Sports

Brazil knocked out of World Cup by Kevin De Bruyne and brilliant Belgium

Brazil knocked out of World Cup by Kevin De Bruyne and brilliant Belgium

In years to come, when this stadium is a crumbling white elephant, they will sit in almost empty stands, hear the wind whisper across the marsh that surrounds it and believe what they hear is the ghosts of giants. In three games Kazan has claimed the winners of 11 World Cups. First Germany went, insipid …

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Steven Zuber denies Brazil opening win as Switzerland secure a point

Steven Zuber denies Brazil opening win as Switzerland secure a point

Steven Zuber’s thumping header secured a surprising draw for Switzerland in their opening Group E game against the World Cup favourites Brazil. Philippe Coutinho gave Brazil the lead with a stunning first-half strike, but they were denied an opening win. The Brazil coach, Tite, left nothing to chance as he rolled out his big guns …

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Mexico’s Hirving Lozano stuns world champions Germany for brilliant win

Mexico’s Hirving Lozano stuns world champions Germany for brilliant win

Germany’s defence of the World Cup got off to the worst possible start, as they came up short against an initially vibrant but increasingly desperate Mexico but for whom Hirving Lozano’s goal after 35 minutes was enough. Joachim Löw had started with seven players who had guided Germany to victory in Brazil four years ago …

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Aleksandar Kolarov steers Serbia to opening victory over Costa Rica

Aleksandar Kolarov steers Serbia to opening victory over Costa Rica

A brilliant free-kick by Aleksandar Kolarov’s sealed victory for Serbia in their opening game of the World Cup finals, against Costa Rica in Group E. The captain curled a free-kick over the wall and a diving Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas could not reach it before it sailed into the upper right corner in the …

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Luka Modric penalty secures victory for uninspiring Croatia over Nigeria

Luka Modric penalty secures victory for uninspiring Croatia over Nigeria

Croatia, considered tournament dark horses by many, cruised through their opening encounter with Nigeria thanks to an own goal from Oghenekaro Etebo and a penalty from Luka Modric.The victory leaves Croatia top of Group D but after a largely forgettable game in which they did not manage a shot on target from open play until …

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Yussuf Poulsen winner for Denmark edges out luckless Peru

Yussuf Poulsen winner for Denmark edges out luckless Peru

Peru’s first World Cup campaign since 1982 has begun with a 1-0 defeat to Denmark at the Mordovia Arena Saransk thanks to a second-half goal from Yussuf Poulsen. Peru looked threatening throughout and missed a VAR-awarded penalty in the first half, with Christian Cueva blasting over the bar. Earlier, France beat Australia 2-1 in Kazan …

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Lionel Messi penalty saved by Halldórsson as Iceland hold Argentina

Lionel Messi penalty saved by Halldórsson as Iceland hold Argentina

Hannes Thór Halldórsson was the Iceland hero as the smallest nation to qualify for a World Cup held Argentina 1-1 in their Group D opener at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow. Sergio Agüero had put Argentina ahead in the 19th minute, smashing his first World Cup finals goal past Halldórsson from 12 yards. But Iceland …

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Paul Pogba scores with technology’s help to take France past Australia

Paul Pogba scores with technology’s help to take France past Australia

France have taken a major step towards qualifying for the last 16 by beating Australia 2-1 in Kazan in a match featuring two penalties and significant interventions from technology. Didier Deschamps’ side, runners-up on home soil at Euro 2016, took the lead in the 58th minute when the video assistant referee alerted the Uruguayan official …

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Cristiano Ronaldo hits hat-trick as Portugal deny Spain in six-goal thriller

Cristiano Ronaldo hits hat-trick as Portugal deny Spain in six-goal thriller

After all the fall-out, the football. A classic, Portugal manager Fernando Santos had predicted, and he wasn’t far off. Twice Portugal led, twice Spain equalised, and then they took a lead that felt like a liberation, but with just one minute to go Cristiano Ronaldo curled in a wonderful free kick to complete a hat-trick …

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