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SOC—WCUP-IRAN-US-EMBLEM-GONE

The U.S. soccer federation is displaying Iran’s national flag on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic. The federation described the move as a show of support for protesters in Iran ahead of the two nations’ World Cup match Tuesday. The federation says in a statement Sunday that it decided to forego the official flag on social media accounts to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights.” The move comes as nationwide protests challenging Tehran’s theocratic government continue in Iran.

SOC—WCUP-JAPAN-COSTA RICA

DOHA, Qatar - Keysher Fuller scored in the 81st minute to lift Costa Rica to a 1-0 victory over Japan in the World Cup. This leaves both teams with three points after two games in Group E. Fuller took advantage of a defensive error when Japan failed to clear the ball and hit the net from 18 meters just off the fingertips of leaping Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda. The match was tactical and largely lackluster, particularly in a first half that did not yield a single shot on goal. The second half was slightly better with Japan pressing throughout until Costa Rica broke through. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 400 words, photos.

SOC—WCUP-SPAIN-GERMANY

AL KHOR, Qatar - Spain and Germany play one of the most anticipated matches of the World Cup group stage. The meeting between the world champions and pre-tournament favorites gained even more prominence thanks to Germany’s surprising loss to Japan in its opener in Qatar. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos, starts 1900 GMT.

SOC—WCUP-CROATIA-CANADA

AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Coming off an opening World Cup loss to Belgium, Canada meets Croatia, a losing 2018 finalist coming off a draw against Morocco. By Anne M. Peterson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos, starts 1600 GMT.

SOC—WCUP-BELGIUM-MOROCCO

DOHA, Qatar — Belgium plays Morocco in the second round of Group F games at the World Cup. By Gerald Imray. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos, starts 1300 GMT.

SOC--WCUP-BRAZIL-NEYMAR

DOHA, Qatar -- Neymar is working “24 hours a day” to try to recover from his ankle injury and play again at the World Cup, and Brazil coach Tite is optimistic that he will recover. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1700 GMT, photos.

SOC—WCUP-IRAN-KLINSMANN

DOHA, Qatar - Iran’s soccer federation and national team coach Carlos Queiroz have angrily hit back at former Germany great Jürgen Klinsmann for saying that Iranian World Cup players use dirty tactics because its in their “culture.” Both the federation and Queiroz on Sunday called for Klinsmann to resign from FIFA’s technical study group, while the federation said it demands an apology from the former Germany and U.S. national team coach. Klinsmann said it’s the Iranian players’ “culture” to play dirty and use tricks to turn the referee in their favor as he was commentating on Iran’s win over Wales for British broadcaster BBC. SENT: 300 words, photos.

SOC—WCUP-SAUDI-STREAMING-BAN

DOHA, Qatar - Saudi-based subscribers to the Qatari television network beIN Sports say the kingdom has inexplicably blocked access to the popular streaming service broadcasting the World Cup. By Isabel DeBre. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos, by 1400 GMT.

SOC—WCUP-FRANCE-VARANE'S-RETURN

DOHA, Qatar - Kylian Mbappe’s goals took defending champion France into the World Cup round of 16. Raphael Varane’s return gave the French an added reason to celebrate. The pre-tournament injury blues are fading. Les Bleus are feeling upbeat again and looking like one of the tournament favorites. Mbappe’s two goals in Saturday’s 2-1 win against Denmark helped the French become the first defending World Cup champions to reach the round of 16 since Brazil in 2006. France’s night was made even better by Varane’s return. It was the elegant central defender’s first game since limping off in tears after sustaining a hamstring injury playing for Manchester United on Oct. 11. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 4O0 words, photos.

SOC—WCUP-GOALLESS-MEXICO

DOHA, Qatar - Mexico’s inability to score — or stop Lionel Messi — has put the team on the edge of missing the knockout stage at the World Cup for the first time since 1978. Mexico has gone without a goal for 384 minutes since their second group stage match at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The scoring drought continued Saturday night with a 2-0 loss to Messi and Argentina, dropping El Tri got last place in Group C. Mexico has one remaining game, a must-win against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 547 words, photos.

SOC—WCUP-VIEWER'S GUIDE

DOHA, Qatar -- Cristiano Ronaldo leads Portugal against Uruguay, but fellow soccer superstar Neymar will be sidelined Monday with an ankle injury when Brazil plays Switzerland. By AP National Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 900 words 1800 GMT, photos.

SOC—WCUP-BRAZIL-SWITZERLAND PREVIEW

DOHA, Qatar – Brazil will not have Neymar to face Switzerland at the World Cup on Monday. Instead, the Swiss will have to deal with Richarlison, and Vinicius Junior, and Raphinha, and Rodrygo. Swiss coach Murat Yakin says “even the center backs and goalkeeper” are super skilled in a Brazilian squad lacking its injured star. Both teams won their first game in Qatar. They also played a 1-1 draw in the group stage at the last World Cup when both advanced to the knockout rounds. By Graham Dunbar. UPCOMING: 450 words by 14:30 GMT

SOC—WCUP-PORTUGAL-URUGUAY PREVIEW

DOHA, Qatar - Aother game and another personal milestone. For all the turmoil that has surrounded Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of what is likely to be his final World Cup the Portugal great continues make his mark. On Thursday he became the first man to score in five World Cups. A win against Uruguay on Monday would secure Portugal’s place in the knockout stages with a game to spare after its opening 3-2 win against Ghana. By James Robson. SENT: 500 words, photos.

SOC—WCUP-CAMEROON-SERBIA PREVIEW

DOHA, Qatar — After failing to score and losing their opening games, Cameroon and Serbia need their strikers on target when they meet Monday at the World Cup. Serbia has a fine finisher in Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, but he has only just shaken off a groin injury. Coach Dragan Stojkovic could pair him with Aleksandar Mitrovic. Cameroon coach Rigobert Song will likely keep a three-man attack with Bryan Mbuemo on the right of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Karl Toko Ekambi on his left. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 360 words, photos.

SOC—WCUP-SOUTH-KOREA-GHANA PREVIEW

DOHA, Qatar - Ghana coach Otto Addo has been impressed with Son Heung-min ever since he coached the South Korea forward at the youth level. The two will be reunited on Monday when Ghana meets South Korea in a World Cup Group H match. Ghana knows that a defeat will mean World Cup elimination after losing to Portugal in their opening Group H match. The South Koreans challenged Uruguay in their tough opener, coming away with a 0-0 draw. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 400 words, photos.

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