NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FROM RUSSIA 2018

  • by Ayoade Akinyode
  • 3 Months ago
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NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FROM RUSSIA 2018

*Philippe Coutinho and Neymar both scored in stoppage time to snatch victory for Brazil after the Paris Saint-Germain forward had been denied a penalty by VAR in a 2-0 World Cup win over Costa Rica.

*Costa Rica rightly anticipating that Brazil would enjoy the lion’s share of possession – sat deep but looked dangerous when they were given the rare opportunity to counter.

*In all international matches, Brazil are unbeaten in 13 games (W9 D4 L0), conceding just three goals in that run.

*Brazil’s second goal was timed at 96:49 – the latest recorded stoppage time goal in a World Cup match since 1966.

*Neymar has scored 56 goals in 87 matches for his country – only Pele and Ronaldo have scored more.

*Brazil face Serbia in their final game next Wednesday in Moscow, and Costa Rica end their campaign against Switzerland in Nizhny Novgorod on the same day, same time.

*Ahmed Musa scored both goals as Nigeria swept aside World Cup debutants Iceland to leave Group D intriguingly poised with one round of games to go.

*The Leicester forward, on loan at CSKA Moscow last season, struck a volleyed opener four minutes after the restart and further repaid boss Gernot Rohr’s faith with a fine second 15 minutes from time.

*Gylfi Sigurdsson looked set to give Iceland a late lifeline when Alfred Finnbogason earned a VAR-awarded penalty but the Everton playmaker ballooned his 83rd-minute effort over the bar.

*Nigeria’s Francis Uzoho is the second youngest goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in a World Cup match (19 years, 237 days), behind only Li Chan-myong in North Korea’s 1-0 win over Italy in July 1966 (19 years, 198 days).

*All six of Nigeria’s wins at the World Cup have come against European opposition, and they have kept a clean sheet in five of those six victories.

*Nigeria’s last game of the group phase is against Argentina in St Petersburg on Tuesday while Iceland face group leaders Croatia in Rostov-on-Don at the same time.

*Xherdan Shaqiri scored a last-minute winner to give Switzerland one foot in the last 16 of the World Cup after a 2-1 victory over Serbia.

*Alexander Mitrovic’s header gave Serbia an early lead before Granit Xhaka equalized for Switzerland early after the break with a thunderous strike from 25 yards.

*Switzerland’s 2-1 victory over Serbia is the first game at the 2018 World Cup to see a side win from a losing position.

*Switzerland have lost just one of their last 24 matches (W17 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in a World Cup qualifier in October 2017.

*Five of Granit Xhaka’s 10 goals for Switzerland have come from outside the box.

*Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson described his missed penalty against Nigeria as the “toughest moment” of his career.

*Argentina stars want coach Jorge Sampaoli gone before World Cup clash with Nigeria as Sergio Aguero hits out at his manager in brief interview after their humiliating defeat by Croatia.

*England midfielder Dele Alli has not returned to training and is likely to miss their second World Cup Group G game against Panama on Sunday.

*Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has called on Croatia to be professional and not rest players against Iceland in a match that could yet decide the Super Eagles’ World Cup fate.

*Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner has defended team-mates Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri for their controversial celebrations during the 2-1 win over Serbia.

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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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