The World Cup winner’s trophy is seen during the 68th FIFA Congress at the Expocentre in Moscow on June 13, 2018.
Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

 

It is the 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup. Welcome to our daily updates on activities at the world’s biggest football competition.


July 15, 2018


Thank you for staying with us since June 14.

READ ALSO: France Beat Croatia To Win Second World Cup After 20 Years

France’s players hold their World Cup trophy as they celebrate their win during the trophy ceremony at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

90+6′ The referee blows the final whistle and France are the world champions.

81′ Dejan Lovren crosses the ball into a danger area of France but Samuel Umtiti relieves the pressure with a clearance.

Olivier Giroud and Ivan Strinic are leaving the field to be replaced by Nabil Fekir and Marko Pjaca in a tactical substitution.

72′ Mario Mandzukic commits a foul by elbowing Samuel Umtiti. The referee pauses the game because there is a player lying on the pitch.

Blaise Matuidi leaves the field to be replaced by Corentin Tolisso in a tactical substitution.

Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana gestures as he listens to indications from the Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. FRANCK FIFE / AFP


69′ G O O O A A A L

Olivier Giroud passes the ball in the box but it’s intercepted by an opponent player. Hugo Lloris could cost his team a goal after a defensive blunder.

Mario Mandzukic delivers it into France’s net to increase Croatia’s hopes.


65′ G O O O A A A L

A shot by Ante Rebic is blocked but Kylian Mbappe beats the Croatian keeper from outside the box!

It’s France 4-1 Croatia with 40% – 60% ball possession respectively.


59′ G O O O A A A L

Antoine Griezmann passes the ball to a teammate and a shot by Paul Pogba is blocked.

Pogba finally scores from outside the box to extend France’s lead. Ball possession is France 39% – 61% Croatia.


48′ Luka Modric swings in the corner from the right while Dejan Lovren from Croatia heads the ball to a teammate.

Ante Rebic from Croatia had a bad first touch and fails to benefit from the cross.

46′ Second half is ongoing.


45+4′ It’s over! The referee blows for half time. Ball possession is France 40% – 60% Croatia.

45+3′ Croatia’s Sime Vrsaljko crosses the ball but his team mate arrives a little late and can’t benefit from it. Ivan Strinic from Croatia goes a bit too far and pulls down Kylian Mbappe.


38′ G O O O A A A L

Antoine Griezmann from France puts it away from the penalty spot! Scoreline is now France 2-1 Croatia with ball possession of 40% and 60% respectively.

34′ The referee has stopped the game and is going to watch a video review for a situation. After reviewing the situation the referee decides to award a penalty for France.


29′ G O O O O A A A L

Domagoj Vida of Croatia passes the ball to Luka Modric who crosses the ball into the box from the free kick.

France’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris fails to save Croatia’s forward Ivan Perisic’s equalizer during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. Odd ANDERSEN / AFP

 

Sime Vrsaljko from Croatia heads the ball to Ivan Perisic who makes a brilliant delivery to level the scoreline for Croatia

27′ The referee signals a free kick as N’Golo Kante from France trips Ivan Perisic as he sees no other way than stopping the counter and receives a yellow card.


18′ GOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLL

Antoine Griezmann crosses the ball into the box from the free kick but Mario Mandzukic sends the ball into his own net!

Croatia’s forward Mario Mandzukic and France’s defender Benjamin Pavard vie for the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. Odd ANDERSEN / AFP

 

17′ Kylian Mbappe from France passes the ball in the box, but it’s intercepted by an opponent player.

The referee signals a free kick as Marcelo Brozovic from Croatia trips Antoine Griezmann.

8′ Ivan Strinic from Croatia directs a ball squarely in the box, but it’s intercepted by a French player.

Croatia Captain Luka Modric from swings in the corner from the left while Olivier Giroud relieves the pressure on France with a clearance.

LIVE: France Battle Croatia For World Cup Glory
France’s defender Lucas Hernandez (R) vies for the ball with Croatia’s forward Ante Rebic during their Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. Jewel SAMAD / AFP

3′ Ivan Perisic takes the ball forward to make something happen for Croatia but Samuel Umtiti from France clears the danger with a good tackle.

1′ Referee blows the kick-off whistle, the match is underway.


 

France and Croatia go into the World Cup final with the same starting line-ups as in their semi-final wins over Belgium and England respectively.

Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann support Olivier Giroud in the attack in France’s 4-2-3-1 formation, while Ivan Perisic and Ivan Strinic, who had been pre-match injury doubts, have been passed fit for Croatia.

Perisic was the star of Croatia’s 2-1 extra-time victory over England at the same Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday, scoring his country’s equaliser and then setting up the winner for Mario Mandzukic.

On the other hand, France beat Belgium 1-0 in the semi-final with a Samuel Umtiti goal in the second half.


Starting line-ups for the World Cup final between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday (1500 GMT kick-off):

France (4-3-3)

Hugo Lloris (capt); Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez; Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante; Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi; Olivier Giroud

Coach: Didier Deschamps (FRA)

Croatia (4-3-3)

Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic; Luka Modric (capt), Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Rakitic; Ante Rebic, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic

Coach: Zlatko Dalic (CRO)

Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)



 

Croatia have brought joy to their Balkan nation of just four million people by defying the odds to progress to the final while reigning champions Germany, then Argentina and Brazil all fell by the wayside in Russia.

Fans watch the closing ceremony of the Russia 2018 World Cup ahead of the final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. François-Xavier MARIT / AFP

 

They have been inspired by mercurial midfielder Luka Modric while coach Zlatko Dalic, who only took over last year with the squad in chaos, has coaxed remarkable performances from his team.


Deschamps, who captained France when they lifted the World Cup in 1998, would become only the third man to win the trophy as both a player and a manager after Franz Beckenbauer and Mario Zagallo.

His France side, spearheaded by 19-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe and the more seasoned Antoine Griezmann, are the favourites.



July 14, 2018


Belgium vs England (Third-Place)


That’s all for the third place match. Join us tomorrow by 4:00 pm for the updates on the final match between France and Croatia.

READ ALSO: World Cup: Belgium Dash England’s Hopes To Win Third Place


World Cup: Belgium Dash England's Hopes To Win Third Place
Belgium’s team pose with their medals after winning their Russia 2018 World Cup play-off for third place football match between Belgium and England at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 14, 2018. PAUL ELLIS / AFP

 

90+4′ The referee blows the final whistle. Ball possession is Belgium 43% – 57% England.

Belgium’s Eden Hazard is a contender for Man of the Match after a great performance today.


82′ G O O O O O O A A A A A A A L

Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne directs the ball behind the defence but it’s intercepted by an opponent player.

Belgium’s forward Eden Hazard (L) scores past England’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (3rd L) during their Russia 2018 World Cup play-off for third place football match between Belgium and England at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 14, 2018. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Eden Hazard finds himself in a 1 on 1 situation with the goalkeeper and extends the lead for Belgium.

Scoreline is Belgium 2 – 0 England, with ball possession at : 42% – 58% respectively.


73′ Jesse Lingard from England directs a ball squarely in the box to create a chance for Eric Dier whose header goes wide.

Few a minute later, Kieran Trippier puts another dangerous cross for Harry Maguire who sends a header inches wide. It’s goal kick for Belgium. Ball possession is Belgium 41% – 59% England.

62′ Eden Hazard from Belgium passes the ball in the box, but it’s intercepted by an opponent player. Fabian Delph clears the danger but is forced to give away a corner.

47′ Ruben Loftus-Cheek takes the ball forward trying to make something happen for England but Vincent Kompany averts the danger for Belgium as he clears with a good tackle.

England’s midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek (C) fights for the ball with Belgium’s defender Vincent Kompany (R) during their Russia 2018 World Cup play-off for third place football match between Belgium and England at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 14, 2018. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

46′ The second half is underway



45+3′ It’s over! The referee blows for half time. Ball possession is Belgium 44% – 56% England.

45+2′ Romelu Lukaku tries to create a chance likely to extend Belgium’s lead but sees his shot deflected off target.

30′ Kevin De Bruyne from Belgium directs the ball behind the defence but it’s intercepted by an opponent player. England take a throw-in at the left side of the pitch in their own half of the field.

About 20 minutes later, England’s Raheem Sterling goes for a goal but his effort was never close to hitting the target.

Belgium’s defender Thomas Meunier (2L) is congratulated by teammates after scoring during their Russia 2018 World Cup play-off for third place football match between Belgium and England at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 14, 2018. OLGA MALTSEVA / AFP

 

Just Four minutes after kick-off, Thomas Meunier set the Belgians on the lead with a brilliant finish thanks to Nacer Chadli’s assist. The ball possession is Belgium 50% – 50% England.

The referee starts the match. Belgium kick-off and the game is underway.


England captain Harry Kane kept his place as Gareth Southgate made five changes for Saturday’s World Cup third-place play-off against Belgium in Saint Petersburg.

The Tottenham striker is the tournament’s leading scorer on six goals, two clear of Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku, with England attempting to secure their best finish at a World Cup since winning it in 1966.

Phil Jones, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all come into the side beaten 2-1 by Croatia after extra-time in the semi-finals.

Thomas Meunier returns for Belgium after he was suspended for the 1-0 defeat by France in the last four, while Youri Tielemans is also handed a start as Roberto Martinez makes just two changes.

England and Belgium, who won the group stage encounter between the sides in Kaliningrad 1-0, are the first teams to meet twice at same World Cup since Brazil and Turkey in 2002.

Belgium are hoping to achieve their best World Cup finish, having come fourth at the 1986 finals.


Starting line-ups for the World Cup third-place playoff between Belgium and England in Saint Petersburg on Saturday (1400 GMT kick-off):

Belgium (3-4-3)

Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen; Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Nacer Chadli; Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard (capt)

Coach: Roberto Martinez (ESP)

England (3-5-2)

Jordan Pickford; Phil Jones, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Rose; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane (capt)

Coach: Gareth Southgate (ENG)

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRI)


July 11, 2018

Croatia’s supporters celebrate after winning the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England, at the main square in Zagreb on July 11, 2018. Denis Lovrovic / AFP

 

 

Tears and cries of joy, hugs and chants, firecrackers and flares — Croatia was on fire late Wednesday after their victory against England set up a first-ever appearance in a World Cup final.

“Croatia in World Cup finals! It is so beautiful! Miracle of all miracles in Russia!” the state-run HRT television commentator Drago Cosic shouted ecstatically.

Croatia beat England 2-1 in extra-time thanks to a Mario Mandzukic goal in the second period of extra-time to book a date with France in Moscow on Sunday.

Thousands of fans gathered at the country’s largest fan zone in Zagreb’s main square, braving the intermittent rain to cheer on the “Fiery Ones” (Vatreni) on a giant screen.

“We don’t intend to stop now,” coach Zlatko Dalic assured HRT.

Popular song “Play my Croatia” was played on radio stations and waiters, shop workers, TV presenters and nurses donned red-and-white jerseys.

Some stores closed early to enable employees to watch the match, with various concerts, plays and cinema screenings cancelled.

The side led by Luka Modric have been feted as national heroes for their run to the last four in Russia.

They matched the feat of their predecessors in 1998 who reached the semi-finals in the country’s first World Cup as an independent nation.

But on Wednesday night Dalic’s players did even better, securing a historic first World Cup final for the country of about four million people.

AFP


July 10, 2018

Paris Celebrates France’s March To The World Cup Final

People celebrate France’s victory in central Paris on July 10, 2018, after the final whistle of the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between France and Belgium.
Thomas SAMSON / AFP

 

The French national anthem La Marseillaise, chants of “We’re in the final” and a cacophony of car horns and firecrackers rang out over Paris on Tuesday as residents in the capital celebrated France’s march to the World Cup final.

A crowd of 20,000 gathered to watch Didier Deschamps’ team beat Belgium 1-0 in their semi-final in Saint Petersburg on a giant screen at Paris’ historic Hotel de Ville, or town hall.

With viewing space at a premium every vantage spot was occupied — with fans perched on trees, on top of vans, on dustbins and bus shelters.

Samuel Umtiti’s decisive goal in the 52nd minute triggered the waving of a sea of tricolors, ecstatic fans many in the national team’s colours kissed and hugged and danced.

The Rue de Rivoli, normally choc-a-bloc with traffic, became a temporary pedestrian zone as crowds made their way along it past the Louvre to the Champs-Elysees, where 20 years earlier Paris had gathered to celebrate France’s World Cup win on home soil.


 

June 28, 2018.


Qualified teams for the last 16 of the World Cup after Thursday’s final Group G and H matches, and those who have been eliminated:

Group A

Qualified: Uruguay (winners), Russia (runners-up)

Eliminated: Saudi Arabia, Egypt

Group B

Qualified: Spain (winners), Portugal (runners-up)

Eliminated: Iran, Morocco

Group C

Qualified: France (winners), Denmark (runners-up)

Eliminated: Peru, Australia

Group D

Qualified: Croatia (winners), Argentina (runners-up)

Eliminated: Nigeria, Iceland

Group E

Qualified: Brazil (winners), Switzerland (runners-up)

Eliminated: Serbia, Costa Rica

Group F

Qualified: Sweden (winners), Mexico (runners-up)

Eliminated: South Korea, Germany

Group G

Qualified: Belgium (winners), England (runners-up)

Eliminated: Tunisia, Panama

Group H

Qualified: Colombia (winners), Japan (runners-up)

Eliminated: Senegal, Poland


June 26, 2018.

Stay with us for live updates.


Thank you for following our live updates for today. Read more stories on today matches in our sports and World Cup sections.

Nigeria put up a great fight and created several chances against a desparate Argentina side. Unfortunately, they could not convert as many chances as were needed. Both side had their chances and any could have won, Argentina did just that and progress to the last 16 on four points. Croatia top the Group with nine points after defeating Iceland. Nigeria take the third spot with three points and Iceland is bottom with a point.

95′: Full Time: The referee brings the game to an end after four added minutes. Nigeria 1-2 Argentina.

 

86′: GOOAL! Rojo makes it 2-1 for Argentina.


84′: Chance! Ighalo has a great chance to score. But the Argentine goalkeeper does well to deny him. Nigerian fans would feel Ighalo should have done better there.


81′: Higuain misses a good chance. As he sends a volley wide.


80′: Substitution: Sergio Aguero comes on for Nicolas Tagliafico.


76′: Odion Ighalo mishits a volley. Nigeria call for a penalty as Marcos Rojo handles the ball in the box. But after consulting VAR, the referee decides – no penalty.


72′: Another substitution for Argentina. Di Maria makes way for Maximiliano Meza.


64′: Ever Banega goes into the referee’s book for a reckless tackle on Onyinye Ndidi.


61′: First substitution of the game. Enzo Perez is replaced by Cristian Pavon for Argentina.


54′: Nigeria is playing on the counter here. And although Argentina is still hogging possession, they are being to cause problems at the back for Sampaoli’s men.


51′: GOOOOOAL! Nigeria equalises from the spot. Victor Moses steps up and puts it away.


49′: PENALTY! PENALTY! – Javier Mascherano pulls Leon Balogun by the shirt and the referee points to the spot.


The second half is underway with Argentina getting proceedings started.


HT:

Only Messi’s strike separates both sides at the moment but Nigeria need to level the scores to stand any chance of progress. As it stands, with either Iceland or Croatia yet to score Argentina is second on the table behind Croatia.


7:47 pm: Neither side benefits from the added minutes and the referee brings the first half to an end.


7:45 pm: Kelechi Iheanacho is down in the Argentine box and receives treatment on the pitch. Two added minutes to be played before half time.


7:41 pm: Nigeria surge forward and Kelechi Iheanacho directs the ball behind the defence, but it’s intercepted.


7:34 pm: SAVE! Messi hits the freekick and it is headed for goal but Francis Uzoho makes a fine save.

7:32 pm: Leon Balogun picks the first booking of the game. Ever Banega starts a counter for Argentina and splits Nigeria’s defence with a through pass. Balogun results to a tactical foul to stop Di Maria. The Argentines are unhappy he picked only a yellow.


7:14 pm: GOOAL: Messi gives Argentina the lead. Argentina make something out of their possession. Ever Banega sends the ball upfield after Brian Idowu concedes a freekick for a foul on Enzo Perez. The ball falls to Messi and he does the rest.

Argentina’s forward Lionel Messi (L) runs in celebration after opening the scoring during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018. Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

7:05 pm: Five minutes in, Argentina are hogging the possession. Ball possession: Nigeria, 24%; Argentina, 76%.


7:00 pm: Nigeria start the game. We are underway.


Here are the starting line-ups for today’s game:

Nigeria (3-5-2)

Francis Uzoho; Bryan Idowu, William Ekong, Leon Balogun; Victor Moses, Wilfred Ndidi, John Obi Mikel (capt), Oghenekaro Etebo, Kenneth Omeruo; Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa

Coach: Gernot Rohr (GER)

Argentina (4-3-3)

Franco Armani; Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico; Enzo Perez, Javier Mascherano, Ever Banega; Lionel Messi (capt), Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria

Coach: Jorge Sampaoli (ARG)

Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)


 

 


With Group C done and dusted, we turnover to Group D where Nigeria take on Argentina and Iceland clash with Croatia.

After boosting their World Cup hopes and bringing joy to millions of Nigerians with a thrilling win over Iceland, the Super Eagles have just over 90 minutes to decide their World Cup fate.

It will not be a stroll in the park, they are up against an Argentina side reeling from a disastrous start to the World Cup and without a win after two games.

Victory at the St. Petersburg Stadium today guarantees Nigeria progress to the next round.

A draw will be enough if Croatia defeat or plays out a draw with Iceland in the second Group D game.


France Finish Top Ahead Of Denmark After World Cup Stalemate

France secured first place ahead of Denmark in Group C on Tuesday following a 0-0 draw in Moscow that could set up a heavyweight World Cup clash with Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the last 16.

Didier Deschamps’ side dominated possession but struggled to create any clear-cut chances against a determined Denmark, who will likely meet Croatia for a place in the quarter-finals.

Click here to read full story.

5:50 pm: Full Time – Denmark 0-0 France; Australia 0-2 Peru.


3:00 pm: The games are underway.


2:35 pm:

Starting line-ups for Denmark Vs France

Starting line-ups for the World Cup Group C match between France and Denmark in Moscow on Tuesday (1400 GMT kick-off):

France (4-2-3-1)

Steve Mandanda; Djibril Sidibe, Raphael Varane (capt), Presnel Kimpembe, Lucas Hernandez; N’Golo Kante, Steven Nzonzi; Thomas Lemar, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann; Olivier Giroud

Coach: Didier Deschamps (FRA)

Denmark (4-3-3)

Kasper Schmeichel; Henrik Dalsgaard, Simon Kjaer (capt), Andreas Christensen, Jens Stryger Larsen; Mathias Jorgensen, Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen; Martin Braithwaite, Pione Sisto, Andreas Cornelius

Coach: Age Hareide (NOR)

Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)


June 26, 2018: Welcome to our updates for today. It is a crucial day for Nigeria as the Super Eagles take on Argentina. Victory guarantees Nigeria progress to the next round. A draw will be enough if Croatia defeat Iceland in the second Group D game.

In Group C, Australia take on Peru, while Denmark battle France.


June 25, 2018.


Spain vs Morocco; Iran Portugal


Full time: Spain 2-2 Morocco; Iran 1-1 Portugal.

READ ALSORonaldo Misses Penalty As Iran, Portugal Play 1-1

Spain Force Morocco To 2-2 Draw


In the second half, Morocco reclaimed the lead after Iago Aspas volleyed the ball into the back of the net following a brilliant assist from Faycal Fajr.

However, spirited Spain levelled the scoreline with a late goal thanks to Iago Aspas who made good use of Daniel Carvajal’s assist.

In the second match, the referee gave Ehsan Haji Safi from Iran a yellow card for tripping Cristiano Ronaldo.

But the Portuguese captain failed to convert the opportunity to extend the lead as Iran’s Alireza Beiranvand saved his penalty kick.

Iran later forced their European opponents to a draw with a late goal in the lat minutes of the match. Apparently, Karim Ansarifard learned from Ronaldo’s mistake as he put it away from the penalty spot.


The last two matches in the Group B kicked off at 7:00 pm local time.

Khalid Boutaib fired the African side Morocco on the lead 14 minutes into the game when found himself in a 1 on 1 situation with the Spanish goalkeeper.

Five minutes later, Spain’s Andres Iniesta made a brilliant pass which was well utilised by Isco to level the scoreline for the European side.

BREAKING: Spain Force Morocco To 2-2 Draw
Morocco’s forward Youssef En-Nesyri (L) heads the ball to score a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Spain and Morocco at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 25, 2018. Patrick HERTZOG / AFP

 

The first half ended with a 1-1 draw with a ball possession of 70% to 30% in favour of Spain.


In the other Group B match, Iran held Portugal to a goalless draw until Ricardo Quaresma put the European side on the lead in the 45th minute.

Adrien Silva provided the assist for the goal while the first half also ended 70% to 30% in favour of Portugal.

Portugal’s forward Ricardo Quaresma (L) celebrates scoring the opening goal with Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Iran and Portugal at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on June 25, 2018. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

Spain coach Fernando Hierro swapped Lucas Vazquez for Thiago Alcantara Monday in the only change to his side for the World Cup Group B match against Morocco, who dropped captain Mehdi Benatia.

Morocco’s French manager Herve Renard said in the build-up to the game in Kaliningrad that his side had been victim to a “total injustice” in their first two games, both 1-0 losses.

Already out of last-16 contention, Renard opted for Wolves centre back Ghanem Saiss over Benatia in the only change to the side beaten by Portugal.

Hierro said before kick-off that his players would not underestimate a Morocco team that is just playing for pride.

Spain need a draw to ensure qualification from Group B, with Portugal playing Iran in the other match.

Spain:

David De Gea; Dani Carvajal, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta; Isco, Thiago Alcantara, David Silva; Diego Costa

Coach: Fernando Hierro (ESP)

Morocco:

Monir El-Kajoui; Achraf Hakimi, Manuel Da Costa, Ghanem Saiss, Nabil Dirar; Noureddine Amrabat, Mbark Boussoufa, Karim El-Ahmadi, Younes Belhanda, Hakim Ziyach; Khalid Boutaib

Coach: Herve Renard (FRA)

Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)


Portugal coach Fernando Santos drafted in Adrien Silva for the flu-ridden Joao Moutinho in central midfield for Monday’s pivotal World Cup group game against Iran.

Moutinho had missed training in the build-up to the match in Saransk because of the illness, and his absence is one of three changes from the team that beat Morocco 1-0.

Andre Silva and Ricardo Quaresma were handed starts at the expense of Bernardo Silva and Goncalo Guedes, with Portugal needing a point to secure a berth in the last 16.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz recalled Alireza Jahanbakhsh in place of Karim Ansarifard in the lone change to the side beaten 1-0 by Spain.

Jahanbakhsh was the leading scorer in the Dutch first division this season.

Iran need a win over Queiroz’s native Portugal to reach the latter stages of a World Cup for the first time.

Starting line-ups for the World Cup match between Portugal and Iran in Group B in Saransk on Monday (1800 GMT kick-off):

Portugal (4-4-2)

Rui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; Adrien Silva, William Carvalho, Joao Mario, Ricardo Quaresma; Andre Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo (capt)

Coach: Fernando Santos (POR)

Iran (4-5-1)

Ali Beiranvand; Ramin Rezaeian, Morteza Pouraliganji, Majid Hosseini, Ehsan Haji Safi (capt); Saeid Ezatolahi, Omid Ebrahimi, Vahid Amiri, Mehdi Taremi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh; Sardar Azmoun

Coach: Carlos Queiroz (POR)

Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR)


Saudi Arabia vs Egypt, Uruguay vs Russia


Join us by 7:00 pm for updates on the Group B matches.

It’s full time. Saudi Arabia 2-1 Egypt; Uruguay 3-0 Russia.


READ ALSOUruguay Top Group After Russia Win

Salah’s Egypt Crash Out Winless After Saudi Arabia Defeat


90+5′ G O O O A A A L – Salem Al-Dawsari volleys the ball into the back of the net. A great finish!

Abdullah Otayf provided the assist for the goal.


90′ GOAL! Diego Godin from Uruguay heads towards goal but sees his effort blocked.

It’s an easy finish as Edinson Cavani from Uruguay taps the ball into an open goal!


69′ Edinson Cavani from Uruguay takes the ball forward trying to create another chance against Russia.

He goes for goal but the shot lacks precision and sails wide.

66′ Salman Al-Faraj from Saudi Arabia directs the ball behind the defence but it’s intercepted by an Egyptian player.

Dangerous challenge by Fahad Al-Muwallad from Saudi Arabia. Ali Gabr on the receiving end of that.

Egypt’s forward Marwan Mohsen (L) vies for the header with Saudi Arabia’s defender Yasser Al-Shahrani (C) during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Saudi Arabia and Egypt at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd on June 25, 2018. Mark RALSTON / AFP

45′ The second half has started for both matches.


45+6′ G O O O A A A L – Saudi Arabia get another penalty but this time, Salman Al-Faraj puts it away from the penalty spot!

45+7′ It’s half time; Saudi Arabia 1-1 Egypt… Ball possession: Saudi Arabia 62% vs Egypt 38%.

45+2′ Aleksandr Samedov from Russia passes the ball in the box, but it’s intercepted by an opponent player.

45+2′ It’s half time; Uruguay 2-0 Russia… Ball possession: Uruguay 52% vs Russia 48%.


39′ PENALTY! – Ahmed Fathi handles the ball in the penalty box! Heavy protests from Ahmed Fathi but the referee is uninterested. The referee stops the game and goes to watch a video review for a situation.

After reviewing the situation the referee awards a penalty for Saudi Arabia. Fahad Al-Muwallad takes the spot-kick but Egypt’s Essam El Hadary makes a great save.

23′ G O O O A A A L – Denis Cheryshev holds his head in his hands as he puts the ball past his own goalkeeper after a shot by Diego Laxalt is blocked. It’s Uruguay 2-0 Russia.

22’G O O O A A A L – An excellent lob by Mohamed Salah from Egypt after his team-mate sends a long ball upfield.


Abdalla El Said provided the assist for the goal. It’s Saudi Arabia 0-1 Egypt.

9’Yellow card for Yuri Gazinskiy from Russia.

G O O O A A A L Wonderful finish by Luis Suarez of Uruguay as he curls the direct free kick into the back of the net! It’s Uruguay 1-0 Russia.

Uruguay’s goalkeeper Fernando Muslera (L) covers the bar as the ball goes over during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Uruguay and Russia at the Samara Arena in Samara on June 25, 2018. MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP

8’Yasir Al Shahrani from Saudi Arabia tries to pick out a team-mate in the area but his cross is blocked by an Egyptian opponent. Salman Al-Faraj from Saudi Arabia swings in the corner from the left.

8’Denis Cheryshev from Russia tries to pick out a team-mate in the area but his cross is blocked by an Uruguayan opponent. Russia take a throw-in at the left side of the pitch in the opponent’s half of the field.


Nigeria vs Iceland


 

READ ALSOAhmed Musa Stars As Nigeria Claim First Victory

90+7′ The referee blows the final whistle. Ball possession is Nigeria 57% – Iceland 43%.

Nigeria’s forward Ahmed Musa (L) and teammates celebrate their victory at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Iceland at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd on June 22, 2018. Mark RALSTON / AFP

 

90′ Super Eagles Midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo leaves the field to be replaced by Alex Iwobi in a tactical substitution.

Ball possession is Nigeria 59% – 41% Iceland.

82′ PENALTY – Nigeria’s Tyronne Ebuehi concedes a penalty for tripping Alfred Finnbogason.

Gylfi Sigurdsson from Iceland hits the crossbar and misses the spot kick.

75′ GOAAAAAL: A brilliant effort from Ahmed Musa to double Nigeria’s lead.

Kenneth Omeruo provided the assist for the goal.



66′ Nigeria create another good opportunity to extend their lead but Victor Moses sends the effort wide off target.

60′ Gylfi Sigurdsson from Iceland swings in the corner from the left to put Nigeria in a dangerous situation but Victor Moses relieves the pressure with a clearance.

57′ Danger as Onyinye Ndidi tries his luck from outside the box.

The shot is deflected and forces Hannes Thor Halldorsson into an uncomfortable save. It’s corner kick.

49′ G O O O A A A L – Ahmed Musa scores Nigeria’s first goal at the tournament.

Victor Moses provided the assist for the goal.

Nigeria’s forward Ahmed Musa (L) celebrates with Nigeria’s defender Leon Balogun after scoring their second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Iceland at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd on June 22, 2018. Mark RALSTON / AFP

A clever photoshop skill got Lionel Messi among the Super Eagles supporters.


Nigeria’s forward Ahmed Musa celebrates after scoring their opener during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Iceland at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd on June 22, 2018. Mark RALSTON / AFP46′ The second half is underway.


Here are what Nigerians are saying about Eagles’ performance after the first half.



 

45+3′ The referee blows for half time.

45+1′ Birkir Saevarsson puts Nigeria in a dangerous situation with a cross.

William Troost-Ekong clears the danger but is forced to give away a corner.

A chance presents itself as Gylfi Sigurdsson swings in the corner from the left but Jon Dadi Boedvarsson’s header goes wide.

40′ Nigeria create a good opportunity to score as Onyinye Ndidi puts in a dangerous cross.

Hannes Thor Halldorsson rushes out to claim the ball. Ball possession is Nigeria 59% – 41% Iceland.


Reactions from Nigerians


31′ Ragnar Sigurdsson from Iceland cuts off the run of Kelechi Iheanacho, prompting the referee to award a free-kick. Oghenekaro Etebo crosses the ball into the box from the free-kick but it ends with a goal-kick.



20′ A chance for Nigeria as Victor Moses passes the ball in the box but it’s intercepted by an Iceland player.

The Super Eagles are still in control of the game with 58% – 42% ball possession.

Iceland’s defender Kari Arnason (C) falls past Nigeria’s midfielder John Obi Mikel during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Iceland at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd on June 22, 2018. Mark RALSTON / AFP

14′ Pressure for the Super Eagles as a player from Iceland takes a long throw from the left side of the pitch into the opponent’s box. Captain John Mikel relieves the pressure.

10′ Nigeria take control of the ball and try to create a good chance.
Ball possession in the first 10 minutes is Nigeria 59% – 41% Iceland.
2′ Nigerian defender Brian Idowu is penalised for pushing Kari Arnason.
Gylfi Sigurdsson takes the free-kick and his strike forces a good save from Francis Uzoho.
Nigeria’s goalkeeper Francis Uzoho (L) catches the ball next to Iceland’s midfielder Aron Gunnarsson (back R) and Nigeria’s defender Kenneth Omeruo (R) during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Iceland at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd on June 22, 2018. Philippe DESMAZES / AFP

4:00 pm: Match kicks off.


Nigeria

Francis Uzoho, Bryan Idowu, Wilfred Ndidi, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Ahmed Musa, Oghenekaro Etebo, John Obi Mikel (capt), Victor Moses, Kelechi Iheanacho, Kenneth Omeruo

Coach: Gernot Rohr (GER)


Iceland 

Hannes Halldorsson, Birkir Saevarsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Alfred Finnbogason, Kari Arnason, Aron Gunnarsson (capt), Hordur Magnusson, Rurik Gislason, Jon Bodvarsson

Coach: Heimir Hallgrimsson (ISL)

Referee: Matt Conger (NZL)



An Important Game

The match is very crucial for the Nigerian team because it will determine their fate at the competition as they are currently at the bottom of the table.

Nigeria lost their opening match to Croatia 2-0 while Argentina and Iceland played 1-1 last week.

The Croats continued their winning streak on Thursday when they beat Lionel Messi led Argentina team 3-0 to dominate the group.

Should the Super Eagles beat Iceland today, they will move to the second spot on the table with three points while Iceland and Argentina will remain at the bottom with one point apiece.

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles Supporters’ Club fans are already in Volgograd ahead of the game.

The football supporters are anticipating a victory for the three-time African champions to stand a chance to advance to the round of 16 in the tournament.

A fan dressed as a prophet rang a bell and chanted a prayer predicting, a win for Nigeria while bemused Iceland fans watched them.

The Icelanders said they admired the show put up by the Nigerians but shrugged off the ‘prophet’s” prediction.


Here are some tweets in support of the Super Eagles below;

 

 

June 21, 2018


France vs Peru


France into World Cup knockout stage after beating Peru

France reached the last 16 of the World Cup on Thursday after Kylian Mbappe’s 34th-minute goal defeated Peru.

Mbappe, at 19 years and 183 days, became France’s youngest ever World Cup scorer but Peru will exit the tournament despite a spirited second-half performance.



Mbappe made the difference and France are into the knock out stage while Peru are out of the World Cup.


Full Time: France 1-0 Peru.


31′ Jose Guerrero from Peru found himself in a great scoring position but Hugo Lloris denied him with a brilliant save.

10′ Peru’s Alberto Rodriguez chips the ball into the penalty area but the ball gets into Hugo Lloris’ safe hands as he comes out to claim it.

Ball possession in the first 10 minutes is France 48% – 52% Peru.

4:00 pm Referee blows the opening whistle.

France’s forward Olivier Giroud (front) and Peru’s defender Alberto Rodriguez compete for the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group C football match between France and Peru at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg on June 21, 2018. HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP

 


Starting line-ups for the World Cup Group C game between France and Peru at Yekaterinburg Arena on Thursday (1500 GMT kick-off):

Giroud Starts For France In Peru Showdown
France’s forward Olivier Giroud (2R) attends with team-mates a training session at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg on June 20, 2018 on the eve of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group C football match between France and Peru. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

France: Hugo Lloris, Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez, Paul Pogba, Ngolo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe.

Coach: Didier Deschamps (FRA)

Peru: Pedro Gallese, Luis Advincula, Christian Ramos, Alberto Rodriguez, Miguel Trauco, Pedro Aquino, Yoshimar Yotun, Andre Carrillo, Christian Cueva, Edison Flores, Paolo Guerrero

Coach: Ricardo Gareca (ARG)


Denmark vs Australia


Thank you. Join us by 4:00 pm for the next match between France and Peru.

READ ALSODenmark Hold Australia To 1-1 Draw

90+4′ The referee blows the final whistle. Both teams played 1 all with ball possession: Denmark 49% – Australia 51%.

80′ Pione Sisto from Denmark has an opportunity and directs the ball behind the defence but the chance eventually goes begging.

72′ Tom Rogic from Australia shoots from outside the box but Kasper Schmeichel has it under control.

A few seconds later, Pione Sisto gets a wonderful chance to score but somehow misses the target!

57′ Denmark’s Lasse Schoene tries to head the ball to his team-mate but it is intercepted by an Australian player.

Simon Kjaer later commits a foul by elbowing Mile Jedinak from Australia.


45+3′ The referee blows the whistle for half time. The first part ended 1-1 with Denmark 46% – 54% ball possession.

45′ Simon Kjaer from Denmark crosses the ball, but his team mate arrives a little late and can’t benefit from it.

Safe hands from Mathew Ryan as he comes out and claims the ball.


 

38′ G O O O A A A A A A L – Mile Jedinak puts it away from the penalty spot!

The scoreline has been levelled.

37′ Yussuf Poulsen from Denmark is shown a yellow card by the referee.

The referee the situation and awards a penalty in favour of Australia.

20′ Tom Rogic from Australia creates a good chance when he cuts the opponents’ defence open with a through ball but Henrik Dalsgaard clears the danger for Denmark with a good tackle.

Denmark’s midfielder Christian Eriksen (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group C football match between Denmark and Australia at the Samara Arena in Samara on June 21, 2018. EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP

 

7′ G O O O A A A A A A L – Denmark are now leading.

Christian Eriksen scored the goal while Nicolai Joergensen provided the assist.

6′ Australia’s Matthew Leckie has a great chance to score but sends his header wide of the goalpost.

It is goal-kick for Denmark.

1′ The referee starts the match. Denmark kick-off and the game is ongoing.


Australia coach Bert van Marwijk named an unchanged starting line-up for their crunch World Cup clash with Denmark on Thursday following their opening 2-1 defeat to France.

The Socceroos, who have made it into the last 16 only once, in 2006, need to beat the Danes to have any chance of repeating the feat.

Despite having several attacking options at his disposal, including veteran Tim Cahill and 19-year-old starlet Daniel Arzani, Van Marwijk has stuck with the same side that asked questions of France in the defeat in Kazan sealed by a late Aziz Behich own goal from a Paul Pogba strike.

Denmark opened their Group C campaign with a 1-0 win over Peru, in which Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel performed heroics before frontman Yussuf Poulsen hit the winner.

Schmeichel, the son of former Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel, is expected to be key to their hopes of a second straight win as the Aussies look to build on a solid defensive display against France by being more creative and, ultimately, scoring crucial goals.

Australia, however, will also be wary of danger man Christian Eriksen, the Tottenham midfielder who scored 11 of their goals in qualifying.

Starting line-ups for the World Cup Group C game between Denmark and Australia at the Samara Arena on Thursday (1200 GMT kick-off):

Denmark (4-3-3)

Kasper Schmeichel; Henrik Dalsgaard, Simon Kjaer (capt), Andreas Christensen, Jens Stryger Larsen; Thomas Delaney, Lasse Schoene, Christian Eriksen; Yussuf Poulsen, Nicolai Joergensen, Pione Sisto

Coach: Age Hareide (NOR)

Australia (4-2-3-1)

Mathew Ryan; Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury, Mark Milligan, Aziz Behich; Mile Jedinak (capt), Aaron Mooy; Mathew Leckie, Tom Rogic, Robbie Kruse; Andrew Nabbout

Coach: Bert van Marwijk (NED)

Referee: Antonio Mateu (ESP)

——————————————————————————————————–

June 17, 2018: Germany Vs Mexico


That is it for the game.

90′ + 4 Full-Time! Germany 0-1 Mexico

90′ Herrera picks up a late yellow card for a clumsy foul.

83 Yellow card Thomas Müller

Muller picks up Germany’s first yellow card of the game for a blatant shirt pull on Herrera.

Germany’s forward Thomas Mueller (L) receives a yellow card from Iranian referee Alireza Faghani during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between Germany and Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 17, 2018.
PHOTO: Juan Mabromata / AFP

 

70′ PENALTY SHOUT! Hernandez is found by a searching through ball and he  has the goal at his mercy. He comes under pressure from Hummels, falling to ground but he was certainly looking at it.

 

62 Into the final 30 minutes of the game both sides are still looking for at least one clear-cut opportunity to find the net. Mexico would love to double their lead but Germany are dictating the tempo of the game.

 

52′ Germany are enjoying the lion’s share of possession in the minutes since the restart but they’re yet to find a way through the Mexico defence.

 

46′  KICK-OFF! We are back underway.  

——————————————————————————————————

HALF-TIME: GERMANY 0-1 MEXICO

42′ There have been 9 shots on target in this game – the most in the first half of a World Cup game since 2006.

40′ Moreno picks up the game’s first yellow card for wasting time.

Mexico’s forward Hirving Lozano celebrates after scoring their first goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between Germany and Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 17, 2018. PHOTO: Yuri CORTEZ / AFP

35′ GOAL! Mexico 1-0! Lozano has been all over the Germany defence in the opening half hour and he’s finally got his reward. Hernandez leads the charge and feeds the PSV ace on the left, who cuts inside and fires into the bottom left-hand corner.

 

31′ It’s a very physical game, with fouls all over the field, but we’re still yet to see a huge chance for either side. The play in the final third so far has disappointed.

 

12′ Mexico remain dangerous and Germany are certainly not getting things all their own way. The atmosphere within the stadium is absolutely rocking.

 

9′ Free-kick to Mexico in a dangerous central position, which Layun is lurking over. However, his effort is way over Neuer’s bar.

 

3′ WIDE! Werner now showing his pace in the final third from Germany, latching onto Kimmich’s through ball but dragging a shot wide of the far post.

1′ KICK-OFF! Mexico get underway in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

 

Mexico subs: Jesus Corona, Alfredo Talavera, Marco Fabian, Raul Jimenez, Jonathan dos Santos, Giovani dos Santos, Edson Alvarez, Rafael Marquez, Oribe Peralta, Jesus Manuel Corona, Javier Aquino, Erick Gutierrez.
Germany subs: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp, Ilkay Gundogan, Mario Gomez, Matthias Ginter, Antonio Rudiger, Leon Goretzka, Julian Brandt, Marco Reus, Niklas Sule, Sebastian Rudy.
Mexico XI: Guillermo Ochoa; Carlos Salcedo, Hugo Ayala, Hector Moreno, Jesus Gallardo; Miguel Layun, Andres Guardado, Hector Herrera; Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano.
Germany XI: Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Marvin Plattenhardt; Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos; Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler; Timo Werner.

 

Starting line-ups for the World Cup encounter between Germany and Mexico in Russia 2018 World Cup Group F match.


June 16, 2018.


That is is for today. Join us tomorrow for more updates.


Croatia Vs Nigeria (8:00 pm)


95′: The referee blows the final whistle. Full time, Croatia 2-0 Nigeria.

Nigeria’s players react after the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Croatia and Nigeria at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 16, 2018.
OZAN KOSE / AFP

75′: Ivan Perisic sends in a cross but Francis Uzoho comes out and claims the ball.


73′: Croatia start a counterattack: Great tackle by Troost-Ekong to avert danger for Super Eagles.


71′: GOOOAL! Luka Modric steps up and tucks it in. Croatia 2-0 Nigeria.

Croatia’s midfielder Luka Modric scores the penalty. Patrick HERTZOG / AFP

70′: PENALTY! The referee points to the spot after William Troost-Ekong pulls Mario Mandzukic by the shirt in the box. Not good for Nigeria.

Nigeria’s defender William Troost-Ekong (L) receives a yellow card from referee Sandro Ricci during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Croatia and Nigeria at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 16, 2018.
Attila KISBENEDEK / AFP

62′: Substitution for Nigeria: Alex Iwobi is replaced by Ahmed Musa.


60′: Croatia make the first change of the game. Andrej Kramaric is replaced by Marcelo Brozovic in a tactical substitution.


50′: Victor Moses puts Nigeria under pressure after fluffing an attempt to clear Sime Vrsaljko’s cross. He is let off the hook as Ivan Rakitic fails shoots wide from outside the box.


49′: Victor Moses shoots wide after showing good skill to dribble past his opponents.


46′: We are back underway.


HT:


8:47 pm: The referee brings the first half to an end after two added minutes. Possession: Croatia: 58%, Nigeria: 42%.


8:43 pm: Mario Mandzukic finds Sime Vrsaljko inside the Eagles’ box but he lets a good chance go begging by shooting wide.


8:41 pm: Croatia’s Ante Rebic is injured and receives treatment off the pitch.


8:37 pm: Croatia intercepts the ball and start a counterattack. Sime Vrsaljko mishits a cross and the ball goes off target.


8:32 pm: OWN GOAL! Oghenekaro Etebo has put the ball into his own net. Croatia 1-0 Nigeria.


8: 22 pm: Pressure from Nigeria: An Odion Ighalo cross is blocked and Dejan Lovren gives away a corner under pressure. Victor Moses Swings in the corner but Sime Vrsaljko relieves pressure with a clearance. The falls to Iwobi whose teasing cross is cleared by Lovren. Captain Mikel then chips the ball into the penalty box but once again it is cleared.


8:20 pm: Croatia is bossing possession 66%, leaving Nigeria with 34%.


8:13 pm: Brian Idowu has a cross blocked.


8:08 pm: Alex Iwobi tries to create a chance. He sends the ball behind the defence but none of his teammates benefit from it.


8:00 pm: We are underway. After Argentina and Iceland played out a 1-1 draw, the Eagles can boost their chances of progressing from the tough group with victory here.


Starting Line-Ups:

Starting line-ups for the World Cup Group C match between Croatia and Nigeria at Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday (1900 GMT):

Croatia

Danijel Subasic – Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic – Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric (capt), Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebic, Andrej Kramaric – Mario Mandzukic

Coach: Zlatko Dalic (CRO)

Nigeria

Francis Uzoho – Shehu Abdullahi, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Brian Idowu – Oghenekaro Etebo, John Obi Mikel, Wilfred Ndidi, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi – Odion Ighalo

Coach: Gernot Rohr (GER)

Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)


Peru Vs Denmark (5:00 pm)


Full time: Peru 0-1 Denmark.

Denmark beat Peru 1-0 in both sides’ World Cup group stage opener on Saturday after Christian Cueva blasted over a VAR-awarded penalty for the Peruvians in Saransk.

Yussuf Yurary Poulsen capitalised for the Danes, slotting into the net in the 59th minute.


 

Argentina vs Iceland


Thank you for your time. Join us again by 5:00 pm as Peru take on Denmark.

90+6′ It’s full time and the scoreline is Argentina 1 – 1 Iceland.

90+4′ Nicolas Otamendi puts in a cross but Hannes Thor Halldorsson rushes out to claim the ball.

The referee signals a free kick as Emil Hallfredsson from Iceland trips Lionel Messi.

63′ The referee awards a penalty against Iceland after Hoerdur Magnusson makes a rough tackle against Maximiliano Meza.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson is injured and is replaced by Rurik Gislason.

It’s heart-breaking for Argentina as Lionel Messi takes the spot-kick but Hannes Thor Halldorsson stops the ball.


46′ The second half is underway.

45+2′ Iceland get a chance but Gylfi Sigurdsson fails to connect properly on the volley and sends the ball wide of target.

The referee blows the whistle for half time.


24′ GOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLL.

Iceland’s players celebrate after scoring a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Argentina and Iceland at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on June 16, 2018. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

 

Incredible. Iceland have levelled the scoreline.

Alfred Finnbogason volleys the ball into the back of the net. The ball possession is Argentina 72% – Iceland 28%.


19′ GOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLL.

Sergio Aguero puts the ball in the net for Argentina. Marcos Rojo made the assist.

Meanwhile, Football legend Diego Maradona is at the stadium to watch the match.

Argentina’s football legend Diego Maradona waves to the crowd ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Argentina and Iceland at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on June 16, 2018. Juan Mabromata / AFP

 

13′ Argentina try to create a chance but Nicolas Otamendi fails to find the target with a shot from outside the box.

4′ A reckless challenge as Kari Arnason commits a rough foul on Nicolas Tagliafico.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi crosses the ball into the box from the free kick and creates a chance for Marcos Rojo who heads the ball off the goalpost.

1′ The referee blows the whistle and the game starts.


2:00 pm: Welcome back.

The World Cup opener between Argentina and Iceland has begun.

Iceland fans cheer before the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Argentina and Iceland at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on June 16, 2018. Yuri CORTEZ / AFP

France vs Australia


Thank you for staying with us. Join us by 2:00 pm for updates on the Group D match between Argentina and Iceland.

READ ALSO: France Beat Australia As VAR Makes History

90+6′ Referee blows the final whistle.

The game ends with the scoreline France 2-1 Australia.

90+5′ An Australian player takes a long throw from the left side of the pitch into the opponent’s box but Paul Pogba clears the ball to relieve the pressure on France.

81′ GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL.

Paul Pogba reclaims the lead for France after his effort is deflected past the goalkeeper. Olivier Giroud provided the assist for the goal.

75′ Nabil Fekir makes a good pass into the box but his French teammates fail to take advantage of the chance.

61′ GOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLL.

The referee awards another penalty just four minutes later. This time, it is against France after Samuel Umtiti handles the ball in the box!

Mile Jedinak takes the kick and equalises for Australia. The scoreline is now 1-1.

57′ GOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLL.

The referee shows Joshua Risdon a yellow card after a foul in the box and awards a penalty in favour of France.

Antoine Griezmann puts it away from the penalty spot!

 

47′ The restart is underway.

45+2′ France take a throw-in at the left side of the pitch in Australia’s half of the field and the referee blows for half time.

30′ France reclaim the ball possession by 52% while Australia have 48%.

Paul Pogba creates a chance when he cuts the opponents’ defence open with a through ball. But it is not enough to make a goal.

France’s midfielder Paul Pogba (R) controls the ball as he is marked by Australia’s midfielder Aaron Mooy during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group C football match between France and Australia at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 16, 2018. Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

25′ The ball possession is France 49% – Australia 51%. Benjamin Pavard from France passes the ball in the box but it’s intercepted by an Australian player.

18′ Corentin Tolisso makes a weak attempt to clear the ball which puts his side under pressure. Hugo Lloris, however, makes a great save for France.

France’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (R) jumps to gather the cross during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group C football match between France and Australia at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 16, 2018. Luis Acosta / AFP

2′ Antoine Griezmann takes the first corner for France from the right.

11:00 am: Match kicks off.


It’s the third day of exciting games at the global football tournament. Four matches featuring two groups will be played today.

The first match is between France and Australia by 11:00 am Nigerian time while Peru will take on Denmark by 5:00 pm at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk in Group C.

The opening game In Group D is between Argentina and Iceland at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow at 2:00 pm, after which the Super Eagles of Nigeria will take on Croatia at 8:00 pm at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad.

Nigeria Target All Three Points Against Croatia As France Battle Australia
Nigeria’s players take part in a training session at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 15, 2018 during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. OZAN KOSE / AFP

Meanwhile, France Coach Didier Deschamps has left Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud on the bench for their opener as teenager Kylian Mbappe leads Les Bleus’ front line in Kazan.

Mbappe, one of 14 players in France’s squad who have yet to feature in a major tournament, has been in great form for Paris Saint-Germain last season and will kick off the opener flanked by Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona. READ MORE.

Mbappe Leads France Attack Against Australia
France’s forward Kylian Mbappe juggles the ball during a training session at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 15, 2018, a day ahead of their Russia World Cup 2018 Group C football match against Australia. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

 


Starting line-ups for the World Cup Group C opening game between France and Australia at the Kazan Arena on Saturday (1000 GMT kick-off):

France (4-3-3)

Hugo Lloris (capt); Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez; Corentin Tolisso, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba; Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe

Coach: Didier Deschamps (FRA)

France’s forward Ousmane Dembele (L), forward Kylian Mbappe (C) and midfielder Steven N’Zonzi (R) attend a training session at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 15, 2018, a day ahead of their Russia World Cup 2018 Group C football match against Australia. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Australia (4-2-3-1)

Coach: Bert van Marwijk (NED)

Mathew Ryan; Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury, Mark Milligan, Aziz Behich; Aaron Mooy, Mile Jedinak (capt); Robbie Kruse, Tom Rogic, Mathew Leckie; Andrew Nabbout

Referee: Andres Cunha (URU)


June 15, 2018


Thank you for following our updates for Friday. Join us again on Saturday for more stories and updates from the World Cup as the competition unfolds.


9:00 pm: Here is how things stand in Group A and B after the first four games of the World Cup. (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Group A
Russia 1 1 0 0 5 0 3
Uruguay 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
Egypt 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
Saudi Arabia 1 0 0 1 0 5 0

Group B
Iran 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
Portugal 1 0 1 0 3 3 1
Spain 1 0 1 0 3 3 1
Morocco 1 0 0 1 0 1 0


96′: That is it. The referee brings the game to an end. Both side had several chances and the six goals scored show that they took some of the chances but that wasn’t enough to claim all three points.


90′: There will be four minutes of added time.


88′: Gooooooaal! Hat Trick. Ronaldo creates a goal from a free kick. Some would have been forgiven for thinking Spain had all the points in the bag. But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is not having that.


80′: Portugal have been unable to react to Spain’s lead and are gradually fading out of the game with Fernando Hierro’s men now bossing possession. Portugal, 38%; Spain, 62%.


58′: Gooooooooal! Spain has taken the lead with a great goal. Nacho Fernandez who has been shaky in defence compensates in attack with a great volleyed goal. Spain take the lead after going behind twice.


55′: Goooooaaaaal! Costa has hit the back of the net again. 2-2, game on.

Costa grabs his second goal of the game.  / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD /

8:02: The game is back underway.


Meanwhile, here is what Ronaldo’s heroics so far mean.


HT:


7:44: Gooooal! Ronaldo again. The Real Madrid forward ensures his side goes into the break with the lead.

Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the second goal during the match.
Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

7:28 pm: Portugal’s Bruno Fernandes picks the second yellow card of the game for tripping Nacho Fernandez.


7:26 pm: Almost! The crossbar denies Isco what would have been a great volleyed goal. Portugal would be thankful for that.


7:24 pm: Goooooal! Diego Costa levels the scores for Spain after a fantastic display of individual skills to dribble past some defenders.

Spain’s forward Diego Costa (2R) celebrates his goal with teammates.
Nelson Almeida / AFP

7:20 pm: Spain have reacted well after going behind and is in control of possession but Portugal is not far behind. Portugal, 48%; Spain, 52%.


7:17 pm: Spain’s Sergio Busquet becomes the first player to be booked for his rough foul on Goncalo Guedes.


7:04 pm: Gooooal! It’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Great start for Portugal. Nacho trips Ronaldo three minutes in. And Portugal’s greatest goal score makes no mistake from the spot. 1-0 to Portugal.

Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) celebrates his first goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on June 15, 2018.
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

7:00 pm: Portugal and Spain kick off their much-anticipated game. Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping that his side will be able to benefit from the controversy that hit the Spain camp with the decision of the Spanish FA to fire coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup.


6:50 pm: Costa, Nacho start for Spain against Portugal on Hierro debut

Diego Costa starts in attack and Nacho at right-back in new Spain coach Fernando Hierro’s starting line-up for Friday’s World Cup Group B showdown with neighbours Portugal in Sochi.

The team is that which would likely have started under Julen Lopetegui, had he not been sensationally sacked on Wednesday following the announcement that he would be joining Real Madrid after the tournament.

Line-ups: 

Portugal (4-2-3-1)

Rui Patricio; Cedric Soares, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; Joao Moutinho, William Carvalho; Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Goncalo Guedes; Cristiano Ronaldo (capt)

Coach: Fernando Santos (POR)

Spain (4-2-3-1)

David De Gea; Nacho, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos (capt), Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Andres Iniesta; Diego Costa

Coach: Fernando Hierro (ESP)

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)


READ ALSOIran Grab Late World Cup Victory Over Morocco

06:00 pm: The referee blows the final whistle. The scoreline is one – nil in favour of Iran.

Morocco’s midfielder Hakim Ziyech (R) and Iran’s midfielder Ehsan Haji Safi (C) vie during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Morocco and Iran at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 15, 2018. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

05:58 pm: GOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL.

Aziz Bouhaddouz sends the ball into his team’s net. Iran have taken the lead.

05:39 pm: Iran captain Masoud Shojaei hands over his band to a fellow team-mate before leaving the field.

He’s being replaced by Mehdi Taremi in a tactical substitution.

05:16 pm: The referee paused the game after sighting a player lying on the pitch.

Omid Ebrahimi from Iran was injured and taken off the field to receive medical treatment. The match continued after a few minutes.

05:08 pm: Second half is underway.

The referee whistles a free kick after Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech tripped Ehsan Haji Safi.

04:48 pm: The referee blows the half-time whistle. The scoreline is 0-0.

04:38 pm: Morocco lost a chance Hakim Ziyech crossed the ball, but his team-mate arrived a bit late.

Iran’s Alireza Beiranvand rushed out and claimed the ball.

Iran’s goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand (C) deflects the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Morocco and Iran at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 15, 2018. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

04:21 pm: The ball possession is Morocco 73% – Iran 27%.

However, Iran begin a counter-attack; Karim Ansarifard passes the ball in the box but it was intercepted by a Moroccan player.

04:02 pm: Match commences and the game is underway

The referee is Cuneyt Cakir from Turkey.

03:55 pm: The first Group B match between Morocco and Iran to kick off in a bit.

Morocco fans cheer before the start of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Morocco and Iran at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 15, 2018. CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP

 


Reacting to the match, Egypt coach Hector Cuper said Mohamed Salah was kept on the bench because the team did not want to risk further injury to the Liverpool star.

Salah, who turned 26 on Friday, injured his shoulder three weeks ago in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid. READ MORE.

We Don't Want To 'Risk' Salah, Says Egypt Coach After Uruguay Loss
Egypt’s coach Hector Raul Cuper gestures on the touchline during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Egypt and Uruguay at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg on June 15, 2018. Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

 


Read Full Story: Uruguay Strike Late To Beat Egypt

2: 57 pm: The referee blows the final whistle and the match is over.

It was a tough match between both teams but Uruguay managed to carve out the victory.

2:48 pm: Gooaaaalllllllllllll.

Uruguay’s Carlos Sanchez provided the assist while Jose Gimenez scores with a header.

2:40 pm: Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani connects well on the volley but Mohamed El Shenawi makes a great save and the ball goes behind for a corner kick.

Egypt’s goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (L) shields the ball on the ground as Uruguay’s forward Edinson Cavani (R) walks away during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Egypt and Uruguay at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg on June 15, 2018. HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP

 



2:33 pm: Luis Suarez gets a chance as he finds himself in a one-on-one situation with the Egyptian keeper but Mohamed El Shenawi rushes out to claim the ball.

2:11 pm: Trezeguet from Egypt passes the ball in the box but it was intercepted by an opponent player.

It’s a throw-in in favour of the African team.

2:05 pm: Second half is underway.



1: 47 pm: Referee blows the half-time whistle.

The first half ended with Egypt 43% – Uruguay 57% possession.

1:25 pm: The ball possession is Egypt 46% – Uruguay 54%.

A cross from Nahitan Nandez of Uruguay is blocked by an opponent as he tries to pick out a team-mate in the position.

1:03 pm: Uruguay’s Luis Suarez sees his pass blocked by an Egyptian while the African team a throw-in at the left side of the pitch in their own half of the field.

 

Egypt’s midfielder Amr Warda (R) is challenged by Uruguay’s midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur (L) during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Egypt and Uruguay at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg on June 15, 2018. JORGE GUERRERO / AFP

1:00 pm : The match between Egypt and Uruguay kicked off.

Netherlands’ Bjorn Kuipers is the referee.


The intriguing performances continue in the second day of the 2018 World Cup with three matches featuring two African countries among others after the host nation, Russia routed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game.

Egypt will take on Uruguay in the second Group A match by 1:00 pm Nigerian time at the Ekaterinburg Arena.

In Group B, Morocco will play Iran at the Saint Petersburg Stadium at 4:00 pm local time, while Portugal will contend with their European counterparts Spain three hours later at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi.

Meanwhile, Luis Suarez will be chasing redemption when Uruguay face Egypt in his first World Cup appearance since being thrown out of the tournament in 2014 for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Uruguay Star Suarez In Final Shot At World Cup Redemption
Uruguay’s forward Luis Suarez smiles as he takes part in a training session at Ekaterinburg Stadium in Ekaterinburg on June 14, 2018, a day ahead of the team’s Russia 2018 World Cup Group A opening football match against Egypt. JORGE GUERRERO / AFP

The controversial Barcelona striker, 31, was described on the eve of their first game in Russia as “more mature” by Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez. READ MORE.

Russia 2018: Full Group Stage Fixtures


Lionel Messi’s Argentina aim to put a shambolic World Cup build-up behind them and make a statement in their opening match against tournament debutants Iceland on Saturday.

Nervy Argentina Seek Messi Magic Against Iceland
Argentina’s forward Lionel Messi (front R) talks with midfielder Cristian Pavon (C) as they warm up during a training session at the team’s base camp in Bronnitsy, near Moscow, on June 15, 2018, on the eve of their Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match against Iceland. JUAN MABROMATA / AFP

The two-time champions arrived in Russia dogged by poor form, injuries and controversy.

But Messi is a man on a mission as he chases his first World Cup winner’s medal and will not tolerate complacency against the minnows at Moscow’s Spartak stadium. READ MORE.

Elsewhere, Spain were one of the favourites when they arrived in Russia after a two-year unbeaten run under Lopetegui.

The squad is, however, reeling after Wednesday’s snap decision by the Spanish football federation to dump Lopetegui after it was announced he would be joining Real Madrid following the tournament.

Former Real stalwart Fernando Hierro has been thrown into the deep end as head coach, with little coaching experience and huge pressure on his shoulders. READ MORE.

 


June 14, 2018


Thank you for your time and join us tomorrow for Friday’s updates. Please scroll down for more on the World Cup events.

5:57 pm: Full-Time Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia.

Russia’s midfielder Yuri Gazinskiy (L) celebrates scoring the opening goal with his teammates during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018.
Alexander NEMENOV / AFP

 

5:55 pm: Russia sealed their victory with two goals in less than seven minutes to the full time.

Denis Cheryshev scored his second goal in 91 minutes while Aleksandr Golovin gave the host nation a wonderful finish when he curled a direct free kick into the back of the net.

5:31 pm: Again, Russia have scored their third goal.

Artem Dzyuba netted with a header after a brilliant cross from Aleksandr Golovin

5:06 pm: Second half is underway.

After a few minutes to the restart, Russia’s Aleksandr Samedov could not find the target with a shot from outside the box.

 


4:48 pm: Referee blows for half-time.

4:43 pm: Second goal.

Denis Cheryshev extended the lead for the host country after dribbling past two Saudi Arabians thanks to Roman Zobnin’s assist.

Russia’s midfielder Denis Cheryshev (C) scores a goal past Saudi Arabia’s goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

4:12 pm: First goal.

Yuri Gazinskiy has given Russia the lead and becomes the first player to score a goal in the 2018 World. Aleksandr Golovin provided the assist for the goal.


4:00 pm: Hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia have kicked off the 2018 World Cup proper.

Saudi Arabia’s defender Yasser Al-Shahrani (centre L) and Russia’s defender Ilja Kutepov compete for the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

Starting line-ups:

Russia:
Igor Akinfeev (capt), Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kupetov, Sergey Ignashevich, Iury Gazinsky, Alan Dzagoev, Roman Zobnin, Aleksandr Golovin, Yury Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov, Fedor Smolov

Coach: Stanislav Cherchesov (RUS)

Saudi Arabia:

Abdullah Al-Muaiouf, Osama Hawsawi (capt), Omar Hawsawi, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Salman Al-Faraj, Yahia Al-Shehri, Abdullah Otayf, Taiseer Al-Jassam, Salem Al-Dawsari, Mohammed Al-Sahlawi

Coach: Juan Antonio Pizzi (ESP)

Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)


Opening Ceremony:

British singer Robbie Williams performs during the opening ceremony before hosts Russia’s game against at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Actors perform during the opening ceremony before the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018.
Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

The host country, Russia will kick-start the competition by taking on Saudi Arabia by 4:00 pm Nigerian time.

 


Russia 2018: Full Group Stage Fixtures


Nigeria’s Pre-World Cup Matches

On the three occasions, the Super Eagles won their opening matches in the World Cup in 1994, 1998, 2014, and progressed to the Round of 16.

During their preparation ahead of the competition, Nigeria played a series of friendly matches during which they won two, drew one, and lost three.

Nigeria’s midfielder Ogenyi Onazi (2R) shoots but fails to score past Serbia’s defender Matija Nastasic (L) during the International friendly football match between Nigeria and Serbia at the Hive stadium in Barnet, north London on March 27, 2018.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Sweet victories over Argentina and Poland were followed by defeat by Serbia, a draw with DR Congo and losses to England and the Czech Republic.

The outcomes of some of the friendly, especially against England and Czech Republic, have become worrisome for Nigerians and other concerned individuals.

England’s midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek (L) vies with Nigeria’s midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo (C) and Nigeria’s defender Bryan Idowu (R) during the International friendly football match between England and Nigeria at Wembley stadium in London on June 2, 2018. Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

Former Eagles Technical Adviser Jo Bonfrere warned the players to avoid playing for individual glory if they must achieve the desired results at the competition.

However, Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, urged Nigerians to pray for the team’s success and continue to support them.

Photo: AFP

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