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Soccer-Brazil to open 2014 World Cup against Croatia


COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil, Dec 6 (Reuters) - - Host nation Brazil will kick off next year's soccer World Cup against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12, while holders Spain and 2010 runners-up Netherlands will meet again in the group stages following the draw on Friday.

Brazil were grouped with Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon while Spain and the Dutch have a tough Group B which also contains Chile and Australia.

The complicated draw procedure also put England, Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica together in Group D, but most of the big soccer nations will be happy with the outcome.

Bosnia, the only one of the 32 teams taking part in their first World Cup finals, face Argentina, Iran and Nigeria.

The final is in Rio de Janeiro on July 13. (Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by Ed Osmond)

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