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BC-AP--World-Cup-Digest, AP

July 8, 2014

The AP World Cup Digest at 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT). The supervisor of the World Cup desk in Rio de Janeiro is Simon Haydon. The desk can be reached at 0055 21 348 264 84.

TOP STORIES:

SOC-WCUP-BRAZIL

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Neymar helped Brazil get this far at the World Cup. Now it’s up to the rest of the team to win for its injured star, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said Monday. Neymar will miss Tuesday’s semifinal against Germany because of a fractured bone in his back, an injury that ruled him out of the World Cup and dealt a huge blow to the nation’s hopes for a title at home. By Tales Azzoni. SENT. 500 words.

WCUP-GERMANY

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Germany coach Joachim Loew is worried about Brazil’s “brutal” tackling in recent games, and appealed to the referee of their World Cup semifinal to be on the lookout for such tactics. Germany and Brazil play Tuesday in Belo Horizonte, with Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez in charge of the match. By Nesha Starcevic. SENT. 500 words.

WCUP-WITHOUT NEYMAR

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Brazil did it once without Pele, and just about everyone in the country is waiting and hoping to do it again without Neymar. The Brazilians advanced to the semifinals of the World Cup last week, but they lost their best player in doing so. Neymar, the national team’s star attraction with the same yellow No. 10 shirt that Pele made world famous, broke a vertebra after being kneed in the back and will miss the rest of the tournament. By Chris Lehourites. SENT. 450 words.

NEW/DEVELOPING:

WCUP-JOHN LEICESTER-070714

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Because it is turning out better than expected, the World Cup is doing more good than harm to brand Brazil. The opposite is true for Brazil’s brand of football. The national team’s grinding route to Tuesday’s semifinal against Germany, its play pockmarked with fouls, gamesmanship and win-at-all-costs realpolitik, has driven a stake through the myth of Brazilian football as art and through the hearts of us fools who nurtured and clung to it. By John Leicester. SENT. 700 words.

WCUP-BRAZIL-GERMANY-COMPARISON

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil and Germany are two of the most decorated teams in football, with eight World Cup titles between them. Both have their share of players among the all-time greats, and both entered this tournament being touted among the main favorites. So even without the injured Neymar, Tuesday’s semifinal in Belo Horizonte provides an intriguing matchup for any neutral fan, as Germany and Brazil play each other at the World Cup for the first time since the 2002 final. By Mattias Karen. SENT. 700 words.

WCUP-ARGENTINA-MASCHERANO

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Copa America, 2011: Argentina’s Javier Mascherano hands the captain’s armband to Lionel Messi after being sent off late in regulation time in the quarterfinal against Uruguay. Argentina loses the ensuing penalty shootout as the host nation is eliminated from the tournament. Since that bitter moment, Messi has held on to the captaincy of Argentina, but Mascherano remains the inspirational voice in the locker room. By Karl Ritter. SENT. 500 words.

WCUP-FIFA-NEYMAR

RIO DE JANEIRO — FIFA will not take action against the Colombia player who injured Neymar and ended the Brazil star’s World Cup. FIFA said its disciplinary panel “cannot consider this matter” under the rules because the match referee saw the challenge by Camilo Zuniga and judged it at the time. By Graham Dunbar. SENT. 400 words.

WCUP-NETHERLANDS-ROYAL DILEMMA

RIO DE JANEIRO — The World Cup semifinal could produce some split loyalties in the House of Orange. Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Argentina-born Maxima, could face some minor matrimonial tensions on Wednesday when the Netherlands takes on Argentina in Sao Paulo. By Mike Corder. SENT. 450 words.

WCUP-BRAZIL-NO ATTACK

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — With Neymar out and Brazil’s forwards ineffective throughout the World Cup, it will be up to the team’s defenders and midfielders to keep Brazil in contention at the World Cup. Brazil is having to turn the focus away from its once-mighty attack ahead of the semifinal against Germany on Tuesday, hoping the rest of the team will be able to come through and carry the hosts into the final. By Tales Azzoni. SENT. 600 words.

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