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BC-AP-World-Cup-Digest, AP

June 27, 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.



RIO DE JANEIRO — Luis Suarez exits the World Cup with one of the longest bans in tournament history, and his reputation once again in tatters. The Uruguay forward, widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, was banned by FIFA from all football for four months on Thursday for biting an Italian opponent in an incident that marred the team’s victory and progression to the second round. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 865 words, photos.



RECIFE, Brazil — Joachim Loew and Jurgen Klinsmann shook hands, smiled and patted each on the shoulders, like the two good friends they are. The two coaches had every reason to be pleased: both of their teams advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup. Loew’s Germany beat Klinsmann’s United States 1-0 thanks to Thomas Mueller’s fourth goal of the tournament and the outcome allowed both teams to advance. Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 in the other Group G match but both were eliminated. By Nesha Starcevic. SENT: 643 words, photos.



BRASILIA, Brazil — Cristiano Ronaldo finally made his mark at the World Cup — but it came too late to spare Portugal an early exit from Brazil. The world player of the year broke his scoring drought at the tournament with an 80th-minute winner in Portugal’s 2-1 victory over Ghana on Thursday. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 727 words, photos.


BRASILIA, Brazil — Coming off his most successful season at club level, this was supposed to be the World Cup where Cristiano Ronaldo underlined his new-found superiority over great rival Lionel Messi and his status as the game’s best player. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 765 words, photos.


SAO PAULO — Reduced to 10 men for over half the match, Belgium still beat South Korea 1-0 on Thursday to finish atop of Group H and eliminate the last Asian team from the World Cup. With a late goal yet again, Belgium made the difference in the 78th minute when defender Jan Vertonghen followed up a shot from teenage striker Divock Origi and tapped in the rebound past goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu. By Raf Casert. SENT: 678 words, photos.


CURITIBA, Brazil — Algeria has qualified for the World Cup knockout stages for the first time, with Islam Slimani’s headed equalizer giving his team a 1-1 draw against Russia on Thursday and enough competition points to reach the second round. Algeria placed second in Group H behind Belgium with four points, meaning it will meet Germany in the Round of 16. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 614 words, photos.


SAO PAULO — With South Korea’s 1-0 loss to Belgium, the last Asian team in contention has bowed out of the World Cup — leaving the continent without a single second-round representative. Thursday’s result caps a dismal campaign for the Asia qualifiers. South Korea joins Japan, Australia and Iran in being eliminated in the group stage. The result marks the first time since 1998 that none of those teams have reached the knockout stage. SENT: 682 words, photos.


BRASILIA, Brazil — Ghana’s tumultuous World Cup campaign was brought to a chaotic conclusion on Thursday, with two of the country’s star players thrown out of the squad just hours before a 2-1 loss to Portugal ended its stay at the tournament. A day after resolving a possible player mutiny over World Cup bonus payments was resolved, Ghana announced that Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng had been sent home and suspended indefinitely for disciplinary reasons. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 660 words, photos.


RECIFE, Brazil — With Thomas Mueller in a perfect position to pounce on a rebound, American cheers for yet another spectacular Tim Howard save didn’t last long. The U.S. goalkeeper was unable to cut down the angle after diving to punch away a deflected ball, and Mueller did what he does so well — calmly drive a first-time shot inside the far post for his ninth goal in nine career World Cup games, giving Germany a 1-0 victory. By Brett Martel. SENT: 548 words, photos.


RECIFE, Brazil — The U.S. World Cup team has dragged the nation’s attention to the global game with exciting matches filled with late goals. None of that happened Thursday in a 1-0 snoozefest of a loss to Germany, but it was enough to keep the run going for at least another week. With millions at home watching on their lunchbreaks, streaming on their office computer or playing hooky in the park or bar with fellow soccer fans — many of whom have recently jumped on the bandwagon — the Americans advanced from the World Cup’s most difficult group despite the loss. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 935 words, photos.


BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Sergio Aguero will miss Argentina’s next World Cup match against Switzerland because of a muscle injury in his left thigh. Argentina team doctor Daniel Martinez on Thursday said Aguero is receiving treatment on the injury and will be evaluated “day by day.” SENT.


TERESOPOLIS, Brazil — The knockout stage of the World Cup begins Saturday with host Brazil playing Chile, the South American rival it has dominated over the years. Brazil hasn’t lost to Chile in more than a decade, and has never lost a head-to-head game on home soil. But for the first time Chile arrives to face its neighbor with plenty of confidence, thanks in part to a convincing campaign in Group B that included a victory over 2010 World Cup champion Spain. By Tales Azzoni. SENT.


BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli temporarily suspended a practice session when a Brazilian news helicopter flew over the team’s base Thursday, two days before the countries meet in the second round of the World Cup. The team’s communications director, Hector Olave, said he asked Globo not to broadcast any of the images so Chile’s tactics wouldn’t be revealed. Olave said the private broadcaster later apologized for the incident at the Toca da Raposa II facility in Belo Horizonte. By Frank Griffiths. SENT.


RIO DE JANEIRO — Colombia was already without Radamel Falcao. Now Uruguay is without Luis Suarez. Instead of a matchup between two of the world’s top strikers, the Round-of-16 game between Colombia and Uruguay at the World Cup will be a test of which team copes best without its talisman. By Mattias Karen. SENT.


TERESOPOLIS, Brazil — Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is expected to change Brazil’s midfield for the second-round World Cup match against Chile on Saturday, giving Fernandinho a chance to start. Fernandinho trained with the main squad in its last training session before traveling for the match in Belo Horizonte on Thursday. He replaced Paulinho, who hadn’t lived up to expectations in the three group games. By Tales Azzoni. SENT.


RIO DE JANEIRO — Nigeria midfielder Michael Babatunde was ruled out of the World Cup on Thursday with a broken arm after being hit by a teammate’s shot in the group game against Argentina. The Nigeria Football Federation and coach Stephen Keshi said that Babatunde had successful surgery on his fractured right wrist but will need at least three weeks to recover. By Gerald Imray. SENT.


RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil — France’s misfiring performance against Ecuador took some gloss off what had been a strong start from a team being touted as one of the outsiders to win the World Cup. Although Wednesday’s 0-0 draw may have worked in France’s favor in terms of pressure — by tempering the rising expectation level after emphatic wins against Honduras and Switzerland — the players need to be more clinical in front of goal against Nigeria in their round-of-16 match. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT.


RIO DE JANEIRO — Five regular Dutch starters skipped full training for the Netherlands on Thursday as the team prepares for its Round-of-16 game against Mexico. Defenders Stefan de Vrij and Daley Blind as well as midfielder Nigel de Jong and forward Arjen Robben ran up and down the sidelines at Rio club Flamengo’s training complex while other members of the team played a practice match. By Mike Corder. SENT.


CURITIBA, Brazil — Russia has one thing going for it after failing to qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup following a 1-1 draw Thursday with Algeria. It won’t have to qualify for the next World Cup. That’s because it will host the quadrennial event. By Pan Pylas. SENT.


MILAN — As a dejected Italy team returned from a disappointing World Cup, there was one piece of good news with midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo saying he is considering reversing his decision to retire from international football. The 35-year-old Pirlo, who plays for Juventus, said before the World Cup that he would quit international football after the tournament in Brazil. SENT.


RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil great Ronaldo believes Luis Suarez biting an opponent was terrible for football at a World Cup of “wonderful surprises.” Speaking after the Uruguay forward’s nine-match, four-month ban was announced Thursday, Ronaldo said football must be used to benefit the world. By Graham Dunbar. SENT.







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