Iain's Feed
Jun 15, 2014

Soccer-Hitzfeld hails Seferovic, Behrami after last-gasp Ecuador win

BRASILIA, June 15 (Reuters) – Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld hailed goalscorer Haris Seferovic and midfielder Valon Behrami after they helped conjure a last-gasp victory over Ecuador in their opening World Cup Group E game on Sunday.

With seconds left on the clock at the national stadium in Brasilia, Behrami flung himself into a tackle to deny Ecuador’s Michael Arroyo a shooting chance in the Swiss penalty area before surging upfield.

Jun 14, 2014

Improved Swiss confident of last-16 berth: Hitzfeld

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Switzerland have improved since the last World Cup in 2010 and are confident they can reach the last 16 as one of two qualifiers from Group E, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s opening game against Ecuador, the experienced Hitzfeld said an injection of youth and creativity allied with traditional Swiss defensive solidity would help his team avoid the early exit they suffered four years ago.

Jun 14, 2014

Soccer-Improved Swiss confident of last-16 berth – Hitzfeld

BRASILIA, June 14 (Reuters) – Switzerland have improved since the last World Cup in 2010 and are confident they can reach the last 16 as one of two qualifiers from Group E, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s opening game against Ecuador, the experienced Hitzfeld said an injection of youth and creativity allied with traditional Swiss defensive solidity would help his team avoid the early exit they suffered four years ago.

Jun 6, 2014

Costa Rica in safe hands with ‘Falcon’ Navas

By Iain Rogers

(Reuters) – Costa Rica may have little chance of World Cup success but in Keylor Navas, who plays his club soccer in Spain for Levante, they know that at least their goalkeeper is among the best in the business.

The 27-year-old was even hailed recently as the world’s number one by Joaquin Caparros, his coach at Levante at the time, and his performances this season prompted the official La Liga website (www.ligabbva.com) to proclaim him “the league’s best” ahead of the likes of Victor Valdes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois.

Jun 6, 2014

Soccer-World-Costa Rica in safe hands with ‘Falcon’ Navas

June 6 (Reuters) – Costa Rica may have little chance of World Cup success but in Keylor Navas, who plays his club football in Spain for Levante, they know that at least their goalkeeper is among the best in the business.

The 27-year-old was even hailed recently as the world’s number one by Joaquin Caparros, his coach at Levante at the time, and his performances this season prompted the official La Liga website (www.ligabbva.com) to proclaim him “the league’s best” ahead of the likes of Victor Valdes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois.

Jun 5, 2014

Boy wonder Alexis carrying Chile’s hopes in Brazil

By Iain Rogers

(Reuters) – There are many examples of players who have shrugged off the poverty of formative years to become household names but Chile forward Alexis Sanchez can point to a background that was about as tough as they come.

Born in Tocopilla in Chile’s northern mining region, a grim port city dominated by a gigantic power plant and a saltpeter processing facility, Alexis barely knew his father and was raised by a mother, who scraped a living as a cleaner at her son’s school.

Jun 5, 2014

Spain’s Costa a potential thorn in Brazil’s side

MADRID (Reuters) – A World Cup final featuring hosts Brazil and holders Spain is not an unlikely scenario and Diego Costa could find himself playing a starring role for his adopted country against his native one on July 13.

The Brazil-born forward, who made the final Spain squad despite a series of niggling muscle injuries that have dogged him in recent weeks, raised hackles among his compatriots when he accepted an invitation late last year to play for the world and European champions.

Jun 5, 2014

World Cup – Spain’s dominance faces ultimate test in Brazil

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s desire for glory on the international stage is as strong as ever but the champions will need something special if they are to become the first Europeans to win the World Cup in the Americas.

The only nation from the continent to triumph in soccer’s global showpiece outside Europe, thanks to their triumph in South Africa four years ago, La Roja got an indication of the task facing them when they were humbled 3-0 by hosts Brazil in last year’s Confederations Cup final.

Jun 5, 2014

Spain’s dominance faces ultimate test in Brazil

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s desire for glory on the international stage is as strong as ever but the champions will need something special if they are to become the first Europeans to win the World Cup in the Americas.

The only nation from the continent to triumph in soccer’s global showpiece outside Europe, thanks to their triumph in South Africa four years ago, La Roja got an indication of the task facing them when they were humbled 3-0 by hosts Brazil in last year’s Confederations Cup final.

Jun 5, 2014

Soccer-World-Boy wonder Alexis carrying Chile’s hopes in Brazil

June 5 (Reuters) – There are many examples of players who have shrugged off the poverty of formative years to become household names but Chile forward Alexis Sanchez can point to a background that was about as tough as they come.

Born in Tocopilla in Chile’s northern mining region, a grim port city dominated by a gigantic power plant and a saltpeter processing facility, Alexis barely knew his father and was raised by a mother, who scraped a living as a cleaner at her son’s school.