Sub-editor/Correspondent, Singapore
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Jun 15, 2014

Swiss snatch late victory over Ecuador

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Haris Seferovic struck a stoppage time winner as Switzerland fought back from a goal down to claim a thrilling last-gasp 2-1 win over Ecuador in a scrappy but entertaining World Cup Group E opener on Sunday.

The substitute was left unmarked at the near post as he converted a 93rd minute cross from the left following a rapid counter-attack to send the Swiss fans into raptures.

Jun 15, 2014

Soccer-Attack the best form of defence for victorious Ivorians

June 15 (Reuters) – Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi’s attacking endeavour was rewarded as his four-pronged frontline made light of the team’s defensive frailties to beat Japan 2-1 in their World Cup opener on Saturday.

Trailing 1-0 with 30 minutes left, Lamouchi threw on talismanic striker Didier Drogba to play up top with Wilfried Bony, Gervinho and Salomon Kalou and the move resulted in two quick goals and three points from the Group C clash.

Jun 12, 2014

Factbox: Ivory Coast v Japan

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Ivory Coast play Japan in a Group C match in Recife on Saturday.

Where: Pernambuco arena, Recife.

Capacity: 42,583

When: Saturday June 14, 22:00 local 0100 GMT/9 PM ET)

Referee: Enrique Osses (Chile)

Probable teams:

Ivory Coast: 1-Boubacar Barry; 17-Serge Aurier, 22-Souleyman Bamba, 4-Kolo Toure, 3-Arthur Boka; 9-Cheick Tiote, 20-Serey Die, 15-Max Gradel; 8-Salomon Kalou, 11-Didier Drogba, 10-Gervinho.

Jun 12, 2014

Soccer-Ivory Coast v Japan

June 12 (Reuters) – Ivory Coast play Japan in a Group C match in Recife on Saturday.

Where: Pernambuco arena, Recife.

Capacity: 42,583

When: Saturday June 14, 22:00 local 0100 GMT/9 PM ET)

Referee: Enrique Osses (Chile)

Probable teams:

Ivory Coast: 1-Boubacar Barry; 17-Serge Aurier, 22-Souleyman Bamba, 4-Kolo Toure, 3-Arthur Boka; 9-Cheick Tiote, 20-Serey Die, 15-Max Gradel; 8-Salomon Kalou, 11-Didier Drogba, 10-Gervinho.

Jun 6, 2014

Nekounam has abundance of responsibility for Iran

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Playmaker, captain, penalty taker and free-kick specialist, Iran midfielder Javad Nekounam has an abundance of responsibility as Team Melli prepare for their fourth World Cup appearance.

The 33-year-old, though, has a wealth of experience to draw on having made more than 130 appearances for the three-times Asian champions since making his debut 14 years ago.

Jun 6, 2014

Queiroz hopes for last laugh in Iran adventure

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Carlos Queiroz’s tempestuous three-year spell in charge of Iran is expected to end after mission impossible at the World Cup, where he will attempt to steer the team to the knockout stages for the first time and silence his critics.

Despite leading the Iranians to a fourth World Cup finals appearance by winning their Asian qualifying group last year, the Mozambique-born Queiroz has seen his tactics and team selections placed under continual scrutiny.

Jun 6, 2014

Undercooked Iran face challenge for goals and points

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Iran head to Brazil as Asia’s top-ranked nation but their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of a World Cup for the first time have been hampered by a lack of top class friendly opposition and a wave of negativity surrounding the team.

After booking their spot in the finals by winning their qualifying group last June, Iran, ranked number one in Asia and 37th in the world by FIFA, did not play a friendly until they lost 2-1 at home to Guinea in March.

Jun 6, 2014

Soccer-World-Nekounam has abundance of responsibility for Iran

June 6 (Reuters) – Playmaker, captain, penalty taker and free-kick specialist, Iran midfielder Javad Nekounam has an abundance of responsibility as Team Melli prepare for their fourth World Cup appearance.

The 33-year-old, though, has a wealth of experience to draw on having made more than 130 appearances for the three-times Asian champions since making his debut 14 years ago.

Jun 6, 2014

Soccer-World-Queiroz hopes for last laugh in Iran adventure

June 6 (Reuters) – Carlos Queiroz’s tempestuous three-year spell in charge of Iran is expected to end after mission impossible at the World Cup, where he will attempt to steer the team to the knockout stages for the first time and silence his critics.

Despite leading the Iranians to a fourth World Cup finals appearance by winning their Asian qualifying group last year, the Mozambique-born Queiroz has seen his tactics and team selections placed under continual scrutiny.

Jun 6, 2014

Soccer-World-Undercooked Iran face challenge for goals and points

June 6 (Reuters) – Iran head to Brazil as Asia’s top-ranked nation but their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of a World Cup for the first time have been hampered by a lack of top class friendly opposition and a wave of negativity surrounding the team.

After booking their spot in the finals by winning their qualifying group last June, Iran, ranked number one in Asia and 37th in the world by FIFA, did not play a friendly until they lost 2-1 at home to Guinea in March.