2014 World Cup

AFP

Dutch international Krul makes Brighton move permanent

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London (AFP) – Brighton and Hove Albion’s Dutch international goalkeeper Tim Krul is eligible to face former club Newcastle United at the weekend after making his loan move permanent on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old, whose finest moment came in the 2014 World Cup quarter-final penalty shootout when he was sent on as a substitute and saved two Costa Rican spot-kicks, has signed a one-year permanent deal with Brighton.

Dutch international Krul makes Brighton move permanent

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London (AFP) – Brighton and Hove Albion’s Dutch international goalkeeper Tim Krul is eligible to face former club Newcastle United at the weekend after making his loan move permanent on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old, whose finest moment came in the 2014 World Cup quarter-final penalty shootout when he was sent on as a substitute and saved two Costa Rican spot-kicks, has signed a one-year permanent deal with Brighton.

Revitalised Falcao hoping for World Cup ‘dream’

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Monaco (AFP) – Colombian striker Radamel Falcao is aiming to realise his “dream” of playing in a World Cup next year, after continuing his red-hot start to the Ligue 1 season for Monaco on Saturday.

The 31-year-old scored a brace in the French champions’ 3-0 win over Strasbourg to make it nine goals in just six league games so far this term.

Revitalised Falcao hoping for World Cup ‘dream’

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Monaco (AFP) – Colombian striker Radamel Falcao is aiming to realise his “dream” of playing in a World Cup next year, after continuing his red-hot start to the Ligue 1 season for Monaco on Saturday.

The 31-year-old scored a brace in the French champions’ 3-0 win over Strasbourg to make it nine goals in just six league games so far this term.

Argentina, Chile stumble, Uruguay on brink in World Cup qualifiers

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Montevideo (AFP) – Argentina and Chile’s World Cup qualification hopes were left on a knife edge Tuesday after the South American heavyweights slipped up once again on the road to next year’s finals in Russia.

Argentina needed a second-half own goal to help them snatch a 1-1 draw against already-eliminated Venezuela in Buenos Aires while Chile crashed to a 1-0 defeat against Bolivia in La Paz.

Isco show breathes new life into Spain

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Madrid (AFP) – Following a demolition job on Italy, Spain look to cement their status as one of the favourites for next year’s World Cup with another thrashing of Liechtenstein on Tuesday.

Inspired by Isco’s array of silky skills and clinical finishing, La Roja swept aside Italy 3-0 on Saturday night to take a commanding three-point lead at the top of Group G of European qualifying.

Mexico book World Cup berth, US in jeopardy after loss

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Mexico City (AFP) – Mexico became the fifth team to guarantee their place at the 2018 World Cup on Friday as the United States crashed to defeat at home to Costa Rica to place their qualification campaign in jeopardy.

A Hirving Lozano header on 53 minutes was enough to give Mexico a 1-0 win over Panama at the Azteca Stadium as the CONCACAF heavyweights reached the finals for a seventh successive occasion.

Mexico book World Cup berth, US in jeopardy after loss

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Mexico City (AFP) – Mexico became the fifth team to guarantee their place at the 2018 World Cup on Friday as the United States crashed to defeat at home to Costa Rica to place their qualification campaign in jeopardy.

A Hirving Lozano header on 53 minutes was enough to give Mexico a 1-0 win over Panama at the Azteca Stadium as the CONCACAF heavyweights reached the finals for a seventh successive occasion.

CAS confirms Bolivia’s ineligible player sanction

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Lausanne (AFP) – Bolivia will have to forfeit two 2018 World Cup qualifiers for fielding an ineligible player after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected their appeal on Tuesday.

The decision by CAS in Lausanne means the country can no longer qualify for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.

CAS confirms Bolivia’s ineligible player sanction

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Lausanne (AFP) – Bolivia will have to forfeit two 2018 World Cup qualifiers for fielding an ineligible player after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected their appeal on Tuesday.

The decision by CAS in Lausanne means the country can no longer qualify for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.

US plays Costa Rica, Mexico meets Jamaica in Gold Cup semis

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Defending champion Mexico faces Jamaica and host United States meets 2014 World Cup quarter-finalist Costa Rica in weekend semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Bruce Arena’s US squad is on a 12-match unbeaten run since he replaced Jurgen Klinsmann as coach with seven wins and five drawn, but figures to get a tough test from the Ticos on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in suburban Dallas, Texas.

US plays Costa Rica, Mexico meets Jamaica in Gold Cup semis

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Defending champion Mexico faces Jamaica and host United States meets 2014 World Cup quarter-finalist Costa Rica in weekend semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Bruce Arena’s US squad is on a 12-match unbeaten run since he replaced Jurgen Klinsmann as coach with seven wins and five drawn, but figures to get a tough test from the Ticos on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in suburban Dallas, Texas.

James Rodriguez to rekindle career under Ancelotti at Bayern

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Berlin (AFP) – After a frustrating spell at Real Madrid, James Rodriguez will attempt to kick-start his career at Bayern Munich next season, back under the stewardship of Carlo Ancelotti.

Colombian hot-shot James on Tuesday joined his former Real boss at the German champions on a two-year loan.

Goal-king Klose helps nurture German hot-shots

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Sochi (Russia) (AFP) – Miroslav Klose, the all-time top scorer at World Cup finals, is nurturing Germany’s latest crop of forwards - who all hope to emulate his goal-scoring prowess in the famous white shirt.

Germany face Mexico on Thursday in Sochi in the second semi-final of the Confederations Cup and Klose, now an assistant to coach Joachim Loew, has been passing on tips about how to unpick the Mexican defence.

Goal-king Klose helps nurture German hot-shots

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Sochi (Russia) (AFP) – Miroslav Klose, the all-time top scorer at World Cup finals, is nurturing Germany’s latest crop of forwards - who all hope to emulate his goal-scoring prowess in the famous white shirt.

Germany face Mexico on Thursday in Sochi in the second semi-final of the Confederations Cup and Klose, now an assistant to coach Joachim Loew, has been passing on tips about how to unpick the Mexican defence.

Russia slams 2014 World Cup squad doping probe report

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko on Sunday shrugged off a report that the country’s entire 2014 World Cup squad was under FIFA investigation for doping.

British newspaper The Mail on Sunday wrote that the Russian players are being probed by FIFA as part of a broader scandal over allegations of state-backed doping in the country.

Russia slams 2014 World Cup squad doping probe report

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko on Sunday shrugged off a report that the country’s entire 2014 World Cup squad was under FIFA investigation for doping.

British newspaper The Mail on Sunday wrote that the Russian players are being probed by FIFA as part of a broader scandal over allegations of state-backed doping in the country.

Italy cruise past Uruguay in football as Gimenez has disaster

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Nice (France) (AFP) – Italy beat Uruguay for the first time in 27 years with a comfortable 3-0 success in Nice, France on Wednesday, as the South Americans’ defender Jose Gimenez had a shocker.

While this victory will be no consolation for the Italians, who were eliminated from the 2014 World Cup at the group stage after a 1-0 defeat by the South Americans, it does offer Giampiero Ventura’s team a timely boost ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Lichtenstein in Udine on Sunday.

Italy cruise past Uruguay in football as Gimenez has disaster

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Nice (France) (AFP) – Italy beat Uruguay for the first time in 27 years with a comfortable 3-0 success in Nice, France on Wednesday, as the South Americans’ defender Jose Gimenez had a shocker.

While this victory will be no consolation for the Italians, who were eliminated from the 2014 World Cup at the group stage after a 1-0 defeat by the South Americans, it does offer Giampiero Ventura’s team a timely boost ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Lichtenstein in Udine on Sunday.

Legends Lahm, Alonso bow out with Bayern

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Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich will farewell two giants of the game on Saturday when World Cup winners Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso retire from professional football.

Bayern’s game at home to Freiburg promises to be an emotional afternoon as the Bundesliga champions lift the trophy for the fifth successive season.

Monaco hopeful on Falcao future

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Monaco (AFP) – Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim has expressed hope that captain Radamel Falcao will stay at the club for next season and beyond after relaunching his career in spectacular style in the principality.

“Of course everyone wants the best players to stay in Monaco and Falcao is a great player,” Jardim told reporters at the Stade Louis II ahead of Monaco’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Juventus on Wednesday.

German voters must deny power to right-wing – Lahm

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Berlin (AFP) – World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has warned of the rise of populism ahead of September’s national elections in Germany and said the right-wing must not be allowed to take power.

With six months to go until the elections, there are fears the right-wing populist party Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) will gain seats in Germany’s Bundestag parliament.

German voters must deny power to right-wing – Lahm

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Berlin (AFP) – World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has warned of the rise of populism ahead of September’s national elections in Germany and said the right-wing must not be allowed to take power.

With six months to go until the elections, there are fears the right-wing populist party Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) will gain seats in Germany’s Bundestag parliament.

To Russia with Love? Buoyant Brazil on brink of World Cup

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Montevideo (AFP) – A buoyant Brazil could book their place at the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday while Argentina will attempt to give their qualifying campaign more breathing space with a game at altitude against Bolivia.

After sinking into a protracted depression after the trauma of their humiliating 2014 World Cup exit, Brazil have undergone a transformation since new manager Tite took over last year.

To Russia with Love? Buoyant Brazil on brink of World Cup

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Montevideo (AFP) – A buoyant Brazil could book their place at the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday while Argentina will attempt to give their qualifying campaign more breathing space with a game at altitude against Bolivia.

After sinking into a protracted depression after the trauma of their humiliating 2014 World Cup exit, Brazil have undergone a transformation since new manager Tite took over last year.

Belgium’s Marc Wilmots named new Ivory Coast coach

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Abidjan (AFP) – Former Belgium coach Marc Wilmots has been appointed to lead Ivory Coast’s World Cup qualifying bid, the country’s football authorities said on Tuesday.

Wilmots, 48, is one of an elite band of players to have played at four World Cups, and also led Belgium into the 2014 World Cup during his stint as coach with them between 2012-2016.

Belgium’s Marc Wilmots named new Ivory Coast coach

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Abidjan (AFP) – Former Belgium coach Marc Wilmots has been appointed to lead Ivory Coast’s World Cup qualifying bid, the country’s football authorities said on Tuesday.

Wilmots, 48, is one of an elite band of players to have played at four World Cups, and also led Belgium into the 2014 World Cup during his stint as coach with them between 2012-2016.

Werner set for Germany debut as Podolski bids farewell

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Berlin (AFP) – World champions Germany open their 2017 campaign by bidding farewell to veteran forward Lukas Podolski while rising star Timo Werner is set to make his debut against Gareth Southgate’s England on Wednesday.

Germany have struggled to settle on a striker to replace all-time top-scorer Miroslav Klose, who scored 71 goals in 137 internationals, and retired after they won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Werner set for Germany debut as Podolski bids farewell

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Berlin (AFP) – World champions Germany open their 2017 campaign by bidding farewell to veteran forward Lukas Podolski while rising star Timo Werner is set to make his debut against Gareth Southgate’s England on Wednesday.

Germany have struggled to settle on a striker to replace all-time top-scorer Miroslav Klose, who scored 71 goals in 137 internationals, and retired after they won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Massive overbilling for Rio’s Maracana stadium rebuild

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – The major refurbishment of Rio’s famous Maracana football stadium ahead of the 2014 World Cup was marred by millions of dollars in overbilling, a government watchdog says.

The renovation of the stadium cost about $500 million, more than double the original bid.

Injury-cursed Reus to miss Dortmund’s Benfica clash

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Berlin (AFP) – Germany winger Marco Reus will miss Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League, last 16, second-leg clash at home to Benfica on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, coach Thomas Tuchel said Saturday.

Reus limped off on 44 minutes of Dortmund’s 6-2 rout of Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga with a suspected tear in his left hamstring.

Injury-cursed Reus to miss Dortmund’s Benfica clash

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Berlin (AFP) – Germany winger Marco Reus will miss Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League, last 16, second-leg clash at home to Benfica on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, coach Thomas Tuchel said Saturday.

Reus limped off on 44 minutes of Dortmund’s 6-2 rout of Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga with a suspected tear in his left hamstring.

Shabby Maracana to reopen after dispute

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Rio’s mythic Maracana stadium, fallen into disrepair since taking centre stage at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, is due to reopen next month.

Left abandoned due to a political-legal dispute over upkeep Brazil’s legendary venue will stage its first game this year on March 8.

Top Rio football stadium in disrepair as firms quarrel

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) It is revered as a temple of the beautiful game but the footballing gods have forsaken Brazil's legendary Maracana stadium after the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

The grass of the pitch is yellowing, the stands are rusting and thieves have stolen seats symptoms of a legal mess that have left this Rio de Janeiro landmark abandoned.

Galaxy sign US international Jones

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Los Angeles (AFP) The Los Angeles Galaxy confirmed the signing of US international Jermaine Jones on Wednesday, bolstering the midfield resources following the departure of Steven Gerrard.

Jones, 35, was a key member of the USA squad at the 2014 World Cup and joins the Galaxy after three Major League Soccer seasons with the New England Revolution and Colorado Rapids.

Egypt take World Cup revenge over Ghana

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Johannesburg (AFP) Egypt avenged a humiliating World Cup defeat by Ghana three years ago with a 2-0 victory Sunday in a 2018 African Group E qualifier before an 85,000 crowd in Alexandria.

Ghana triumphed 6-1 in the first leg of a 2014 World Cup play-off to set up an aggregate victory that prolonged the agony of Egypt, who have not competed at the finals since 1990.

Brazil, Uruguay march towards 2018, Argentina crash again

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Montevideo (AFP) Brazil thrashed arch-rivals Argentina to tighten their grip on South America's 2018 World Cup qualification campaign as Uruguay maintained their push towards the finals with a hard-fought defeat of Ecuador.

Barcelona superstar Neymar outshone club-mate Lionel Messi with his 50th international goal for Brazil in Belo Horizonte as the five-time World Cup winners romped to a 3-0 win in the Estadio Mineirao.

Brazil, Uruguay march towards 2018, Argentina crash again

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Montevideo (AFP) Brazil thrashed arch-rivals Argentina to tighten their grip on South America's 2018 World Cup qualification campaign as Uruguay maintained their push towards the finals with a hard-fought defeat of Ecuador.

Barcelona superstar Neymar outshone club-mate Lionel Messi with his 50th international goal for Brazil in Belo Horizonte as the five-time World Cup winners romped to a 3-0 win in the Estadio Mineirao.

The Rest

Germany wins in Russia, the US warms up for the Gold Cup & more: Monday Freedom Kicks

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And some local soccer stuff too I guess.

Hi. Hope you got fireworks, are going to a fireworks thing, and keep an eye on your pets and/or kids.

Recaps of D.C. United's 2-0 loss to the Montreal Impact by us and MLS (Goff took the weekend off). D.C. finds themselves 20th in the 22 team MLS.

Argentina Fan Gets Tattoo Tribute To Infamous Sliding Tackle That Split Javier Mascherano’s Anus In Twain (Photo)

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Javier Mascherano was forced to relive painful memories over the weekend when he came face to face with a tattoo tribute to his goal-denying sliding tackle at the 2014 World Cup.

With the score locked at 0-0 and mere seconds of normal time left to play in Argentina's drab semi-final against the Netherlands, Mascherano made up several metres on Arjen Robben to slam the door shut in dramatic fashion.