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Jun 27, 2014

Proud Portugal “leave with heads held high”

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Portugal’s players were in no mood for an in-depth analysis of their World Cup failings as they prepared to return home, preferring to trot out time-honored cliches about doing their best and leaving with their heads held high.

Their post-tournament comments were as lacklustre as their football as they tried to explain their group stage elimination which followed a 4-0 defeat to Germany, a 2-2 draw with United States and 2-1 win over Ghana.

Jun 27, 2014

Soccer-Proud Portugal “leave with heads held high”

BRASILIA, June 27 (Reuters) – Portugal’s players were in no mood for an in-depth analysis of their World Cup failings as they prepared to return home, preferring to trot out time-honoured cliches about doing their best and leaving with their heads held high.

Their post-tournament comments were as lacklustre as their football as they tried to explain their group stage elimination which followed a 4-0 defeat to Germany, a 2-2 draw with United States and 2-1 win over Ghana.

Jun 26, 2014

No quick clear-out for eliminated Portugal

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Portugal coach Paulo Bento has decided not to radically overhaul his ageing team after their World Cup first round exit although the decision may be partly due to a lack of suitable alternatives.

Bento said he wanted to stay loyal to the players who have formed the basis of the squad since he took over four years ago and promised that nobody would be forced out of the door.

Jun 26, 2014

Soccer-No quick clear-out for eliminated Portugal

BRASILIA, June 26 (Reuters) – Portugal coach Paulo Bento has decided not to radically overhaul his ageing team after their World Cup first round exit although the decision may be partly due to a lack of suitable alternatives.

Bento said he wanted to stay loyal to the players who have formed the basis of the squad since he took over four years ago and promised that nobody would be forced out of the door.

Jun 26, 2014

Boateng’s Ghana career a controversial stop-start affair

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Kevin-Prince Boateng’s Ghana career has been an on-off affair in which, coincidence or not, his commitment to the Black Stars has tended to peak just before World Cups.

The German-born midfielder was suspended from the World Cup squad on Thursday along with team mate Sulley Muntari, hours before a crucial group match against Portugal, after clashing with coach Kwesi Appiah and a Ghana Football Association official.

Jun 26, 2014

Soccer-Boateng’s Ghana career a controversial stop-start affair

BRASILIA, June 26 (Reuters) – Kevin-Prince Boateng’s Ghana career has been an on-off affair in which, coincidence or not, his commitment to the Black Stars has tended to peak just before World Cups.

The German-born midfielder was suspended from the World Cup squad on Thursday along with team mate Sulley Muntari, hours before a crucial group match against Portugal, after clashing with coach Kwesi Appiah and a Ghana Football Association official.

Jun 26, 2014

Messi shines again and Shaqiri joins the fun

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Argentina’s Lionel Messi continued his World Cup dual with Neymar by scoring twice in a 3-2 win over Nigeria while Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri got in on the act with a magnificent hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Honduras on Wednesday.

Nigeria scraped through behind already-qualified Argentina, becoming the first African team to reach the last 16 at this tournament, while Switzerland also qualified along with France, who drew 0-0 with Ecuador.

Jun 26, 2014

Soccer-Messi shines again and Shaqiri joins the fun

BRASILIA, June 25 (Reuters) – Argentina’s Lionel Messi continued his World Cup dual with Neymar by scoring twice in a 3-2 win over Nigeria while Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri got in on the act with a magnificent hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Honduras on Wednesday.

Nigeria scraped through behind already-qualified Argentina, becoming the first African team to reach the last 16 at this tournament, while Switzerland also qualified along with France, who drew 0-0 with Ecuador.

Jun 25, 2014

Shaqiri takes his place on the world stage

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Switzerland have been expecting great things of Xherdan Shaqiri for some time and the impish player finally took his place on the world stage with a superb hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Honduras on Wednesday.

For many Swiss fans it has been a long time coming. The cheeky and instinctive Kosovo-born player, who looks as if he might have learned the game on the streets of South America, made his international debut as an 18-year-old and was still a teenager when he was voted Switzerland’s Player of the Year in 2011.

Jun 25, 2014

Soccer-Shaqiri takes his place on the world stage

BRASILIA, June 25 (Reuters) – Switzerland have been expecting great things of Xherdan Shaqiri for some time and the impish player finally took his place on the world stage with a superb hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Honduras on Wednesday.

For many Swiss fans it has been a long time coming. The cheeky and instinctive Kosovo-born player, who looks as if he might have learned the game on the streets of South America, made his international debut as an 18-year-old and was still a teenager when he was voted Switzerland’s Player of the Year in 2011.