Sub-editor/Correspondent, Singapore
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Jun 23, 2014

Hulk to return for Brazil as Scolari stays loyal

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Under pressure but undeterred, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said he would return to the same starting lineup that delivered an opening World Cup win over Croatia for Monday’s Group A clash with Cameroon.

That would mean Ramires dropping to the bench and a recall for forward Hulk, who did not feature in the 0-0 draw with Mexico because of a thigh muscle problem.

Jun 23, 2014

Soccer-Hulk to return for Brazil as Scolari stays loyal

BRASILIA, June 22 (Reuters) – Under pressure but undeterred, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said he would return to the same starting lineup that delivered an opening World Cup win over Croatia for Monday’s Group A clash with Cameroon.

That would mean Ramires dropping to the bench and a recall for forward Hulk, who did not feature in the 0-0 draw with Mexico because of a thigh muscle problem.

Jun 20, 2014

Lack of finishers leave Japan on the brink

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Japanese ambitions of a first World Cup quarter-final place appear all but over after their lauded attack once again broke down under pressure, with the absence of a world class number nine never more evident.

The team admitted to panicking during their opening 2-1 loss to Ivory Coast, while fullback Yuto Nagatomo said they pressed the self-destruct button during Thursday’s goalless Group C draw with 10-man Greece.

Jun 20, 2014

Soccer-Lack of finishers leave Japan on the brink

June 20 (Reuters) – Japanese ambitions of a first World Cup quarter-final place appear all but over after their lauded attack once again broke down under pressure, with the absence of a world class number nine never more evident.

The team admitted to panicking during their opening 2-1 loss to Ivory Coast, while fullback Yuto Nagatomo said they pressed the self-destruct button during Thursday’s goalless Group C draw with 10-man Greece.

Jun 19, 2014

Ivorian Die sheds tears for World Cup occasion not dad

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Ivory Coast midfielder Serey Die said he broke down in tears on Thursday over the emotion of representing his country at a World Cup as false internet rumors swirled that his father had died before kickoff.

Die was crying as the anthems played before they faced Colombia in Brasilia, with rumors circulating on Twitter that his father, who died in 2004, had passed away two hours before the Group C match, which they lost 2-1.

Jun 19, 2014

No Song just a whimper as Cameroon crash out

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Cameroon went down fighting – off the ball and amongst themselves – as they exited the World Cup on Wednesday with Alex Song adding a red card to the ill-disciplined African nation’s long list in a thumping 4-0 defeat by Croatia.

The Europeans were already leading 1-0 when Barcelona midfielder Song opted for a petulant elbow smash into the back of Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic in the 40th minute of their Group A clash in Manaus on Wednesday.

Jun 19, 2014

Soccer-No Song just a whimper as Cameroon crash out

June 18 (Reuters) – Cameroon went down fighting – off the ball and amongst themselves – as they exited the World Cup on Wednesday with Alex Song adding a red card to the ill-disciplined African nation’s long list in a thumping 4-0 defeat by Croatia.

The Europeans were already leading 1-0 when Barcelona midfielder Song opted for a petulant elbow smash into the back of Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic in the 40th minute of their Group A clash in Manaus on Wednesday.

Jun 18, 2014

Confident Colombia trying not to get carried away

BRASILIA (Reuters) – With fears about World Cup nerves allayed and buoyed by a sizeable traveling support, a confident Colombia were facing a struggle to play down expectations they could seal a rare place in the knockout stages.

The South Americans marked their return to the World Cup stage after a 16-year absence in sparkling fashion on Saturday, swatting aside former European champions Greece 3-0 in their opening Group C match.

Jun 18, 2014

Soccer-Confident Colombia trying not to get carried away

BRASILIA, June 18 (Reuters) – With fears about World Cup nerves allayed and buoyed by a sizeable travelling support, a confident Colombia were facing a struggle to play down expectations they could seal a rare place in the knockout stages.

The South Americans marked their return to the World Cup stage after a 16-year absence in sparkling fashion on Saturday, swatting aside former European champions Greece 3-0 in their opening Group C match.

Jun 18, 2014

Spain on the brink against ‘suicidal’ Chile

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Defending champions Spain will face the ‘suicidal’ attacking style of Chile at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday aiming to get their World Cup bid back on track and avoid an embarrassingly early exit.

Spain were ripped to shreds in a morale-sapping 5-1 defeat by the Netherlands in their Group B opener on Friday – their worst World Cup loss since a 6-1 mauling by Brazil in 1950.