Photo: SPAIN PAIN! | 7/1/2018 10:00 pm

Spain's players react after losing the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match against the hosts at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday. The former champions lost in a penalty shoot-out. Croatia, like Russia, advanced to the quarter-finals also with a penalty shoot-out win over Denmark More

Croatia beat Denmark on penalties to reach World Cup last eight | 7/1/2018 10:00 pm

Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (AFP) — Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic was the hero as Croatia squeezed into the World Cup quarter-finals with a penalty shoot-out victory over Denmark here yesterday. On a night of late, late drama Ivan Rakitic stroked home the decisive spot kick to ensure the Croats advanced to a last-eight meeting with Russia after the two sides finished locked at 1-1 following extra time. The Barcelona midfielder's winner came after Milan Badelj and Josip Pivaric saw their penalt More

#WC2018: Brazil beat Mexico 2-0 to qualify for World Cup quarter-finals | 7/2/2018 10:54 am

SAMARA, Russia (AFP) — Neymar scored a stylish opener and set up substitute Roberto Firmino for a late second as Brazil cruised into the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a 2-0 win over Mexico today. Bidding for a record-extending sixth title in Russia, Brazil weathered an early storm at Samara Arena before Neymar turned on the style to underline their status as favourites. Brazil will now meet the winners of this afternoon's match between Belgium and Japan, but after seeing Argentina More

Mexico show no fear as they target end to fifth-game hex | 7/1/2018 9:30 pm

Saint Petersburg , Russia (AFP) — Mexico do not have history on their side in their bid to dump Brazil out of the World Cup, but the 2018 version of El Tri have already demonstrated a capability to surprise in Russia. For a seventh-straight World Cup Mexico have made it to the last 16, but, agonisingly, they have failed to go any further on the six previous occasions, turning the desire just to make the “quinto partido” (fifth match) an obsession. “There's no greater me More

#WC2018: Brazil and Mexico 0-0 at half-time | 7/2/2018 9:55 am

SAMARA, Russia (AFP) — Brazil and Mexico were locked at 0-0 at half-time of their World Cup last-16 match in Samara today during a game of few clear-cut chances.Mexico had the better of the opening stages and although Brazil threatened more towards the interval, Neymar struggled to shake of his markers and impose himself. More

World Cup penalty drama as Russia set up Croatia quarter-final | 7/1/2018 10:00 pm

Moscow, Russia (AFP) — Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was the hero as Russia beat 2010 winners Spain on penalties to set up a World Cup quarter-final against Croatia who survived their own spot-kick drama yesterday. Fernando Hierro's Spain totally dominated the match at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, hogging 74 per cent of possession, but created few clear-cut chances and buckled under pressure when it mattered most. Veteran goalkeeper Akinfeev saved penalties from Koke and Iago Aspas as Russia More

#WC2018: Croatia beat Denmark on penalties to reach quarter-finals | 7/1/2018 3:48 pm

NIZHNIY NOVGOROD, Russia (AFP) — Croatia beat Denmark in a dramatic penalty shootout on Sunday to progress to the World Cup quarter-finals. Mathias Jorgensen gave Denmark the lead after just 58 seconds but Mario Mandzukic levelled for Croatia in the fourth minute and the sides remained locked at 1-1 at the end of extra time. But Croatia won the shootout 3-2 after Danijel Subasic saved three spot-kicks. More

Photos: FALLEN STARS | 6/30/2018 8:30 pm

Argentina star Lionel Messi appears a picture of dejection after his team was knocked out of the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16, going down 4-2 to France at Kazan Arena in Kazan, yesterday. (Photos: AFP) Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo in anguish as Uruguay defeat his team 2-1 in the round of 16 at Fisht Stadium in Sochi, yesterday. More

#WC2018: Russia beat Spain on penalties to reach quarter-finals | 7/1/2018 11:48 am

MOSCOW, Russia (AP) — Russia shockingly eliminated Spain from the World Cup, surviving two hours of dominance by the 2010 champions in a 1-1 draw and then winning a penalty shootout 4-3. Russia's captain and goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saved spot-kicks from Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion and Iago Aspas, and four of his teammates all scored. Spain dominated the ball during the game — completing more than 1,000 passes — but was too passive against a well-organized Russian defence. Spa More

#WC2018: Iniesta, Cheryshev omitted as Spain take on Russia | 7/1/2018 9:01 am

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta drops to the bench for Sunday's last 16 clash against host nation Russia in Moscow with Koke replacing him as one of three changes for the 2010 champions. Nacho returns for Dani Carvajal at right-back and Marco Asensio is selected ahead of Thiago Alcantara as Spain attempt to end a dreadful record against host nations at major tournaments. They have never won in eight previous attempts, losing seven of those meetings while drawing on More

Messi's disappointments with Argentina | 7/1/2018 12:00 am

SAINT Petersburg, Russia (AFP) — Five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi suffered more World Cup heartbreak with Argentina as he was no match for France's firepower in a thrilling 4-3 World Cup last-16 defeat yesterday. Messi only scored once in Russia and is still yet to net in the knockout stages of a World Cup. Widely considered one of the greatest players ever, the Barcelona star is still looked upon unfavourably by many in his homeland compared to Diego Maradona, who led Arg More

#WC2018: Putin put no pressure on Russia to beat Spain — Kremlin | 7/1/2018 2:03 pm

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — President Vladimir Putin told Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov nobody was going to judge his team if they lost to Spain in the World Cup last 16 on Sunday — a match they improbably won. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said after Russia knocked the 2010 champions out on penalties in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium that Putin — who watched the game on TV — had not put any pressure on the team to win. "Before the match, around noon, the president called t More

#WC2018: Neymar primed for clash against Mexico — Tite | 7/1/2018 3:31 pm

SAMARA, Russia (AFP) — Brazil coach Tite says Neymar is back to his best as the five-time champions take on Mexico here on Monday for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals. Neymar has made a slow start to the tournament, showing glimpses of skill but drawing criticism for diving in an attempt to win a penalty against Costa Rica. But the Paris Saint-Germain forward has steadily silenced his detractors, scoring Brazil's second goal in a laboured 2-0 win over Costa Rica before providing t More

Fallen stars | 6/30/2018 6:40 pm

SOCHI, Russia (AFP) — Edinson Cavani scored twice as Uruguay shattered Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup dream with a 2-1 victory over Portugal here yesterday. Paris Saint-Germain striker Cavani curled home a superb 62nd-minute winner to settle a thrilling second-round duel in Sochi which sends Uruguay into a quarter-final against France next Friday. Cavani had already put Uruguay in front early on, only for Pepe to head Portugal level in the 55th minute in a thrilling contest that was not t More

From Russia...with not much love | 6/30/2018 6:50 pm

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — France roared back against Argentina to reach the World Cup quarter-finals yesterday as wonderkid Kylian Mbappe sent Lionel Messi home from Russia empty-handed following a seven-goal thriller. The 1998 champions won 4-3 and looked a totally different side from the one that struggled to find their cutting edge in the group stage, pouring forward with pace and purpose to stretch the ageing Argentine defence in Kazan. Antoine Griezmann gave France the lead from the pe More