Barely three weeks after chants of “get out Osorio” rang around the Azteca stadium, Mexico’s cerebral coach has won over his critics thanks to two impressive opening performances at the World Cup.
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World champions Germany’s last-gasp victory over Sweden on Saturday unleashed a wave of euphoria among players and coaching staff but head coach Joachim Loew said changes would be needed for their final Group F game against South Korea.
The shadow of the dramatic sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup still hung over Spain as they set off for their final Group B game against Morocco in Kaliningrad after midfielder Saul Niguez openly criticized the decision.
Sweden substitute Jimmy Durmaz was subjected to a storm of racial hatred and threats on social media after giving away the free kick that led to Toni Kroos’s late winner for Germany in their Group F World Cup clash on Saturday.
Soccer fans from all over the world were treated to a spectacular celebration in St Petersburg on Saturday as millions of people gathered in the city center for Scarlet Sails, the climactic event of the annual White Nights festival.
A dramatic stoppage-time goal from Toni Kroos gave holders Germany a 2-1 win over Sweden on Saturday to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup last 16.
FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Switzerland players Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, looking into their goal celebrations during Friday’s win over Serbia at the World Cup.
Germany’s Toni Kroos emerged as the world champions’ natural leader on Saturday, stepping up to guide them to a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Sweden kept them on course for the World Cup last 16.
Edson Alvarez was brought in as center back for Mexico’s World Cup Group F game against South Korea on Saturday in the only change made by coach Jose Luis Osorio after the Latin Americans defeated defending champions Germany.
When Moscow confectioners found out Lionel Messi would be celebrating his birthday during the World Cup, they decided he needed a gift that measured up – a life-size chocolate sculpture in his likeness.
Saif-Eddine Khaoui will start for Tunisia, replacing Naim Sliti, against an unchanged Belgian line-up as coach Nabil Maaloul looks to attack the World Cup Group G seeds to secure the win they need to keep their last 16 hopes alive.
The crunch World Cup showdown between Poland and Colombia on Sunday could come down to which of club mates Robert Lewandowski and James Rodriguez is able find something close to their best form at the Kazan Arena.
Croatia’s hugely impressive 3-0 win over Argentina moved them into the World Cup knockout stages for the first time since 1998 and inevitably Zlatko Delic’s team are earning comparisons with the celebrated side who finished third in France.
England manager Gareth Southgate played down any confrontation with the media after a photograph was taken allegedly showing the line-up for England’s clash with Panama on Sunday.
Germany coach Joachim Loew has dropped Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira from the side that desperately need a victory over Sweden in their World Cup Group F clash in Sochi on Saturday.
The disciplinary records of Spain and Portugal could be used to decide the winners of the World Cup’s Group B if they both win by the same scoreline in their final qualification matches on Monday.
Soccer fans planning to watch Russia take on Uruguay in the World Cup on giant outdoor screens in Moscow on Monday should consider avoiding the official FIFA fan zone due to potential overcrowding, local officials said on Saturday.
When English players first imagined playing a World Cup in Russia, they would not have envisaged searing sunshine and temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius (86°F).
With fears of hooliganism and animosity from Russians disappearing fast, England fans are streaming into the tranquil, riverside city of Nizhny Novgorod for their next game, mingling happily with locals in old streets and sun-kissed squares.
Senegal are not unduly worried about taking on Japan in Sunday’s Group H clash despite the Asians possessing plenty of technical quality across the pitch, the African team’s coach Aliou Cisse said on Saturday.
One of the central themes from the early stages of the World Cup in Russia is the number of penalties being awarded, many following the intervention of video assistant referees (VARs).
Belgium outclassed underdogs Tunisia with an impressive display of speed, power and attacking football but they will quickly need to improve their defense if the country’s golden generation are to live up to expectations and go far in this World Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored Portugal’s all-four goals in the World Cup so far and the European Champions will be heavily dependent on the talismanic forward to see them through against a stoic Iran side in their final Group B match on Monday.
The lowest-ranked team coming into their own World Cup, Russia have sparkled since the action began — and perhaps the secret to their success is not just their ability on the ball but good old-fashioned industry.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt will try to avoid finishing last in Group A as they bow out of the World Cup on Monday, a disappointing end to the tournament in particular for Egypt and their usually prolific striker Mohamed Salah.
Football fans from around the globe visiting Kazan for the World Cup got a taste of traditional Tatar culture at the Sabantuy Summer festival on Saturday.
Panama will field the same line-up that lost their opening World Cup game to Belgium when they face an England side that coach Hernan Dario Gomez expects to be an even tougher proposition on Sunday.
“I love to make nails beautiful,” says manicurist Natalia, as she applies the finishing touches to a World Cup soccer ball design on her friend’s nail in her home in Samara.
Moscow’s shops are stocking up on beer to slake the thirst of World Cup fans after some bars reported shortages.
Spain will be looking for their unlikely new World Cup figurehead Diego Costa to strike again against already eliminated Morocco on Monday as they bid to outscore Portugal and grab top spot in Group B.
World Cup upstarts Iceland will need a new, attack-minded game-plan, and a lot more from their creative star Gylfi Sigurdsson, when they battle against the odds to keep their Russia 2018 dreams alive on Tuesday by beating in-form Croatia.
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has taken three different nations to the World Cup finals but in his current role, he has confronted problems beyond the realm of sports.
Argentine’s woes mean that France could face them in the last 16 of the World Cup, but Les Bleus have no intention to give up top spot in Group C when they face Denmark on Tuesday, especially after being criticized by their opponents’ coach.
Nigeria’s Ahmed Musa became ‘Lionel Musa’ on social media in Argentina on Friday after his two goals against Iceland which not only put the Africans back on course for a last 16 place, but also restored the World Cup hopes of the South Americans.
Switzerland’s 2-1 World Cup win over Serbia was given a mixed reaction by Swiss media who applauded their rousing second-half comeback but criticized celebrations by scorers Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri which appeared to have political overtones.
Critics of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system were handed ample ammunition when Serbia were somehow denied what appeared a blatant penalty in their defeat to Switzerland on Friday.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed head of Russia’s southern Chechnya region, hosted a dinner in honor of Egypt’s football team and presented the Liverpool star forward Mohamed Salah with an award, the Chechen leader’s press service said on Friday.
A thunderous strike by Granit Xhaka and a superb last-minute breakaway goal by Xherdan Shaqiri gave Switzerland a dramatic 2-1 win over Serbia in a swashbuckling World Cup Group E match on Friday.
Stanislav Cherchesov is getting the big graffiti treatment in Russia after coaching the home team to the second round of the World Cup for the first time in 32 years.
As Brazil forward Neymar broke down and wept uncontrollably on the pitch at the end of his team’s hard-fought 2-0 win over Costa Rica on Friday, it was hard not to be moved by his reaction.
Soccer’s world governing body FIFA said on Friday it was trying to identify fans shown fighting in a video filmed at Thursday’s World Cup match between Argentina and Croatia.
Nigeria beat Iceland 2-0 on Friday to revive their hopes of advancing into the knockout stages of the World Cup in Russia, as striker Ahmed Musa dramatically marked his return to the team with two fine second-half goals.
A group of Mexico fans have had an unusual companion on their travels through Russia to follow their team in the World Cup – a life-size cardboard cut-out of their friend who pulled out of the trip of a lifetime at the last minute.
Colombia head into their World Cup clash against Poland in Group H on Sunday under pressure to get a result and with their preparations overshadowed by a police investigation into death threats made to midfielder Carlos Sanchez.
Mexico will not be over-confident when they play South Korea in their Group F game at the World Cup on Saturday, aware that their opponents may adopt any of a number of formations to outsmart the team that beat holders Germany in their opener.
Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda has queried Senegal’s defense and believes the Samurai Blue can hope to “fool” the Africans with a crafty game in their World Cup Group H clash on Sunday.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic intends to ring the changes for his team’s final World Cup Group D game against Iceland to protect several players who are on yellow cards.
With three national languages and a Spanish coach who talks in none of them, their World Cup camp might be a feuding Tower of Babel but Roberto Martinez has forged a harmony he is proud to say makes Belgium “boring”.
Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic who will send out the same starting team that drew with Brazil to face Serbia in World Cup Group E on Friday.
England midfielder Dele Alli is unlikely to play against Panama due to his thigh injury, manager Gareth Southgate said on Friday.
Australia defender Mark Milligan has backed team mate Robbie Kruse to be resolute in the face of attacks on social media as the Socceroos prepare for their must-win World Cup clash against Peru.