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Jul 4, 2014

Van Gaal admits underestimating his own team

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal admitted he may be guilty of underestimating his own World Cup squad but said his players would not be making the same mistake with regard to their quarter-final opponents Costa Rica.

The teams meet at the Fonte Nova arena on Saturday.

Van Gaal told reporters on Friday the Dutch had brought “not a fantastic team but a team that is hard to beat” to the tournament in Brazil, prompting a question about perhaps undervaluing the potential of his own side.

Jul 4, 2014

Soccer-Van Gaal admits underestimating his own team

SALVADOR, Brazil, July 4 (Reuters) – Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal admitted he may be guilty of underestimating his own World Cup squad but said his players would not be making the same mistake with regard to their quarter-final opponents Costa Rica.

The teams meet at the Fonte Nova arena on Saturday.

Van Gaal told reporters on Friday the Dutch had brought “not a fantastic team but a team that is hard to beat” to the tournament in Brazil, prompting a question about perhaps undervaluing the potential of his own side.

Jul 4, 2014

Soccer-Equatorial Guinea kicked out of African Nations Cup

July 4 (Reuters) – Equatorial Guinea have been expelled from the African Nations Cup qualifiers after being found guilty of using an ineligible player, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Friday.

Equatorial Guinea were found to have used Cameroon-born player Thierry Fidieu in their two-legged preliminary round tie against Mauritania in May.

Jul 4, 2014

Cameroon promise swift resolution in match-fixing probe

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – The Cameroon Football Federation has promised a swift outcome to its investigation into allegations that seven of the country’s players were involved in a World Cup match-fixing scandal after FIFA poured cold water on the claims.

FECAFOOT said on Friday it had written to German magazine Der Spiegel which reported it had interviewed a convicted match-fixer who correctly predicted the score and a sending off in Cameroon’s game against Croatia at the finals in Brazil.

Jul 4, 2014

Soccer-Cameroon promise swift resolution in match-fixing probe

SALVADOR, Brazil, July 4 (Reuters) – The Cameroon Football Federation has promised a swift outcome to its investigation into allegations that seven of the country’s players were involved in a World Cup match-fixing scandal after FIFA poured cold water on the claims.

FECAFOOT said on Friday it had written to German magazine Der Spiegel which reported it had interviewed a convicted match-fixer who correctly predicted the score and a sending off in Cameroon’s game against Croatia at the finals in Brazil.

Jul 3, 2014

Belgium unveil Messi plan with a Hazard of their own

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – Belgium pointed to Eden Hazard as a potential match winner as they laid out a strategy to combat Lionel Messi and Argentina when they meet in their World Cup quarter-final in Brasilia on Saturday.

“Hey, we’ve got Eden,” teammate Kevin Mirallas said on Thursday as reporters sought answers to the question of dealing with the threat of Argentina’s multiple World Footballer of the Year award winner.

Jul 3, 2014

Soccer-Belgium unveil Messi plan with a Hazard of their own

SALVADOR, Brazil, July 3 (Reuters) – Belgium pointed to Eden Hazard as a potential match winner as they laid out a strategy to combat Lionel Messi and Argentina when they meet in their World Cup quarter-final in Brasilia on Saturday.

“Hey, we’ve got Eden,” teammate Kevin Mirallas said on Thursday as reporters sought answers to the question of dealing with the threat of Argentina’s multiple World Footballer of the Year award winner.

Jul 3, 2014

Kompany continues recovery in boost for Belgium

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – Belgium’s influential captain Vincent Kompany has made a good recovery from the groin injury that plagued him before Tuesday’s World Cup win over the United States, coach Marc Wilmots said on Thursday.

The news will come as much relief to the Belgians, who face twice champions Argentina in the quarter-finals in Brasilia on Saturday.

Jul 3, 2014

Dutch determined to avoid Costa Rica shock

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – The Netherlands start as firm favorites for their World Cup quarter-final against Costa Rica on Saturday but will take nothing for granted when they meet the tournament’s surprise package, who have already seen off three former world champions.

After finishing above England, Italy and Uruguay in Group D, Costa Rica are seeking to become the first team from the CONCACAF region, the confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean nations, to reach the World Cup semi-finals since the United States at the first edition in 1930.

Jul 3, 2014

Forget about pretty football, we’re winning ugly-Sneijder

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder has told fastidious Dutch football connoisseurs to forget about the side playing pretty at the World Cup because he does not want to go home just yet.

The continuing debate over the team abandoning its total football philosophy and employing an uglier pressing and counter attacking style still has Dutch opinion dividend even after the team scored 12 goals in four wins at the tournament in Brazil to book a quarter-final berth.