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Jun 20, 2014

Costa Rica stun Italy, France crush Switzerland

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Another European heavyweight fell to Latin American opposition on Friday as Costa Rica shocked Italy 1-0, putting the four-times champions’ qualification in peril, but France thumped Switzerland 5-2 in an imperious World Cup display.

After yet another upset in Brazil, Costa Rica’s win put them top of Group D and eliminated England, while Italy and Uruguay must now fight it out for the other qualification spot when they meet in Natal on Tuesday.

Jun 20, 2014

Soccer-Costa Rica stun Italy, France crush Switzerland

SAO PAULO, June 20 (Reuters) – Another European heavyweight fell to Latin American opposition on Friday as Costa Rica shocked Italy 1-0, putting the four-times champions’ qualification in peril, but France thumped Switzerland 5-2 in an imperious World Cup display.

After yet another upset in Brazil, Costa Rica’s win put them top of Group D and eliminated England, while Italy and Uruguay must now fight it out for the other qualification spot when they meet in Natal on Tuesday.

Jun 20, 2014

England failure leaves coach looking back to the future

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – England’s failure at the first hurdle at the Brazil World Cup leaves manager Roy Hodgson with no choice but to put even more faith than he has in untried, emerging talent.

As the player ratings came in following England’s loss to Uruguay in Sao Paulo, it was clear that older team members were judged to have been the main culprits in a defeat that consigned them to an early flight home from Brazil.

Jun 20, 2014

Soccer-England failure leaves coach looking back to the future

SAO PAULO, June 20 (Reuters) – England’s failure at the first hurdle at the Brazil World Cup leaves manager Roy Hodgson with no choice but to put even more faith than he has in untried, emerging talent.

As the player ratings came in following England’s loss to Uruguay in Sao Paulo, it was clear that older team members were judged to have been the main culprits in a defeat that consigned them to an early flight home from Brazil.

Jun 20, 2014

Analysis – Suarez exposes England’s soft centre

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – “England’s defensive frailties” is probably the most oft-repeated phrase in the country’s football journalism and the 2-1 loss to Uruguay at the World Cup on Thursday underlined why.

Man-of-the-match Luis Suarez, back from injury and the focus of intense media attention in the buildup to a game both sides desperately needed to win, scored twice to put England on the brink of elimination from Group D.

Jun 19, 2014

Suarez exposes England’s soft center

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – “England’s defensive frailties” is probably the most oft-repeated phrase in the country’s soccer journalism and the 2-1 loss to Uruguay at the World Cup on Thursday underlined why.

Man-of-the-match Luis Suarez, back from injury and the focus of intense media attention in the buildup to a game both sides desperately needed to win, scored twice to put England on the brink of elimination from Group D.

Jun 19, 2014

Soccer-Suarez exposes England’s soft centre

SAO PAULO, June 19 (Reuters) – “England’s defensive frailties” is probably the most oft-repeated phrase in the country’s soccer journalism and the 2-1 loss to Uruguay at the World Cup on Thursday underlined why.

Man-of-the-match Luis Suarez, back from injury and the focus of intense media attention in the buildup to a game both sides desperately needed to win, scored twice to put England on the brink of elimination from Group D.

Jun 19, 2014

For Croatia’s Olic, special goal was all about number 18

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Evergreen Croatia striker Ivica Olic knew it was going to be his day even before Wednesday’s 4-0 thrashing of Cameroon.

The 34-year-old, who became his country’s oldest scorer at a World Cup when he got the first goal in the Group A game in Manaus, was confident that the result, and his own role in it, would come down to the number 18.

Jun 19, 2014

Soccer-For Croatia’s Olic, special goal was all about number 18

SAO PAULO, June 19 (Reuters) – Evergreen Croatia striker Ivica Olic knew it was going to be his day even before Wednesday’s 4-0 thrashing of Cameroon.

The 34-year-old, who became his country’s oldest scorer at a World Cup when he got the first goal in the Group A game in Manaus, was confident that the result, and his own role in it, would come down to the number 18.

Jun 18, 2014

After early blunders, World Cup referees earn welcome anonymity

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Come-from-behind victories have been common at this year’s World Cup, so it seems apt that, after a decidedly shaky start to the tournament, referees have disappeared from the headlines and let the scintillating soccer do the talking.

Croatia coach Niko Kovac warned of a “circus” after Japanese official Yuichi Nishimura’s questionable penalty award in the opening match, which swung the game in host Brazil’s favor and threatened to eclipse Neymar’s brilliance on the pitch.

    • About Mike

      "I cover arts and entertainment across Europe, Middle East and Africa, ranging from film festivals like Cannes and awards shows like the BRITs and from books and theatre to art, opera and industry stories. My previous postings include Moscow, senior correspondent in Central Asia and deputy bureau chief in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I also covered the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq."
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