host nation

World Cup

What did the Confederations Cup tell us about World Cup 2014?

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The 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil proved to be an enthralling tournament and a perfect taster for next year's World Cup. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been goals galore, controversial incidents and not forgetting the carnival atmosphere created by the crowds, who in turn, proved influential in roaring Brazil on to their [.

Oceania: New Zealand looking for back-to-back Nations Cup titles

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The 2012 OFC Nations Cup will be the most important football tournament to be held in the Oceania region for many years. As well as playing for continental glory, the competition also doubles as the second round of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The top four teams will go on further in the World Cup qualifying process whilst a place in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup will also await the team who triumphs in the Nations Cup final on Sunday, June 10th.

Euro 2012: The Runners & Riders – Portugal

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It would be a stretch to call Portugal under-achievers, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to suggest that they could be considered the nearly men of European international football. This is a country which has periodically come close in recent years to winning a major trophy without actually lifting one, but the development of football in Portugal to even this point has come after decades of being considered a relative backwater in international terms, even though its biggest clubs have been winning trophies at the highest level since the nascent years of pan-continental club football.

Euro 2012: The Runners And Riders – Greece

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There is now less than a month to go until the European Championships kick off in Poland and Ukraine, and taking on the co-hosts in the opening match will be a nation that caused arguably the biggest surprise in the history of the competition: Greece. But with a new coach and having caused something of a surprise just to reach the last sixteen of this tournament, can Greece roll back the years to the summer of 2004?

2015 FIFA WWC Host Cities Revealed

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The official Host Cities for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada have been announced and U.S. fans should be looking forward to some much easier travel for this tournament.

The six official host cities named are:
Edmonton, Alberta
Moncton, New Brunswick
Montreal, Quebec
Ottawa, Ontario
Vancouver, British Columbia
Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Women's World Cup – the largest single sports event for women in the world – will be the first single sport event in Canada to be held from coast to coast.

group stage

United States Women defeat Germany 1-0 to win U-20 World Cup

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Just days after falling to the German club 3-0 in the group stage of the tournament, the United States shocked Germany 1-0 on Saturday to win the U-20 World Cup in Tokyo, Japan. Kealia Ohai scored her second goal of the tournament late in the first half, which proved to be the game-winning goal.

PREVIEWING NEW ZEALAND WNT

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Football Ferns

FIFA Ranking: 23 (as of July 2012)

Head Coach: Tony Readings

Number of Olympic Appearances: This will be New Zealand's second time participating in women's soccer at an Olympics

Group: E (Great Britain, Cameroon, Brazil)

First Match: July 25 against Great Britain

The Football Ferns will play in the opening women's soccer match of the 2012 London Olympics against the host team, Great Britain at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

Ukraine party spirit continues despite defeat

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Ukraine fans may have been disappointed by their side's defeat to France on Friday but many continued to enjoy the party atmosphere in the host nation. Crowds at the big screens in Lviv and Kharkiv kept themselves entertained as their Group D match with France was delayed.
A thunderstorm caused torrential rain at the Donbass Arena, leading to the match being suspended for an hour early in the first half.

Cristiano Ronaldo compares himself to Leo Messi, gets facts wrong

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Like German fans before them (and Bosnia fans before the Germans), Denmark supporters chanted Lionel Messi's name at Cristiano Ronaldo during their 3-2 Group B loss to Portugal. Though Ronaldo's poor performance seemed to have far more to do with his own mental blocks than anything coming from the stands, either the chants or the post-match questions about them pinched at his frustrations and prompted Cristiano to defy his usual talking points and compare himself to Messi.

World Champions

2012 Olympic Poll: Who Will Win the Women’s Football Gold?

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The 2012 London Olympics are up and running and so we want to know which country you think will win the 2012 Women's Olympic Gold medal? Will it be the US - they are the favourites? But Japan are the World champions and of course Team GB are the host nation.

Euro 2012 – The Runners & Riders: The Netherlands

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With the benefit of hindsight, there seems something inevitable about the crowning of Spain as the world champions in South Africa two years ago. Yet the Netherlands came within minutes of taking the match to a penalty shoot-out and since then have continued the form that they demonstrated, becoming, in August of last year, only the second team in the history of the game to reach number one in FIFAs world rankings without having won the tournament.

Euro 2012

Sepp Blatter suddenly thinks goal-line technology is ‘a necessity’

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After years of dragging his feet, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has finally admitted that goal-line technology is a necessity in modern football and all it took was for an overlooked goal to go England's way.

In the hours after England's 1-0 win over co-host nation Ukraine in a final Euro 2012 group stage match that was overshadowed by a Ukraine shot that crossed the goal line but wasn't ruled a goal (and should've been irrelevant since an offside call was also missed just before the shot), Blatter hopped on his official Twitter account to proclaim: "After last night's match #GLT [goal-line technology] is no longer an alternative but a necessity.

Ukraine left out

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After having recently travelled to the Euro 2012 in Ukraine I was hoping to see the friendly Ukranian fans continue in the tournament. This seemed so much more urgent after Poland left the tournament as the worst host nation ever. At least Ukraine won their opening match against Sweden, but after losing their second match to France they needed a good result against England.

Giorgos Karagounis: The name to remember from day nine of Euro 2012

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Part of the reason why you should remember Giorgos Karagounis' performance on day nine of Euro 2012 is because, even though Greece again mocked prognosticators by advancing to the quarterfinals, it might have been his last appearance in a European Championship. The 35-year-old captain, who is suspended for Greece's quarterfinal match due to a dubious yellow card for diving -- a fate similar, yet completely incomparable to when he was held out of Greece's memorable win in the Euro 2004 final -- scored the only goal in Greece's final group match against Russia just before the ref blew for halftime.

UEFA Euro 2012 Discussion Thread: Last Chance Edition

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We saw the outcome of Group A yesterday and boy was it dramatic. Going in I head pegged Russia and Poland as the two heading to the upper echelons of the tournament. Instead it was the Czech Republic and Greece of all nations... Just goes to show that anything can happen in a tournament!

In any case, today we have everybody's favorite group kicking off: the Group of Death.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions Ukraine 0-2 France

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1. It's always good to see a few brilliant flashes early in a match, but not at the expense of the game. There were some crazy scenes as the players ran for cover from the lightning bolts overhead. 2. Rain stopped play and in the end it could have been a cricket score. France [...]


England Need Win Tonight Against Sweden – Carroll To Start

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England will need to go all out for a win tonight against Sweden, in the very last game of the second round of matches. Andy Carroll - Newcastle lad to start up front for England England play in the later game in Group D at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, after host nation  Ukraine take [...]


Euro 2012: Ireland Eliminated, Previewing England and Day Eight

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Thursday continued what's been a fantastic tournament overall, with a tightly-contested first match and a fairly easy romp for the defending champions in the nightcap. Nearly every match to this point has been eminently entertaining those that have lacked for goals have made up for it with a mostly watchable pace of play, even from the sides that you wouldn't normally expect to provide entertainment.

DTotD: Swedes use goalkeeper Johan Wiland’s bare backside for target practice

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(Warning: Full moon)

Losing their first Euro 2012 match to co-host nation Ukraine was an embarrassment for Sweden and while they've taken a beating from the press in the days since, it appears they've also taken a beating from themselves. Video of the team trying to keep the mood light in training by firing shots at backup keeper Johan Wiland's exposed rear was released by Swedish paper Expressen and now it's causing the players more problems.

Jakub confident of home advantage

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Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski says the co-hosts can achieve anything with the backing of the home crowd.

The Borussia Dortmund star was the hero in Poland's second Group A match, scoring a stunning equaliser as the host nation secured their second 1-1 draw of the tournament against Russia in Warsaw.

Euro 2012: Ukraine 2-1 Sweden – Super Sheva Puts Sweden To The Sword (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

In the battle of superstar Milan strikers past and present, the old master Andrei Shevchenko defenitely came out on top against his Swedish counterpart, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Bagging a superb brace in front of the Kiev crowd will surely go down as a career highlight for the veteran Shevchenko who showed that speed of thought can be just as deadly as speed of body.

Euro 2012 Opening Weekend Wrap-Up: Russia and Croatia Win Big, Denmark Shock the Netherlands, and Germany Squeaks By Portugal

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After four years of waiting, Euro 2012 has finally arrived. The tournament started this past Friday with a bang as Greece took on host nation Poland, while Russia matched up against the Czech Republic in Group A action. There was not a lot of expectation surrounding the opening match between Greece and Poland, two teams that are not expected to progress very far in Euro 2012.

Postcards from Poland: Euro 2012 Fan Diary #1 – Opening Day observations

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Postcards from Poland: Euro 2012 Fan Diary #1 Opening Day observations is a post from: Just Football

As a new running feature during Euro 2012 on Just Football, Poland-based Patrick Ney of the blog Polandian will be writing a fan diary with general social and cultural observations straight from the heart of the joint-host nation.

Polish commentator reacts to Robert Lewandowski goal with lung-bursting screaming fit

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Over the past few years OTP's affections for crazed commentators has stuck primarily with Italian reporter Tiziano Crudeli, who reacts to goals as if he has scored it himself, won the lottery and stepped on shattered glass. Tiziano provides a visual treat, but for pure audio exultation we may have a new love interest.

Arshavin Who?

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I'm counting on you

Well, the European Championship version 2012 got underway last night and it was a decent night of football. In some ways it was like watching Arsenal. There were despair, joy and then despair again. Wojciech Szczesny, Andrey Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky all played to that tune respectively.

Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny has disastrous start to Euro 2012

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Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had a nightmare start for Poland at Euro 2012 after being sent off with a straight red card in the 68th minute of a 1-1 game. The co-host nation had gotten off to a fine start with striker Robert Lewandowski of German champion Borussia Dortmund giving them the lead in the 17th minute.

DTotD: The harsh sending off of Greece’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos

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With Greece down 1-0 in the Euro 2012 opening match after an early goal from Robert Lewandowski for co-host nation Poland, getting the tournament's first red card just before halftime seemed more than enough to finish them off, but it actually brought them and the match to life.

Already carrying a yellow card, Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was booked a second time and sent off by Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo for a soft challenge on Rafal Murawski that came after the Polish midfielder already slipped on the grass.

Euro 2012: Dick Advocaat staying cool as Russia prepare to face Czechs

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This article titled "Euro 2012: Dick Advocaat staying cool as Russia prepare to face Czechs" was written by Barney Ronay in Wroclaw, for The Guardian on Thursday 7th June 2012 20.30 UTC

Wroclaw, the capital city of western Poland, is a sleepy kind of place, a stitching together of river-bound peninsulas that has the feel in its more picturesque quarters of a pocket-sized Prague.

Reds Called Up For England Duties

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With the Euros starting on Friday, kicking off with host nation Poland facing Greece I thought it would be nice to do a round up of the Liverpool players at the England camp in Poland. Injuries to some of the England players meant that the original 4 Liverpool squad members was increased to 6 by Roy Hodgson.

Unbalanced Oranje

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Will Robin be able to translate his club form to country?

Today I'll be assessing Holland's chances in Euro 2012.

Holland

I have followed Holland for a very long time. This is entirely down to Dennis Bergkamp that I became a fan of Oranje. I did catch their games in World Cup 1994 but more as a general football fan.

Walker Euro scare comes to nothing

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Kyle Walker has declared himself fit for the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and the Ukraine just two days after an injury scare seemed to put his participation in some doubt.

Kyle was withdrawn with an ankle problem in the second half of our 2-0 win over Fulham on Sunday but it seems that the action was taken as a mere precaution on behalf of Harry Redknapp.

The Rest

The Tuesday 10: World Cup 2014 Opening Ceremony Edition

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By "The Other 87 Minutes / Senior Unemployed English Major Correspondents

If you were anywhere near a TV Friday afternoon/evening, then you likely already know that the World Cup is in danger of falling behind in the all-important opening ceremonies arms race.

Preview POL-GRE: Hellenic Opening in Warsaw

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UEFA Euro 2012 is almost here and Greece are opening the tournament against Poland at the National Stadium in Warsaw. This is the second time that Greece will be playing the co-host nation on the first day. It has been a journey out of the Odyssey and with the [read more]

David Beckham campaigns again for Olympic team‎

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On July 1, Becks will find out if he is part of the team from Great Britain this summer in London. Great Britain hasn't even qualified for Olympic soccer since 1960 but the host nation gets an automatic bid. A soccer team can only carry three players older than 23 on its roster, and Beckham is hoping to be one of them.