NEWS
Friday June 29 2018
Khedira: ‘Couldn’t sleep after Korea’

Germany midfielder Sami Khedira calls his World Cup performances “inexplicable” especially as “I had probably the best season of my life” at Juventus.

The World Cup holders have been knocked out at the Group Stage, losing 2-0 to South Korea on Wednesday to finish bottom.

Khedira played in both matches they lost, while he was dropped for their solitary win over Sweden.

“None of us players reached the tournament in top condition, but I don’t want to criticise my teammates,” Khedira told Bild.

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Thursday June 28 2018
‘Mandzukic Croatia’s soul’

Croatia Coach Zlatko Dalic calls Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic “the soul” of his team, despite his goalless run.

The 32-year-old’s battling style has made him a firm fan favourite in Turin, and it appears the same holds true at international level.

“Regardless of whether he’s scored or not, Mandzukic is the soul of this Croatia,” Dalic insisted in a Press conference.

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Wednesday June 27 2018
World Cup: Switzerland do enough

Bologna man Blerim Dzemaili was on target as Switzerland drew 2-2 with Costa Rica and will face Sweden in the Round of 16.

The Swiss knew a draw could be enough to qualify, as Serbia and Brazil were going head-to-head in the other game, while Los Ticos could still steal the runner-up spot ahead of Serbia on goal difference.

Costa Rica had a bright start and forced Yann Sommer into a series of tough saves, then Daniel Colindres won back possession, spotted Sommer off his line and a ferocious dipping strike from 25 yards thumped the crossbar.

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Wednesday June 27 2018
World Cup: Germany crash out

Defending champions Germany crashed out of the World Cup, after a shock 2-0 defeat to South Korea in Kazan.

Die Mannschaft are the fourth of the last five world champions to fail to get out of the group at the next tournament, after France in 2002, Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014.

Joachim Low’s side went in to the match on the back of a dramatic last-gasp win over Sweden, so knew they just had to avoid defeat to have a chance of making the Last 16.

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Monday June 25 2018
World Cup: Portugal survive VAR shambles

Portugal went through in second place in Group B at the World Cup, despite a draw with Iran amid VAR chaos.

On a crazy final night, the Portuguese went from top of the group to the brink of elimination in minutes, but eventually qualified behind Spain.

It was Iran who had the first chance of the game, but Vahid Amiri blazed horribly wide after good work from Alireza Jahanbakhsh.

Joao Mario should have made it 1-0, but the Inter flop somehow smashed over an open net after a mix-up in the Iranian defence.

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Monday June 25 2018
World Cup: Saudis sign off with a win

Saudi Arabia signed off their World Cup campaign with a win, thanks to Salem Al-Dawsari’s last-gasp goal against Egypt.

Both sides had lost their opening two fixtures, so were simply playing for pride in their final Group A match.

Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary became the oldest player ever to feature at the World Cup at the age of 45, while his side were looking to score their first goal from open play since the 1934 tournament.

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Monday June 25 2018
World Cup: Uruguay take top spot

Uruguay sealed first place in World Cup Group A, with a 3-0 win over 10-man Russia.

Both sides were already through to the Last 16, but hosts would win the group as long as they avoided defeat.

Oscar Tabarez switched to a back-three for this one, with Sampdoria’s Lucas Torriera joining Rodrigo Bentancur of Juventus and Inter’s Matias Vecino in midfield.

Things didn’t start well for Russia, with Luis Saurez firing in a low free-kick with only 10 minutes on the clock.

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Saturday June 23 2018
WC Player Profile: Juan Cuadrado

Juan Cuadrado has proved he is dependable in a variety of roles down the right flank for club and country, writes Daryl Hammond.

The Colombia international might've been overshadowed by James Rodriguez at the 2014 World Cup, but still provided four assists and is increasingly versatile.

At Juventus he played in any position down the right, from full-back to attacking prong of a trident.

Now 30 and recovering from an injury that took longer to deal with than expected, Cuadrado can shine in Russia this summer.

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Friday June 22 2018
World Cup: Musa downs Iceland

Nigeria blew World Cup Group D wide open, with a 2-0 win over Iceland in Volgograd.

Argentina were thrashed 3-0 by Croatia last night, leaving the Albiceleste staring down the barrel of elimination.

A win for Iceland would have taken things out of their hands, needing a Croatian win and a goal difference swing on the final day.

It was the Nordic nation who started on the front foot, with Francis Uzoho twice saving from Gylfi Sigurdsson.

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Friday June 22 2018
On this day: Czech Rep 0-2 Italy

On this day in 2006, Italy beat the Czech Republic 2-0 to advance to the Last 16 of the World Cup.

The Azzurri had beaten Ghana in their first group game, but were held to a 1-1 draw in the second, with Daniele De Rossi sent off for a brutal elbow.

The Czechs, inspired by Juventus’ Pavel Nedved, had been ranked second in the world going into the tournament, and thrashed the USA 3-0 in their first game.

However, an injury to Jan Koller robbed them of a focal point in attack and they were stunned 2-0 by Ghana in Cologne on match day two.

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