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Jun 16, 2014

Soccer-Mueller surprised how easy it was to destroy Portugal

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – Thomas Mueller and his Germany team mates could hardly believe their eyes when they looked up at the scoreboard early in the first half and saw they were leading Portugal 2-0 in their World Cup opening match on Monday.

The Germany striker had scored the first of his three goals in the 4-0 rout of the team they feared most in Group G and he was soon involved in an incident that all but ended Portugal’s hopes of a comeback.

Jun 16, 2014

Mueller surprised how easy it was to destroy Portugal

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – Thomas Mueller and his Germany team mates could hardly believe their eyes when they looked up at the scoreboard early in the first half and saw they were leading Portugal 2-0 in their World Cup opening match on Monday.

The Germany striker had scored the first of his three goals in the 4-0 rout of the team they feared most in Group G and he was soon involved in an incident that all but ended Portugal’s hopes of a comeback.

Jun 16, 2014

Portugal coach accuses referee of favouring Germany

SALVADOR, Brazil, June 16 (Reuters) – Portugal coach Paulo Bento suggested the referee was biased in favour of Germany after his side had a penalty awarded against them and a player sent off in their 4-0 World Cup defeat on Monday.

“These were the two things that seemed to show bias and they were both decisive,” he told a news conference of the penalty decision after 12 minutes and the 37th-minute sending-off of defender Pepe in the Group G opener.

Jun 16, 2014

Germany’s Loew praises disciplined defence

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – Germany coach Joachim Loew was just as pleased with his team’s defensive effort in shutting down world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo as he was with his forwards in their 4-0 opening World Cup win over Portugal on Monday.

“Naturally it was an excellent first match, we had no option but to win,” Loew told a news conference.

Jun 16, 2014

Soccer-Portugal coach accuses referee of favoring Germany

SALVADOR, Brazil, (Reuters) – Portugal coach Paulo Bento suggested the referee was biased in favor of Germany after his side had a penalty awarded against them and a player sent off in their 4-0 World Cup defeat on Monday.

“These were the two things that seemed to show bias and they were both decisive,” he told a news conference of the penalty decision after 12 minutes and the 37th-minute sending-off of defender Pepe in the Group G opener.

Jun 15, 2014

Early kickoff in Salvador heat a danger to players: Bento

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – Portugal’s lunchtime kickoff against Germany in World Cup Group G in Salvador on Monday will put players at risk because of the heat and humidity, Portugal coach Paulo Bento said.

“A 1pm kick off is harmful to the players,” he told reporters at the Fonte Nova arena where, ironically, rain is expected and the temperature will touch 26 degrees with around 80 percent humidity. “I believe to play in the heat is not the best way to produce good football. The most important thing in football is the players and they should not be exposed to that. “You think that some lessons would have been learnt from the tournaments they had in the past, like in the USA,” Bento added.

Jun 15, 2014

Soccer-Early kickoff in Salvador heat a danger to players – Bento

SALVADOR, Brazil, June 15 (Reuters) – Portugal’s lunchtime kickoff against Germany in World Cup Group G in Salvador on Monday will put players at risk because of the heat and humidity, Portugal coach Paulo Bento said.

“A 1pm kick off is harmful to the players,” he told reporters at the Fonte Nova arena where, ironically, rain is expected and the temperature will touch 26 degrees with around 80 percent humidity.

Jun 15, 2014

Feghouli has chance to write his name into African folklore

SALVADOR (Reuters) – Algeria midfielder Sofiane Feghouli will make his entry on to the World Cup stage on Tuesday amid huge anticipation about the impact he could make at the finals.

As Africa looks for a new hero to replace the ageing Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o, the 24-year-old is in a prime position to add to his growing reputation, starting with the north African country’s opener against Belgium in Belo Horizonte.

Jun 15, 2014

Soccer-Feghouli has chance to write his name into African folklore

SALVADOR, June 15 (Reuters) – Algeria midfielder Sofiane Feghouli will make his entry on to the World Cup stage on Tuesday amid huge anticipation about the impact he could make at the finals.

As Africa looks for a new hero to replace the ageing Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o, the 24-year-old is in a prime position to add to his growing reputation, starting with the north African country’s opener against Belgium in Belo Horizonte.

Jun 15, 2014

Clean bill of health has Loew glowing with confidence

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – Germany coach Joachim Loew was finally able to pronounce a clean bill of health for his players at the World Cup on Sunday and immediately sounded a confident note on the eve of their opening match against Portugal. The dramatic airlift by helicopter of Bastian Schweinsteiger from their camp at Santa Cruz Cabralia on Saturday was no more than a routine check at a nearby hospital on his recent knee injury, requested by FIFA for insurance purposes, said the coach. Schweinsteiger later traveled with the rest of the squad to Salvador, where they play their Group G opener at the Fonte Nova arena on Monday. The recovery in recent weeks of captain Philipp Lahm, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and midfielder Sami Khedira added to a positive outlook from Loew about his team’s chances at the tournament in Brazil. “We are well prepared for the first game and we have the injury problems behind us now. All players have participated fully in training and all are 100 percent fit. “But in the last year we have shown we can draw on lots of talent and if we perform in this tournament with a passion and a resolve, then I think we’ll be a difficult team to beat. We’ve got a high level of quality. We’ve got a good chance to go far. “It’s our task as coaches to make sure the team maintains a high level of performance over the four weeks. Also key is avoiding injury, which can be a serious setback for the team. And, of course, you also need that extra pinch of luck along the way,” Loew told the pre-match press conference. “I also believe the extra days of preparation we’ve had have been able to add to the team spirit. They are a much tighter bunch. It is usually difficult to get that spirit going with the national team who don’t get together for months at a time.” The coach said arriving at the match venue on the eve of the game had turned up the level of excitement in the squad. “You can sense a rising tension and expectation. A bit of emotion kicks in and everyone gets excited when they see the stadium, the pitch; feel the atmosphere. We can sense now we are in the fever of the World Cup.”

(Editing by Nigel Hunt)