Jul. 07, 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.
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Argentina midfielder Angel Di Maria has been ruled out of the World Cup semifinal against the Netherlands with a thigh injury while striker Sergio Aguero has been declared fit to play after recovering from a similar problem. Di Maria limped off the field in the first half of Argentina's quarterfinal win over Belgium after straining a muscle in the back of his right thigh. By Karl Ritter. SENT. 450 words.
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari hinted in training Sunday that midfielder Willian is his first option to replace Neymar in Brazil's World Cup semifinal against Germany. Willian took Neymar's position when Brazil's reserves played against a local under-20 squad at its training camp outside Rio de Janeiro. By Tales Azzoni. SENT. 500 words.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Netherlands goalkeeper Tim Krul insists he did nothing wrong in confronting Costa Rica's penalty takers during a World Cup quarterfinal shootout. Krul's crucial two saves on Sunday night followed his novel tactic that tested FIFA's guidelines on fair play. The substitute goalie faced up to opponents at the penalty spot and repeatedly told them he knew where they'd place their shots. By Stephen Wade. SENT. 450 words.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Nigeria is not backing down after sacking its entire national football federation leadership, ignoring a FIFA directive and moving closer to a ban from internationals for the reigning African champion. A weekend meeting of football and government officials in the capital Abuja endorsed the earlier sacking of Nigeria Football Federation President Aminu Maigari and his executive committee for not solving a player payment dispute during the World Cup. Officials said in a statement Sunday they were planning new elections. By Gerald Imray. SENT. 400 words.
PORTO SEGURO, Brazil — Bastian Schweinsteiger's fragile left knee has been a matter of concern for weeks and the reason the Germany midfielder started the World Cup on the bench. Now he's fit again just as the tournament gets into the decisive stage and Germany faces host Brazil in the semifinals. Germany coach Joachim Loew considers Schweinsteiger one of his key players, the man who controls the pace of his team's game and sets quick transitions in motion once he wins the ball. By Nesha Starcevic. SENT. 450 words.
PORTO SEGURO, Brazil — Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger thinks Brazil has crossed the line with some of its hard tackling ahead of the World Cup semifinals and is urging referees to keep a closer eye on the host team. "I am all for a healthy hardness but some of Brazil's fouls were over the limit," Schweinsteiger said. "Brazilians are not only football magicians, hard tackling is part of their game — we have to be careful and so does the referee." By Nesha Starcevic. SENT. 400 words.
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Still coping with the loss of its biggest star, Brazil is trying to find ways to remain upbeat about its prospects at the World Cup. The medical helicopter that took Neymar home with a back injury also carried away much of the country's hopes for a sixth world title, but the tournament isn't over yet and Brazil is just days away from a difficult semifinal against Germany. By Tales Azzoni. SENT. 700 words.
WCUP-THIAGO SILVA BAN
RIO DE JANEIRO — The Brazilian football confederation is trying to overturn captain Thiago Silva's ban for Tuesday's World Cup semifinal against Germany. FIFA spokesman Delia Fischer on Sunday said the disciplinary committee is "analyzing material" submitted by Brazil. SENT. 200 words.
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Even without Neymar, Brazil's show must go on. The World Cup hosts, now forced to play without their injured superstar, will face Germany on Tuesday for a spot in next weekend's final. By Chris Lehourites. SENT. 500 words.