AP World Cup Digest
Highlights of AP World Cup coverage. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, https://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan. You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page, https://newsroom.ap.org. Sports content can be found at http://newsroom.ap.org/page/APSports.
ASH-SHHANIYA, Qatar - Like all good pageant contestants, the winner on Friday displayed not only beauty but also poise and style. Afterward, Nazaa batted her eyes and showed off a tooth smile for the television camera, wearing the winner’s banner. Just outside of Doha, Nazaa won the hotly contested Mzayen World Cup -- basically just like the soccer World Cup going on a few miles away. Except for camels. By Anne M. Peterson. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos, video by 1400 GMT.
DOHA, Qatar - Christian Pulisic is on track to play for the United States in its World Cup round of 16 match against the Netherlands on Saturday. Pulisic left Tuesday’s group stage finale against Iran at halftime after bruising his pelvic bone while scoring in the 38th minute. The Americans won 1-0 to advance. Pulisic said Thursday he was feeling better. U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter says “it looks pretty good, but we’ll have to see him today on the pitch to get confirmation of that.” By Ronald Blum. SENT: 250 words, photos.
DOHA, Qatar -- Brazil needs a draw against Cameroon to secure first place in Group G, while Cameroon needs a win to keep alive its hopes of advancing to the round of 16 at the World Cup. Brazil coach Tite will rotate his player in the team’s last group match. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos, game starts at 1900 GMT.
AL RAYYAN, Qatar - Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal has already qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup and now is looking to clinch first place in its group when the team takes on South Korea, led by Son Heung-min. Portugal is looking to avoid a matchup against Brazil in the knockout stage. By Steve Douglas. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos, game starts at 1500 GMT.
AL WAKRAH, Qatar — Ghana and Uruguay meet in the final round of Group H games at the World Cup in a repeat of the contentious quarterfinal between them 12 years ago. Both teams are trying to book their place in the round of 16. By Gerald Imray. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos, game starts at 1500 GMT.
DOHA, Qatar - Serbia plays Switzerland at the World Cup on Friday in a head-to-head elimination match for a spot in the round of 16 alongside Group G leader Brazil. By James Robson. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos, game starts at 1900 GMT.
DOHA, Qatar -- It’s not how Spain imagined reaching the knockout phase of the World Cup: finishing the group stage with a loss and having to rely on other teams to help it advance. Spain survived but heads into the round of 16 against Morocco with bruised confidence after losing 2-1 to Japan. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 530 words, photos.
DOHA, Qatar--It is the end of an era for Belgium’s golden generation. But for the man who led it to third place at the 2018 World Cup it is the beginning of something new. A return to club soccer is on Roberto Martinez’ horizon, but which club may be dependent on how the Spanish coach’s time with Belgium’s most celebrated group of players is assessed. By James Robson. SENT: 672 words, photos.
The fact that Croatia conceded only one goal in its three group games at the World Cup is largely down to the performance of Joško Gvardiol. The 20-year-old Gvardiol is fast becoming the most sought-after center back in Europe because of his timely tackles and physical presence. Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić says Gvardiol is already “the best defender in the world.” Up next for Gvardiol and Croatia is a match in the round of 16 on Monday against a Japan squad that is coming off an inspiring victory over Spain and managed to advance ahead of four-time champion Germany. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 540 words, photos.
DOHA, Qatar - The United States faces the Netherlands in one of the opening games of the World Cup knockout round. The Americans advanced with a 1-0 win over Iran. Christian Pulisic, who scored the winning goal, is day-to-day with a pelvis injury suffered when he scored the game-winning goal. By AP National Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos, by 1900 GMT.
DOHA, Qatar - Gregg Berhalter went to the Netherlands 28 years ago to turn pro and will apply some of the early lessons he learned when he coaches the United States against the Dutch on Saturday for a berth in the World Cup’s quarterfinals. The U.S. was knocked out in the round of 16 in extra-time losses to Ghana in 2010 and Belgium in 2014 then failed to qualify for the 2018 tournament. The Americans have not reached the quarterfinals since 2002. The Netherlands is a three-time World Cup runner-up and finished third in 2014. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 460 words, photos.
DOHA, Qatar - Australia’s players speak in glowing and almost reverential terms about Lionel Messi. Mathew Leckie says Messi “does things that no one else can do.” Milos Degenek describes the Argentina star as “probably the best footballer ever to grace the game.” Imagine how they’ll be feeling Saturday when they share the same field as Messi and his Argentina team in the last 16 of the World Cup. These are pinch-yourself times for a group of unheralded players who were expected to be on their way home by this stage of the tournament. It looks to be a mismatch with Australia ranked No. 38 and Argentina starting to play like one of the favorites. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 685 words, photos.
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