RUSSIA 2018: NEWS FROM THE WORLD CUP

  • by Ayoade Akinyode
  • 25 Days ago
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Canada, US & Mexico to host 2026 World Cup

RUSSIA 2018: NEWS FROM THE WORLD CUP

*Mile Jedinak’s second penalty of the World Cup earned Australia a precious 1-1 draw against Denmark after a controversial VAR decision led to Christian Eriksen’s superb opener being cancelled out.

*Denmark manager Age Hareide said video assistant referees are taking the “charm” out of the World Cup after Australia scored a debatable penalty to keep their last-16 hopes alive.

*Denmark have not reached the last 16 since 2002 but Hareide’s side are in a strong position to advance in Russia after following up victory over Peru with a hard-earned point.

*Australia have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 12 World Cup games, the longest current run in the competition alongside Saudi Arabia.

*31% of goals scored by Australia at the World Cup have come from the penalty spot (four out of 13), the highest ratio among any of the teams to have scored at least 10 goals in the competition.

*Kylian Mbappe made history as France booked their place in the World Cup’s knockout rounds with an unconvincing 1-0 Group C defeat of Peru.

*The striker slotted home from a deflected Olivier Giroud cross in the 34th minute and became France’s youngest ever goalscorer at a major tournament in the process, overtaking David Trezeguet’s previous record (vs Saudi Arabia in 1998).

*France have qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup for the sixth time in their past eight appearances in the competition – only failing to in 2002 and 2010

*France captain Hugo Lloris is the seventh player to reach 100 caps with France after reaching the milestone during the match.

*Croatia are through to the last 16 of the World Cup after a stunning 3-0 victory in Nizhny Novgorod which leaves Argentina in serious danger of exiting at the group stage.

*Willy Caballero’s clanger presented Ante Rebic with an opportunity he could not refuse, and Croatia rolled on to a stunning 3-0 victory over Argentina that sent them into the last 16 of the World Cup.

*This was Argentina’s heaviest defeat in the first round group stages of a World Cup tournament since losing 1-6 to Czechoslovakia in 1958.

*Argentina forward Lionel Messi has had more shots than any other player so far at this World Cup (12) but has failed to score with any of them.

*This was Croatia’s first victory in five attempts against a South American team at the World Cup, having lost the previous four.

*The final games in Group D take place at 7pm on Tuesday evening. Argentina will surely need a victory against Nigeria in St Petersburg, while Croatia face Iceland in Rostov-on-Don at the same time, looking to clinch top spot in the group.

*Sami Khedira turned down a reporter’s offer of flight passes to take him and his Germany team-mates home from the World Cup in Russia, insisting they would not be needed until after the final.

*Peru coach Ricardo Gareca put a brave face on his team’s World Cup exit, saying his side had left a positive image but that he was sorry for their huge army of travelling fans.

*Eden Hazard has played down his criticism of Romelu Lukaku after the Belgium captain accused the Manchester United striker of going missing against Panama.

*Brazil coach Tite said he will not tell Neymar to be more of a team player as he insisted the Paris Saint-Germain star is fit for Friday’s crunch World Cup clash with Costa Rica.

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Ayoade is a Nigerian university graduate. A sports writer, columnist and administrator. A lover of sports generally but his expertise is football.

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