Chief Sports Correspondent, Asia
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Jun 23, 2014

Positives for winless Australia as Asian Cup beckons

By Nick Mulvenney

(Reuters) – Played three, lost three and bottom of Group B is not a World Cup record any country would be proud of but when you are coming from the dark place Australia were in eight months ago, success is a relative term.

The 3-0 defeat by Spain on Monday which ensured that 2014 would be the worst of their four World Cup campaigns was the most disappointing performance of their three in Brazil.

Jun 23, 2014

Suarez says knee ‘perfect’, ready for Italy showdown

NATAL Brazil (Reuters) – Uruguay striker Luis Suarez pushed his body to the very limits in last Thursday’s match against England but said his knee was in “perfect condition” ahead of the must-win World Cup clash against Italy.

In a dazzling display of marksmanship, Suarez scored both goals in the 2-0 defeat of England having missed Uruguay’s opening defeat to Costa Rica because of the knee surgery he underwent just before the tournament.

Jun 23, 2014

Quality saves Portugal after U.S. ride fitness factor

By Nick Mulvenney

(Reuters) – With one moment of genuine class at the very death, Portugal snatched victory from the grasp of the United States and kept their World Cup hopes alive on Sunday.

If football was divided between “triers” and “flyers” then Juergen Klinsmann’s uber-fit side would be an embodiment of the former, while World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo could be considered the archetype of the latter.

Jun 22, 2014

Italy look to shackle Suarez in Uruguay showdown

NATAL Brazil (Reuters) – Italy must find a way to shut down Uruguay striker Luis Suarez when the teams clash at the Dunas arena on Tuesday in a World Cup showdown which will decide who goes through to the last 16.

Uruguay, semi-finalists four years ago, will arrive in Natal on an almighty high after Suarez’s double strike beat England and eased the pain of their opening 3-1 loss to Costa Rica – a match their totemic striker missed as he recovered his fitness.

Jun 22, 2014

Chameleon Azzurri are clutch match specialists: Buffon

NATAL Brazil (Reuters) – Italy are “must-win” game specialists and have a Chameleon-like versatility that will get them the result they need in this week’s World Cup showdown with Uruguay, captain Gianluigi Buffon said on Sunday.

The 36-year-old goalkeeper, playing in his fifth World Cup, said Italy’s experience in playing clutch matches would hold them in good stead in the Group D decider at the Dunas arena on Tuesday.

Jun 22, 2014

Soccer-Chameleon Azzurri are clutch match specialists – Buffon

NATAL, Brazil, June 22 (Reuters) – Italy are “must-win” game specialists and have a Chameleon-like versatility that will get them the result they need in this week’s World Cup showdown with Uruguay, captain Gianluigi Buffon said on Sunday.

The 36-year-old goalkeeper, playing in his fifth World Cup, said Italy’s experience in playing clutch matches would hold them in good stead in the Group D decider at the Dunas arena on Tuesday.

Jun 21, 2014

Italy’s De Rossi ‘highly unlikely’ to face Uruguay

NATAL Brazil (Reuters) – Italy’s Daniele De Rossi has a leg injury and is highly unlikely to play in the World Cup Group D showdown against Uruguay on Tuesday, the Azzurri’s team doctor said on Saturday.

The 30-year-old midfielder played the full 90 minutes in both of Italy’s games in the tournament, a 2-1 victory over England and a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica.

Jun 21, 2014

Soccer-Italy’s De Rossi ‘highly unlikely’ to face Uruguay

NATAL, Brazil, June 21 (Reuters) – Italy’s Daniele De Rossi has a leg injury and is highly unlikely to play in the World Cup Group D showdown against Uruguay on Tuesday, the Azzurri’s team doctor said on Saturday.

The 30-year-old midfielder played the full 90 minutes in both of Italy’s games in the tournament, a 2-1 victory over England and a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica.

Jun 20, 2014

France coach Deschamps vindicated by Swiss rout

By Nick Mulvenney

(Reuters) – “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” was famously the rallying cry of the French Revolution but it was the “unité” on display in the 5-2 rout of Switzerland on Friday that could be the most significant factor in how far France advance at the World Cup.

Coach Didier Deschamps admitted he had not selected the best 23 players when he finalised his squad for the tournament and the omission of creative midfielder Samir Nasri was explicitly for reasons of squad cohesion.

Jun 20, 2014

Soccer-France coach Deschamps vindicated by Swiss rout

June 20 (Reuters) – “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” was famously the rallying cry of the French Revolution but it was the “unité” on display in the 5-2 rout of Switzerland on Friday that could be the most significent factor in how far France advance at the World Cup.

Coach Didier Deschamps admitted he had not selected the best 23 players when he finalised his squad for the tournament and the omission of creative midfielder Samir Nasri was explicitly for reasons of squad cohesion.

    • About Nick

      "Nick recently moved into his new role in Sydney after five years in China, where he covered the run-up to the Beijing Olympics and the growth of the world's most populous country as a sporting superpower. In more than a decade at Reuters, Nick has reported on a wide variety of events, from the sedate confines of the All England Club to the rarified atmosphere of Everest Base Camp for the ascent of the Olympic flame."
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