Brazil will feature in the opening match of a World Cup tonight for the first time since facing Scotland at France 98. From 2006 the host nation, rather than reigning champions, have played the first match of the tournament. After an opening ceremony that involved plenty of colour and entertainment "in a uniquely Gallic way", Scotland went behind after just four minutes to a César Sampaio goal. Despite the setback in front of a crowd of 80,000 at the Stade de France, Craig Brown's Scotland battled bravely against Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos and co, with John Collins equalising from the penalty spot seven minutes before half time. Both teams had chances in the second half but an unfortunate ricochet off Tommy Boyd on 73 minutes ended Scotland's hopes of beating the champions.

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