Jun. 24, 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.
BRASILIA, Brazil — Neymar lived up to the weighty expectations of the World Cup host nation Monday, setting Brazil on course to clinch its place in the knockout stage with two precision first-half goals in a 4-1 rout of Cameroon. Fred and Fernandinho added second-half goals to ensure top spot in Group A for Brazil, which will face South American rival Chile in the second round. More important than the widely expected victory, though, was a performance that restored the confidence of fans after two disappointing matches. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 724 words, photos.
RECIFE, Brazil — Mexico surged into the World Cup's knockout stage for a sixth straight time Monday with a 3-1 win over Croatia. Rafael Marquez, Andres Guardado and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored in a 10-minute span in the second half, dooming a talented Croatia side to elimination from the group stage. By Brett Martel. SENT: 664 words, photos.
SAO PAULO — Two substitutes, two goals. Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal can, it seems, do no wrong at this World Cup. By Mike Corder. SENT: 751 words, photos.
CURITIBA, Brazil — Defending champion Spain salvaged some World Cup pride on Monday with a convincing 3-0 victory over Australia in their last match at the tournament. After losing their previous matches in Group B to the Netherlands and Chile, both teams took to Arena da Baixada in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba knowing they could not advance to the second round. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 649 words, photos.
RIO DE JANEIRO — A player is out cold after an opponent's knee thumps into his head. Groggily, he wakes up and insists he must play on. At this point, the ideal thing would be if a doctor could coolly and calmly examine him. To allow that to happen in the World Cup pressure-cooker, the world union for footballers is arguing that the laws of the game should be changed to allow players to be temporary replaced while they are diagnosed. The medical chief for FIFA agrees the idea has advantages and that current concussion guidelines aren't working well enough. By John Leicester. SENT: 911 words, photos.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil relied on its star Neymar for two early goals to beat Cameroon 4-1 Monday and reach the World Cup's knockout stage for a South American showdown against Chile, a 2-0 loser to the Netherlands. Winning its Group B with its third straight victory made sure that the Dutch avoided the host so early in the tournament. Instead, the Netherlands will face Mexico, which beat Croatia 3-1 to advance alongside Brazil from Group A. By Raf Casert. SENT: 709 words, photos.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Lucky students in Chile went home early, many Brazilian offices and stores went dark, and across the megalopolis of Mexico City traffic was as calm as midnight. With three Latin American countries playing for their World Cup futures Monday, fans across the region succumbed to soccer fever, slowing regular business to a crawl. Brazilians, who already are used to generous time off for Carnival celebrations and Catholic observances, have enjoyed even more holidays during the monthlong soccer tournament. By Jenny Barchfield. SENT: 809 words, photos.
NATAL, Brazil — Uruguay striker Luis Suarez smiled and shrugged off any lingering concerns about his surgically repaired left knee, declaring Monday it was in "perfect shape" the day before a match against Italy that Uruguay must win to advance beyond the group stage at the World Cup. By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 567 words, photos.
RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil — If France beats Ecuador in Wednesday's Group E match, it will be the first time it has won all three group games in a major competition since 1998 — the year it went on to win the World Cup. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 649 words, photos.
— WITH: — RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil — WCUP-FRANCE-VALBUENA. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 641 words, photos.
MANAUS, Brazil — Exactly four years after their last World Cup meeting, Switzerland and Honduras will face each other under almost identical circumstances. By Chris Lehourites. SENT: 442 words, photos.
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — The Lionel Messi show is coming to this southern Brazilian city, along with hordes of the Argentina striker's loyal fans. By Chris Brummitt. SENT: 511 words, photos.
— WITH: — BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — WCUP-ARGENTINA-ROMERO. By Karl Ritter. SENT: 369 words, photos.
BRASILIA, Brazil — Iran can still reach the second round of the World Cup by beating already relegated Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday, but it needs to do what it hasn't done so far in the tournament — score goals. By Dusan Stojanovic. SENT: 527 words, photos.
SAO PAULO — To call Dirk Kuyt a utility player doesn't quite do the Fenerbahce forward justice. On Monday, in his 99th international appearance for the Netherlands, he was playing at left back. For the first time. By Mike Corder. SENT: 424 words, photos.
SAO PAULO — Without star midfielder Arturo Vidal, Chile looked nothing like the powerhouse that knocked defending champion Spain out of the World Cup. One of the most attacking and attractive teams at the tournament thus far, Chile started out with its trademark style but faded quickly as the Dutch established their dominance and earned a 2-0 victory Monday. By Aron Heller. 427 words, photos.
PORTO SEGURO, Brazil — Germany's defense looked slow and unreliable in the 2-2 draw with Ghana. It will have to improve considerably if Germany wants to go far in the tournament. The midfield could do with some adjustments as well, but the coaching staff insists it is happy with how the team has played so far. By Nesha Starcevic. SENT: 526 words, photos.
SAO PAULO — Instead of taking a breather, the U.S. created a World Cup math puzzle for its fans back in America.
Just 30 seconds from clinching advancement with a game to spare, the U.S. conceded a stoppage-time goal that left it with a 2-2 draw against Portugal on Sunday. With four points, the Americans may need at least a tie from their Group G finale against three-time champion Germany to advance to the knockout stage. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 651 words, photos.
NATAL, Brazil — Mario Balotelli alone may not be enough to keep Italy in the World Cup. Coach Cesare Prandelli indicated that he plans to add Ciro Immobile in attack alongside Balotelli in the Azzurri's showdown with Uruguay on Tuesday. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 515 words, photos.
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Upset after seven of his players were subjected to anti-doping testing after a win over Italy, Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto called on FIFA to devise a more uniform system that won't generate suspicion. By Frank Griffiths. SENT: 454 words, photos.
CUIABA, Brazil — Japan's players insisted Monday they will fight to the bitter end as long as they have a shred of a chance to advance to the knockout stages of the World Cup in Tuesday's final group stage game against Colombia. "We're betting everything on this next match," Japan striker Shinji Okazaki told reporters. "We're going to give it everything we can." By Joji Sakurai.
FORTALEZA, Brazil — For African World Cup hope Ivory Coast, tragedy in the team and at home could motivate players to beat Greece in Tuesday's Group C decider. England-based brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure remained with the team for the match in Fortaleza despite the death of their brother Ibrahim last week, while major floods in the west African country have added pressure for some good news in Brazil. By Derek Gatopoulos. SENT: 364 words, photos.
CUIABA, Brazil — After 12 days of competition, Colombia has already achieved more than it could ever have imagined at the World Cup in Brazil. They've reached the second round with a game to spare, won two matches at the tournament for the first time, and played with a vigor that has made the team one of the most exciting to watch in Brazil. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 608 words, photos.
FORTALEZA, Brazil — Greece is running out of time to make its mark on the World Cup. It hasn't scored in Brazil and is stranded at the bottom of Group C with one point, tied with Japan but behind on goal difference. By Derek Gatopoulos. SENT: 391 words, photos.
BRASILIA, Brazil — Brazil striker Fred got his first goal just in the whisker of time at the World Cup, scoring as the group stage was coming to an end. He's attributing the change in fortunes to the new mustache. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 456 words, photos.
BRASILIA, Brazil — It started with the threat of a strike, contained two big defeats, involved a scuffle between teammates and ended with star player Samuel Eto'o on the sidelines. Overall, it was a calamitous World Cup campaign for Cameroon. By Dusan Stojanovic. SENT: 393 words, photos.
RECIFE, Brazil — Niko Kovac expects to remain as Croatia's coach, even though his side was unable to advance out of the group stage of the World Cup. SENT: 417 words, photos.
RIO DE JANEIRO — A monitoring group has challenged FIFA to show leadership in tackling discrimination after the sport's world governing body dropped an investigation of Mexico fans chanting an alleged gay slur. FIFA's disciplinary panel ruled Monday that the chant heard during Mexico vs. Cameroon on June 13 "is not considered insulting in this specific context." By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 460 words.
RIO DE JANEIRO — First came boos and whistles. And then, a Brazilian taunt cascaded down the stands of the Maracana stadium — "Little team, your place is in the second division." The Belgians had felt honored to play at the famous stadium but the local fans didn't exactly return the love during Belgium's struggling 1-0 win over Russia at the World Cup. By Raf Casert. SENT: 507 words, photos.
__ BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — WCUP-ARGENTINA-MARADONA. SENT.
__ NEW YORK — WCUP-US VIEWERSHIP. SENT.
— RIO DE JANEIRO — WCUP-WHAT TO WATCH. SENT. By Trevor Huggins.
— RIO DE JANEIRO — WCUP-BRAZIL BEAT. SENT.
__ RIO DE JANEIRO — WCUP-REFEREE APPOINTMENTS. SENT.
__ SAO PAULO — WCUP-BRAZIL-SPOILED FOOD. SENT.
__ JOHANNESBURG — WCUP-SOUTH AFRICA-KESHI. SENT.
__ BRASILIA, Brazil — SOC-WCUP-CAPSULES. SENT.
— RIO DE JANEIRO — WORLD CUP GLANCE. SENT.
— UNDATED — WCUP-ON THIS DAY. SENT.