Iain's Feed
Jun 18, 2014

Soccer-Ivory Coast’s Ya Konan ruled out of Colombia clash

BRASILIA, June 18 (Reuters) – Ivory Coast will be without forward Didier Ya Konan for Thursday’s World Cup Group C clash against Colombia because of a knee injury, coach Sabri Lamouchi said on Wednesday.

Ya Konan came on as a substitute for the final 12 minutes of Saturday’s 2-1 comeback win against Japan in Recife and Lamouchi said he was hopeful the 30-year-old would be fit for Ivory Coast’s final group game against Greece on Tuesday.

Jun 16, 2014

Del Bosque under pressure to ring the changes

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Since Friday’s shock 5-1 World Cup reverse to Group B rivals Netherlands, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has been bombarded with advice about personnel changes he needs to make before Wednesday’s Chile clash.

It remains to be seen whether the genial 63-year-old will make any adjustments following the holders’ woeful second-half performance in their opening match in Salvador but he certainly has plenty of talent to call on if he decides tweaks are needed.

Jun 16, 2014

Soccer-Del Bosque under pressure to ring the changes

BRASILIA, June 16 (Reuters) – Since Friday’s shock 5-1 World Cup reverse to Group B rivals Netherlands, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has been bombarded with advice about personnel changes he needs to make before Wednesday’s Chile clash.

It remains to be seen whether the genial 63-year-old will make any adjustments following the holders’ woeful second-half performance in their opening match in Salvador but he certainly has plenty of talent to call on if he decides tweaks are needed.

Jun 15, 2014

Hitzfeld hails Seferovic, Behrami after last-gasp Ecuador win

BRASILIA (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 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.