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Brazil punches ticket for World Cup

Brazil became the first team to qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday after beating Paraguay to clinch an eighth consecutive victory as Argentina’s campaign stumbled after the shock suspension of Lionel Messi. Five-time champion Brazil had been left waiting in suspense after goals from Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Marcelo ...

/ Mar 29, 2017

Konno out for four to six weeks with broken toe

Gamba Osaka midfielder Yasuyuki Konno, who broke his left toe during Japan’s away World Cup qualifier against the United Arab Emirates last week, will need four to six weeks to recover fully from the injury, the J. League club said Wednesday. Konno filled in ...

Messi may face ban for insulting match official

Mar 28, 2017

Messi may face ban for insulting match official

FIFA announced it has opened a disciplinary case against Lionel Messi after TV pictures showed the Argentina forward verbally abusing a match official in a World Cup qualifying game against Chile. FIFA can judge Messi before Tuesday’s qualifier in Bolivia and impose a ban ...

Mar 28, 2017

CAS reduces Ademi's doping ban

Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Arijan Ademi has had his doping ban for an anabolic steroid reduced to two years on appeal. The Court of Arbitration for Sport halved Ademi’s initial four-year ban by UEFA because he proved he had not intended to cheat. Ademi, who ...

Thailand hoping to frustrate Japan in World Cup qualifier

/ Mar 27, 2017

Thailand hoping to frustrate Japan in World Cup qualifier

Thailand will go for broke against Japan in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier with hopes of reproducing Singapore’s epic draw at Saitama Stadium in the previous qualifying round. “We have nothing to lose,” Thai coach Kiatisuk Senamuang said on Monday. “We have the heart and ...

Trio edge closer to 2018 World Cup

/ Mar 27, 2017

Trio edge closer to 2018 World Cup

Germany, England and Poland all took another step toward World Cup qualification but the Netherlands’ failure to do the same cost national team coach Danny Blind his job on Sunday. The Dutch association fired Blind one day after his team’s humiliating 2-0 defeat to ...

Kagawa taking nothing for granted under Halilhodzic

/ Mar 26, 2017

Kagawa taking nothing for granted under Halilhodzic

Shinji Kagawa may have returned to the starting lineup for Japan in Thursday’s win over the United Arab Emirates, but the Dortmund midfielder feels far from certain about his place in the first team. Following training on Sunday for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against ...

Bulgaria deals Dutch World Cup setback

/ Mar 26, 2017

Bulgaria deals Dutch World Cup setback

The Netherlands’ hopes of reaching the World Cup finals suffered a major setback on Saturday when the three-time runner-up slumped to a shock 2-0 defeat to Bulgaria. The loss left the Dutch six points behind Group A leader France, which beat Luxembourg 3-1, and ...

Mar 25, 2017

Kobayashi, Endo named injury replacements for match against Thailand

Injured Yasuyuki Konno, Yuya Osako and Yojiro Takahagi have been replaced by Yu Kobayashi and Wataru Endo for Japan’s World Cup qualifier against Thailand, the Japan Football Association announced Saturday. Konno suffered a broken left toe during Thursday’s 2-0 win over the United Arab ...