Like him or loathe him — Deschamps puts winning before all else | 7/5/2018 7:00 pm

NIZHNIY NOVGOROD, Russia (AFP) — Last weekend, Didier Deschamps chalked up another significant achievement in a remarkable career. He became the longest-serving coach of France when he oversaw his 80th game as Les Bleus beat Argentina 4-3 in a thriller to go through to today's World Cup quarter-final against Uruguay. Six years have passed since he replaced Laurent Blanc, but how long he carries on could come down to what happens in Nizhny Novgorod on Friday, when France and their fearsom More

Uruguay's immoveable defence ready for France's unstoppable Mbappe | 7/5/2018 7:00 pm

NIZHNIY NOVGOROD, Russia (AFP) — The build-up to today's quarter-final clash between France and Uruguay has been dominated by individuals, but it may be the South Americans' almost unbreachable four-man defence which decides the result. While Uruguay sweat on the fitness of striker Edinson Cavani, it should be remembered that La Celeste's progress in Russia has been built upon their defence as much as their A-list attack. And while France pin their hopes on Kylian Mbappe, it is unlikely More

#WC2018: France beat Uruguay 2-0 to reach semi-finals | 7/6/2018 10:53 am

MOSCOW, Russia (AP) — France is into the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 12 years after beating Uruguay 2-0. Raphael Varane opened the scoring with a header in the 40th minute and Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera's error contributed to Antoine Griezmann's clincher in the 61st. France went on to reach the World Cup final the last two times it advanced this far. It won its only World Cup in 1998 on home soil, and in 2006 lost the final to Italy on penalties. Varane raced ac More

Belgium have to be beaten over 90 minutes in World Cup quarters — Tite | 7/5/2018 5:50 pm

KAZAN, Russia (AFP) — Brazil coach Tite said he is desperate to avoid the “horror” lottery of penalties as he handed World Cup quarter-final opponents Belgium a frightening list of obstacles to overcome today. Bidding for a record-extending sixth World Cup in Russia, Brazil were one of five sides to qualify for the last eight without requiring extra-time and penalties after outclassing Mexico 2-0 in Samara. Although Tite expects Belgium to provide his team with a stiff challe More

JustBet Gold Rush 2018 has Brazil at $2:05 to beat Belgium | 7/5/2018 7:40 pm

Goal Rush 2018 kicks into high gear as the quarter-finals start today with two of the title favourites coming face to face. The first game today pits Neymar's Brazil against Eden Hazard's Belgium, after which host country Russia go into battle against everyone's dark horse to win the title, Croatia, for a place in the semi-finals next week. Brazil overcame a stubborn and determined Mexican team to reach this far, while Belgium won it at the death against a plucky Japan team that didn't deserve More

#WC2018: Belgium beat Brazil 2-1, will play France in semi-final | 7/6/2018 2:56 pm

KAZAN, Russia (AFP) — Belgium beat World Cup favourites Brazil 2-1 on Friday to set up a semi-final against France in Saint Petersburg. A Fernandinho own goal in the 16th minute followed by a superb Kevin De Bruyne strike just after the half-hour put Belgium in the driving seat. Brazil pulled a goal back through Renato Augusto but it was too little, too late. More

MIGHTY SHOWDOWNS | 7/5/2018 5:50 pm

KAZAN, Russia (AFP) — Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has admitted he has no secrets as he plots to end Brazil's bid for a record-extending sixth World Cup ahead of their “dream” quarter-final in Kazan today. But the nation's “Golden Generation” have been reminded that the match against the favourites could represent the last chance for them to shine on the world stage. “It's a dream match for our players,” Martinez told Belgian press after sealing qual More

#WC2018: Belgium lead favourites Brazil 2-0 at halftime | 7/6/2018 1:50 pm

KAZAN, Russia (AFP) — Kevin De Bruyne has made it 2-0 for Belgium in the World Cup quarterfinal against Brazil with a superb strike from the edge of the area at the end of a swift counterattack. De Bruyne was set up on the right side of the box by striker Romelu Lukaku, who recovered the ball in Belgium's half and ran for about 30 meters before delivering a pinpoint pass to his teammate on the left. De Bruyne unleashed a low shot beyond the dive of 'keeper Alisson and into the corner of t More

#WC2018: Marcelo in for Brazil as Martinez tweaks Belgium line-up | 7/6/2018 12:48 pm

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Versatile defender Marcelo returned to the starting line-up and midfielder Fernandinho was handed his first World Cup start in four years on Friday for Brazil's quarter-final clash with Belgium. Marcelo was sidelined from Brazil's 2-0 last-16 win over Mexico in Samara after suffering back spasms in a 2-0 win over Serbia. But the 30-year-old Real Madrid player is fully fit, offering Brazil attacking options down the left flank for a game Belgium's "Golden Generation More

#WC2018: France v Uruguay starting line-ups | 7/6/2018 8:55 am

NIZHNIY NOVGOROD, Russia (AFP) — Starting line-ups for the World Cup quarter-final between France and Uruguay in Nizhny Novgorod on Friday (1400 GMT kick-off): France (4-5-1) Hugo Lloris (capt); Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez; Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Corentin Tolisso; Olivier Giroud Coach: Didier Deschamps (FRA) Uruguay (4-4-2) Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Jose Gimenez, Diego Godin (capt), Diego Laxalt; Lucas To More

#WC2018: France lead Uruguay 1-0 at halftime | 7/6/2018 9:47 am

NIZHNIY NOVGOROD, Russia (AFP) — France were leading Uruguay 1-0 at half-time of their World Cup quarter-final match on Friday thanks to a powerful 40th-minute header from Raphael Varane. Uruguay almost equalised minutes later when Martin Caceres' header was brilliantly saved by Hugo Lloris. More

'It's time for each of us to defend our corner' | 7/5/2018 5:30 pm

SOCHI, Russia (AFP) — Brazil star Willian says he is looking forward to coming out on top when he faces his club colleague Eden Hazard in the World Cup quarter-final between Brazil and Belgium. The teams meet in Kazan today with Brazil the favourites, despite the quality in a Belgian side captained by Hazard, who plays with Willian at Chelsea. “He is a very humble player and I like being with him on a daily basis at club level. But now it is time for each of us to defend our corner More

Rock-solid Brazil living up to billing as World Cup favourites | 7/4/2018 7:10 pm

SOCHI, Russia (AFP) — While some of their biggest rivals have already fallen by the wayside in Russia, Brazil have been making serene progress towards the latter stages of the World Cup. After watching holders Germany, Spain and Argentina all exit the competition in the last week in various states of disarray, the Selecao eased into the quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory against Mexico on Monday. As they aim to lift the World Cup for a record sixth time in Moscow on July 15, their next op More

France's Mbappe sprints towards superstar status at World Cup | 7/4/2018 7:40 pm

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — As Didier Deschamps plots another World Cup title tilt with France, Kylian Mbappe, who was not even born when his coach lifted the trophy in 1998, has become an indispensable figure for Les Bleus. It was only two-and-a-half years ago that the teenager made his professional debut, but the rise of Mbappe — the second-most expensive player in history — has been meteoric. After winning successive French league crowns with Monaco and then Paris Saint-Germain More

Marcelo, Costa back training for Brazil ahead of World Cup quarter-finals | 7/3/2018 4:40 pm

SOCHI, Russia (AFP) — Brazil were given a boost in the build-up to their World Cup quarter-final against Belgium as Marcelo and Douglas Costa both took part in training yesterday. “Good news! Douglas Costa was released to return to training with the rest of the squad and took part in today's activity,” said the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) on their Twitter account, @CBF_Futebol. The Juventus winger has only featured once in Brazil's campaign in Russia so far, coming More