Croatia’s Kalinic sent home with injury, says coach

By Simon Evans ROSHCHINO, Russia, June 18 : Croatia striker Nikola Kalinic has been sent home from the World Cup due to an injury, coach Zlatko Dalic said on Monday. Croatian media had reported that the AC Milan forward had been axed from the World Cup squad after refusing to come on as a substitute […]

After taming Messi, Iceland targeting Nigeria – Gunnarsson

By Philip O’Connor GELENDZHIK, Russia, June 17 : Iceland’s dream World Cup debut may have gotten them a point against two-time champions Argentina, but Aron Gunnarsson and his team mates are already putting that result behind them as they move on to the challenge of Nigeria. The resilient islanders showed their iron will once again, […]

Australia rue their bad luck but look forward with confidence

By Nick Mulvenney KAZAN, Russia, June 16 : Australia coach Bert van Marwijk said his gutsy team should count themselves just plain unlucky to have gone down 2-1 to France in their World Cup opener on Saturday and can look forward with confidence to their remaining Group C matches. The Socceroos looked transformed from the […]

Southgate tells England players his secret starting team

By Simon Evans REPINO, Russia, June 16 : England manager Gareth Southgate has told his players the starting line-up for Monday’s World Cup Group G opener against Tunisia and is hoping to keep it secret until shortly before kick off. Southgate confirmed to ITV on Saturday that the players now knew who would start and […]

Costa Rica ready for new adventure starting against Serbia

By Jack Tarrant SAMARA, Russia, June 16 : Costa Rica were the surprise team of the World Cup four years ago in Brazil, reaching the quarter-finals on the back of resilient defensive organisation. This time, under a different coach in Oscar Ramirez, the Central Americans know there are different expectations from their fans and the […]

Balls deflate in France v Australia opener

By Ian Ransom KAZAN, Russia, Jun 16 : Australia defender Trent Sainsbury made a big impact early in the World Cup opener against France on Saturday, bursting the ball in a tackle on the half-hour mark at Kazan Arena. Sainsbury won the Telstar ball deep in defence near France’s left corner but stopped suddenly with […]