Russia

AFP

Spain to play Russia in friendly: Spanish football federation

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Madrid (AFP) – Spain will play 2018 World Cup hosts Russia on November 14 as part of their build-up for next summer’s finals, the Spanish football federation (RFEF) announced Friday.

The RFEF said they had also organised a game against 2014 World Cup quarter-finalists Costa Rica on November 11 in Malaga.

Spain to play Russia in friendly: Spanish football federation

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Madrid (AFP) – Spain will play 2018 World Cup hosts Russia on November 14 as part of their build-up for next summer’s finals, the Spanish football federation (RFEF) announced Friday.

The RFEF said they had also organised a game against 2014 World Cup quarter-finalists Costa Rica on November 11 in Malaga.

Iran hold World Cup hosts Russia in Kazan

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Moscow (AFP) – World Cup hosts Russia drew 1-1 with Iran on Tuesday in a friendly that did little to dispel doubts about their ability to challenge the elite next year.

Zenit St Petersburg striker Dmitry Poloz came off the bench to cancel out Sardar Azmoun’s 57th-minute opener for the visitors.

Iran hold World Cup hosts Russia in Kazan

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Moscow (AFP) – World Cup hosts Russia drew 1-1 with Iran on Tuesday in a friendly that did little to dispel doubts about their ability to challenge the elite next year.

Zenit St Petersburg striker Dmitry Poloz came off the bench to cancel out Sardar Azmoun’s 57th-minute opener for the visitors.

Korean scores own-goal double in Russia friendly win

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Moscow (AFP) – Kim Joo-Young scored two own goals in two minutes as Russia beat South Korea 4-2 in Moscow on Saturday in their first game since the Confederations Cup.

Krasnodar forward Fedor Smolov and Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Alexei Miranchuk also scored for the 2018 World Cup hosts, who put in a much-improved display after their group-stage exit from the Confederations Cup in June.

Korean scores own-goal double in Russia friendly win

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Moscow (AFP) – Kim Joo-Young scored two own goals in two minutes as Russia beat South Korea 4-2 in Moscow on Saturday in their first game since the Confederations Cup.

Krasnodar forward Fedor Smolov and Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Alexei Miranchuk also scored for the 2018 World Cup hosts, who put in a much-improved display after their group-stage exit from the Confederations Cup in June.

To Russia with love for Manchester United’s Mkhitaryan

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Moscow (AFP) – Trips to Russia have traditionally been seen as complicated assignments for English clubs, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan will have little trouble acclimatising when Manchester United visit CSKA Moscow this week.

The speedy attacking midfielder was born in Yerevan in January 1989 when the Armenian capital was still part of the Soviet Union.

World Cup trophy starts tour in Moscow

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Moscow (AFP) – The World Cup trophy tour began a worldwide tour in Moscow on Saturday at a ceremony attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA chief Gianni Infantino.

Ten months before the 2018 World Cup kicks off there, the ceremony took place at Luzhniki stadium, which has been fully renovated and will also host the final and five other matches.

World Cup trophy starts tour in Moscow

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Moscow (AFP) – The World Cup trophy tour began a worldwide tour in Moscow on Saturday at a ceremony attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA chief Gianni Infantino.

Ten months before the 2018 World Cup kicks off there, the ceremony took place at Luzhniki stadium, which has been fully renovated and will also host the final and five other matches.

China out of World Cup despite victory

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Doha (AFP) – China’s faint hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia finally ended on Tuesday, despite securing the victory they needed in Qatar.

Syria’s draw in Iran and Uzbekistan’s draw with South Korea meant that two late goals to secure a 2-1 win in Doha were ultimately futile in China’s desperate bid to snatch a play-off place for next year’s tournament.

China out of World Cup despite victory

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Doha (AFP) – China’s faint hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia finally ended on Tuesday, despite securing the victory they needed in Qatar.

Syria’s draw in Iran and Uzbekistan’s draw with South Korea meant that two late goals to secure a 2-1 win in Doha were ultimately futile in China’s desperate bid to snatch a play-off place for next year’s tournament.

Road to Russia football fever unites war-divided Syrians

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Damascus (AFP) – For the first time in Syria’s conflict, sport has come to the defence of the deeply-fractured country’s unity, with regime backers and foes alike dreaming of World Cup 2018 qualification.

All eyes and ears will be on Tuesday night’s game away to Iran, the government’s ally in the six-year conflict but a barrier to Syria’s target of making its World Cup finals debut next year in Russia, another close war ally.

Russia in sight for Germany as Kane ends drought

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Paris (AFP) – Mats Hummels fired Germany to the brink of qualification for the 2018 World Cup on Friday with a late winner against the Czech Republic, while Harry Kane scored twice as England downed Malta 4-0.

RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner struck after just four minutes for the world champions in Prague, but Vladimir Darida’s stunning second-half equaliser hauled the hosts level.

Russia in sight for Germany as Kane ends drought

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Paris (AFP) – Mats Hummels fired Germany to the brink of qualification for the 2018 World Cup on Friday with a late winner against the Czech Republic, while Harry Kane scored twice as England downed Malta 4-0.

RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner struck after just four minutes for the world champions in Prague, but Vladimir Darida’s stunning second-half equaliser hauled the hosts level.

Hummels header edges Germany closer to Russia

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Prague (AFP) – Mats Hummels’ late header sealed Germany a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday to leave the defending champions on the brink of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

The Germans took an early lead at the Eden Arena through Timo Werner, but the Czechs deservedly drew level when Hertha Berlin midfielder Vladimir Darida blasted home a superb equaliser with 12 minutes left.

Hummels header edges Germany closer to Russia

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Prague (AFP) – Mats Hummels’ late header sealed Germany a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday to leave the defending champions on the brink of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

The Germans took an early lead at the Eden Arena through Timo Werner, but the Czechs deservedly drew level when Hertha Berlin midfielder Vladimir Darida blasted home a superb equaliser with 12 minutes left.

Japan into World Cup as China, Syria stay alive

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Saitama (Japan) (AFP) – Japan beat Australia Thursday to qualify for their sixth successive World Cup but South Korea missed a golden opportunity to join them in Russia when they could only draw against 10-man Iran.

The goalless draw in Seoul means South Korea’s hopes of qualifying from Group A for their ninth successive finals were left hanging in the balance when a win would have booked their ticket to Russia.

Japan into World Cup as China, Syria stay alive

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Saitama (Japan) (AFP) – Japan beat Australia Thursday to qualify for their sixth successive World Cup but South Korea missed a golden opportunity to join them in Russia when they could only draw against 10-man Iran.

The goalless draw in Seoul means South Korea’s hopes of qualifying from Group A for their ninth successive finals were left hanging in the balance when a win would have booked their ticket to Russia.

Sweden sink Russia at women’s Euro

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Deventer (Netherlands) (AFP) – Captain Lotta Schelin and Stina Blackstenius powered Sweden to a 2-0 win over Russia at the women’s European Championship in the Netherlands on Friday.

Schelin scored Sweden’s opening goal on 22 minutes in Deventer, heading in a superb free-kick taken by Magdalena Ericsson.

Russia stun Italy 2-1 at women’s Euro football championship

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Breda (Netherlands) (AFP) – First-half goals from Elena Danilova and Elena Morozova handed Russia a surprise 2-1 win over Italy in the Group B opener at the women’s Euro in the Netherlands on Monday.

Danilova struck nine minutes into the game with a low shot from outside the box that took Italian keeper Chiara Marchitelli by surprise at her left post.

Russia stun Italy 2-1 at women’s Euro football championship

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Breda (Netherlands) (AFP) – First-half goals from Elena Danilova and Elena Morozova handed Russia a surprise 2-1 win over Italy in the Group B opener at the women’s Euro in the Netherlands on Monday.

Danilova struck nine minutes into the game with a low shot from outside the box that took Italian keeper Chiara Marchitelli by surprise at her left post.

Confederations Cup shows Russia ready to host World Cup

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Germany’s Confederations Cup-winning coach Joachim Loew and FIFA president Gianni Infantino have led the calls for giving Russia the seal of approval to host next year’s World Cup.

Lars Stindl’s first-half goal in Sunday’s final sealed Germany’s 1-0 win over Chile, bringing down the curtain on the 2017 Confed Cup - a warm-up for next year’s World Cup finals.

World Cup

Official: Gordon Strachan Leaves Role As Scotland Manager After Missing Out On Two Major Tournaments In Succession

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Not that there was ever much doubt, but Gordon Strachan has today left his post as Scotland manager with immediate effect after failing to qualify for his second major tournament in succession.

A 2-2 draw in their final qualifier against Slovenia last week was enough to see the Scots fall short of reaching Russia 2018 on goal difference, with Strachan left to rue his side's genetic deficiencies in the aftermath.

Colombia: Radamel Falcao Might Be In Trouble With FIFA For Allegedly ‘Discussing Beneficial Scorelines’ With Peru Players In Last Few Minutes Of World Cup Qualifier (Video)

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Colombia captain Radamel Falcao has admitted that he discussed scoreline permutations with opposing Peru players during the latter stages of Monday night's World Cup qualifier between the two sides.

With the score stood at 1-1 and roughly five minutes left to play, Falcao was seen nattering away with several Peruvian players individually.

Fire Fight: Bosnia & Herzegovina Fans Respond To World Cup Elimination By Setting Estonia’s Pitch Ablaze (Video)

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Heading into the final round of fixtures, Bosnia and Hezegovina retained a fairly slim chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Basically, they needed to beat Estonia themselves and then hope that, by some miracle, teenie-weenie Gibraltar could muster a victory over Greece despite having failed to amass a single point in Group H by that juncture.

Row Zed: Heroic Panama Ball-Boy Does What Needs To Be Done To Ensure His Country Qualify For First Ever World Cup (Video)

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Since it began in 1930, every World Cup has featured at least one team appearing for the first time.

Along with fellow debutantes Iceland, Panama have kept that streak alive going into 2018 by qualifying for their first ever World Cup with a 2-1 win over Costa Rica on Tuesday night.

World Cup Qualifying: Solitary James McClean Goal Sees Rep. Of Ireland Reach Play-Offs At Wales’ Expense (Photos & Video)

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Republic of Ireland went barnstorming into the World Cup play-offs by beating Wales in Cardiff on Monday evening to thereby quash their opponents' thin hopes of making it to Russia.

The evening kicked-off with a stirringa capella rendition of the Welsh national anthem, Land of Our Fathers, which the home contingent bellowed out in bristling unison.

Iceland Become Smallest Nation In History To Qualify For World Cup With 2-0 Win Over Kosovo (Photos & Video)

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After ascending to the top of Group I with a win over Turkey five days ago, Iceland formally booked themselves a place at Russia 2018 with a 2-0 victory over Kosovo in their final qualifier on Monday evening.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was instrumental for Iceland on the night, with the Everton midfielder opening the scoring shortly before half-time by bustling his way into the Kosovan 18-yard box and hacking a shot past the onrushing goalkeeper.

Downtown Cairo Grinds To Standstill As Egypt Fans Take To Streets To Celebrate Historic World Cup Qualification (Photos & Video)

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Having failed to reach a World Cup since Italia 1990, the euphoric relief was understandably palpable after Mohamed Salah's tension-busting 94th-minute penaltyhit the back of the Congolese net and assured The Pharaohs of a berth in Russia on Sunday evening.

The historic result in Alexandria sparked scenes of mass delirium in capital city Cairo, some 150 miles down the road, as fans took to the streets in droves to celebrate in unison.

Egyptian Dad Reduced To Silent Euphoric Tears After Watching Pharaohs Qualify For World Cup In Most Dramatic Fashion Imaginable (Video)

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As you've no doubt seen, Egypt left it until the last possible moment to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, with Mohamed 'nerves of steel' Salah tucking away a 94th-minute penalty against Congo to seal the deal.

Bedlam ensued inside the stadium in Alexandria, with Egyptian fans rendered utterly ecstatic at reaching their first World Cup in almost 30 years.

Russia 2018: Ekaterinburg Arena Given Absolutely Bonkers Stand Extensions To Meet FIFA Minimum Capacity Requirement (Photos)

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After being selected as a host venue for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the suits at the Ekaterinburg Arenarealised that they had their work cut out if they were going to boost the stadium's capacity to meet the tournament minimum in time for kick-off.

The arena in Yekaterinburg boasted an initial capacity of just 27,000 seats, some 8,000 seats shy of the FIFA tournament minimum which stands at 35,000.

World Cup Qualifier: England Women Combine To Score Lovely Team Goal In 6-0 Drubbing Of Russia (Photos & Video)

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England Women got their 2019 World Cup qualification campaign off to a rollicking start with a 6-0 drubbing of Russia at Tranmere's Prenton Park.

The first goal came after just 11 minutes when Nikita Parris rolled one home before rushing to celebrate with manager Mark Sampson, recently the subject of an FA investigation into discrimination and bullying within the England camp.

World Cup: First Wave Of Tickets For Russia 2018 Put On Sale And They Really Aren’t Cheap…

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The first batch of tickets for the 2018 World Cup in Russia have gone on sale today and, guess what, they're not exactly what you might call affordable.

From Thursday, fans will be able to submit an application to purchase tickets for the tournament the cheapest being a bog standard 'category 3' ticket for group stage at matches priced at £79 matches and the most expensive being a frankly extortionate 'category 1' ticket for the final.

Russian Farmer Builds Football Stadium Out Of Straw In Protest At Spiralling Cost Of New Zenit St Petersburg Arena (Photos)

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Photo: @AP_Sports/Twitter

A farmer from Russia has built an entire stadium using straw in a gentle mockery of the spiralling costs incurred by his football team, Zenit St Petersburg, and their vastly expensive new stadium.

Indeed, Zenit has reportedly spent in the region of £550million building and opening their new eponymous 64,000-capacity arena in time for the 2018 World Cup.

International football

Russian Commentator Quits Live On Air After Seeing Team Denied Two Blatant Penalties In Space Of 60 Seconds (Video)

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Handball in the area? No dice...

Russian commentatorVladimir Nikolsky became so enraged at seeing his team denied not one, but two blatant penalties in quick succession that he was left with no other option but to abandon his post live on air.

Nikolsky was covering the recent second-tier match betweenTekstilshchik Ivanovo andTorpedo Vladimir, the team who employ him as an in-house commentator as part of Russian league broadcasting rules.

Diego On Ice: Maradona Tries His Hand (Of God) At Ice Hockey As Guest Of Russian National Team (Photos & Video)

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Photo: Russia Hockey/Facebook

After an invite to Lionel Messi's wedding proved not to be forthcoming, Diego Maradona instead spent his weekend as a guest of the Russian national ice hockey team in St Petersburg.

In town for the Confederations Cup Final, Maradona geared up (not like that) for the match bytaking a tour of the new SKA St Petersburg Hockey Town complex.

The Rest

USMNT at Trinidad and Tobago 2018 World Cup Qualifier: Time, How To Watch, Match Thread

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Time for the USMNT to punch their ticket to Russia

The road to Russia comes down to the final day as the United States take on Trinidad and Tobago in their most important World Cup Qualifier in 28 years. Getting a positive result in T&T is a must; a win or a draw and they're through to Russia.

Boost for Man Utd as Crystal Palace without 5 key players

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Manchester United's short turnaround after a midweek trip to Russia has been boosted by opponents Crystal Palace suffering from a number of first-team absentees for today's game at Old Trafford. We were busy beating CSKA Moscow 4-1 in the Champions... Continue Reading →

Generation Next: 8 exciting young talents to watch in the Russian Premier League in 2017/18

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Here at Just Football our focus is global, taking in not only the major European leagues but those others that don't always get the coverage they may deserve. With that in mind, here's...

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Loss to Costa Rica puts USMNT on more difficult road to Russia

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Photo by Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports

Bruce Arena and the U.S. Men's National Team knew the stakes of Friday's match. A win would all but put the USMNT on the road to Russia. A loss? Well, that would change the perception and certainly bring in a whole new line of questioning.

"We know that all hell breaks loose when you lose a game," Arena said on Thursday ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.