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WATCH LIVE: Neymar, loaded hosts Brazil open Olympics versus South Africa

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Neymar gets his first chance to influence a major international tournament this summer when hosts Brazil face-off with South Africa at what’s sure to be an electric Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brasília on Thursday.

The 3 p.m. EDT kickoff sees the Barcelona star and his tournament favorite side open play in its group, three hours after Iraq and Denmark got Group A started.

WATCH: Brazil vs. South Africa at NBCOlympics.com

In addition to Neymar, there’s his Barca teammate Rafinha and Lazio standout Felipe Anderson. The side will be buoyed in the back by Paris Saint-Germain mainstay Marquinhos, and new Manchester City man Gabriel Jesus joins “Gabigol” of Santos as a dangerous young combination in attack.

26-times capped 26-year-old Eric Mathoho and 75-times capped goalekeeper Itumeleng Khune lead a South African unit that will need to pull off a major shock to get a point against the hosts.

In addition to streaming onNBCOlympics.com, the match will also be available on the NBC Sports app.