Sub-editor/Correspondent, Singapore
Patrick's Feed
Jul 2, 2014

Soccer-State of the World Cup’s last eight

BRASILIA, July 2 (Reuters) – Twenty four teams have gone and only eight remain in the hunt to win the World Cup. Some have romped to the last eight, while others have limped. We take a look at the state of the remaining eight sides left in the tournament and their chances of lifting the famous gold trophy at the Maracana in Rio de Janiero on July 13.

BRAZIL

Played 4 Won 2 Drawn 2 Lost 0 Goals For 8 Goals Against 3

Top scorer: Neymar 4 goals

Tournament odds: 3-1 Favourites

Hosts Brazil have failed to convince in their four matches so far. Concerns have been raised about the form of striker Fred, midfielder Paulinho and their defensive frailties down the fullback channels, while the coaching staff have acknowledged the squad is feeling the pressure of an expectant nation demanding a sixth World Cup and first on home soil.

Jun 30, 2014

France coach Deschamps wants more of the same from Pogba

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Paul Pogba’s goalscoring display in France’s 2-0 win over Nigeria showcased how talented the young midfielder is, with coach Didier Deschamps hoping to see those skills on a more regular basis.

The Juventus player headed France in front in the 79th minute of their World Cup last 16 clash at the Brasilia national stadium on Monday to cap a man-of-the-match display after reacting well to being dropped earlier in the tournament.

Jun 30, 2014

Soccer-France coach Deschamps wants more of the same from Pogba

BRASILIA, June 30 (Reuters) – Paul Pogba’s goalscoring display in France’s 2-0 win over Nigeria showcased how talented the young midfielder is, with coach Didier Deschamps hoping to see those skills on a more regular basis.

The Juventus player headed France in front in the 79th minute of their World Cup last 16 clash at the Brasilia national stadium on Monday to cap a man-of-the-match display after reacting well to being dropped earlier in the tournament.

Jun 30, 2014

Onazi injury allows France to break through to last eight

BRASILIA (Reuters) – For 55 minutes Nigeria were comfortably keeping France at bay, but then Blaise Matuidi planted his studs on Ogenyi Onazi and their World Cup ambitions were as damaged as the midfielder’s ankle.

Matuidi was fortunate to receive only a yellow card after his late lunge on the Lazio man’s ankle arrived long after the ball had been played.

Jun 30, 2014

Soccer-Onazi injury allows France to break through to last eight

BRASILIA, June 30 (Reuters) – For 55 minutes Nigeria were comfortably keeping France at bay, but then Blaise Matuidi planted his studs on Ogenyi Onazi and their World Cup ambitions were as damaged as the midfielder’s ankle.

Matuidi was fortunate to receive only a yellow card after his late lunge on the Lazio man’s ankle arrived long after the ball had been played.

Jun 29, 2014

World Cup win will unite Nigeria, say Mikel and Keshi

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel is hopeful that victory over France and a first World Cup quarter-final appearance can help unite the African nation currently gripped by violence and bloodshed.

Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 15 people on Sunday in an attack on two Nigerian villages as violence in the northeast of the country continued to surge since a mass abduction of more than 200 school girls in April.

Jun 29, 2014

Soccer-World Cup win will unite Nigeria, say Mikel and Keshi

BRASILIA, June 29 (Reuters) – Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel is hopeful that victory over France and a first World Cup quarter-final appearance can help unite the African nation currently gripped by violence and bloodshed.

Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 15 people on Sunday in an attack on two Nigerian villages as violence in the northeast of the country continued to surge since a mass abduction of more than 200 school girls in April.

Jun 27, 2014

Disgraced Suarez goes home, Brazil feel pressure

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The furor over Luis Suarez’s heavy ban for biting filled the void of the first game-free day at the World Cup in Brazil on Friday, with his Italian victim Giorgio Chiellini leading the criticism of the Uruguayan’s record punishment.

The Italy defender feared the World Cup-record four-month ban and nine-match international suspension handed out by FIFA would alienate the controversial striker, who landed in Montevideo to be met by the his country’s President Jose Mujica.

Jun 27, 2014

Soccer-Disgraced Suarez goes home, Brazil feel pressure

BRASILIA, June 27 (Reuters) – The furore over Luis Suarez’s heavy ban for biting filled the void of the first game-free day at the World Cup in Brazil on Friday, with his Italian victim Giorgio Chiellini leading the criticism of the Uruguayan’s record punishment.

The Italy defender feared the World Cup-record four-month ban and nine-match international suspension handed out by FIFA would alienate the controversial striker, who landed in Montevideo to be met by the his country’s President Jose Mujica.

Jun 27, 2014

Early World Cup exits a lesson for Asia, says AFC head

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The winless World Cup showing by Asia’s four teams is a wakeup call for the region, the head of AFC said on Friday, but the lackluster showing has not deterred calls for extra places at the finals from his members.

South Korea exited on Thursday after a 1-0 loss to Belgium condemned them to last place in Group H, the same position Japan, Iran and Australia managed in their four team pools as the region managed only a collective three points in Brazil.