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Croatia coach Niko Kovac and Brazilian-born midfielder Sammir believe the 1998 World Cup semifinalists can rekindle past glory and upset hosts Brazil in Thursday's tournament opener in Sao Paulo.Kovac, who steered Croatia to the finals with a 2-0 aggregate playoff win over Iceland in November having taken over from the sacked Igor Stimac, was buoyed by Brazil's patchy performance in a 1-0 win over Serbia in their final warm-up.Croatia's two Brazilian-born internationals, Sammir and striker Eduardo da Silva, could be used as impact substitutes.Often criticized and fined for indiscipline at Dinamo, Sammir was praised by Kovac during the buildup as a rejuvenated player who decided to give late night partying a rest and concentrate on honing his skills.
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