Mexico-Germany World Cup game tops 11 million viewers on Telemundo and FOX combined

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Mexico-Germany delivered more than 11 million viewers across Telemundo Deportes and FOX Sports combined in a World Cup game that broke several records for both broadcasters. Telemundo’s live coverage of the World Cup game between Mexico and Germany averaged 7.12 million viewers, making it the most-watched sporting event ever in the history of the Spanish-language Telemundo network. The game also achieved other milestones, including: • The most-watched World Cup group stage game ever on Spanish-language TV (since 1994);
• Telemundo’s most-watched Mexico World Cup group stage match ever in any language on any network (since 1994); and
• Most live-streamed event in Telemundo history with 1.1 million unique online viewers. Meanwhile, FOX Sports drew 4,002,000 viewers on FS1, only to be eclipsed later in the day by Brazil’s exciting 1-1 draw with Switzerland on FS1, which attracted viewership of 4,086,000 viewers. Telemundo’s coverage of the Brazil-Switzerland game, which was also simulcast Continue reading "Mexico-Germany World Cup game tops 11 million viewers on Telemundo and FOX combined"

Saudi Arabia players land safely at Rostov after plane caught fire in midair

• On-board video shows flames licking around one of the wings
• Saudi preparing to face Uruguay in Group A on WednesdaySaudi Arabia’s plane has landed safely despite a terrifying incident when it caught fire during their flight to Rostov-on-Don for the World Cup game against Uruguay on Wednesday. The Saudi Arabian Football Federation posted a statement on Twitter saying it “would like to reassure everyone that all the Saudi national team players are safe, after a technical failure in one of the airplane engines that has just landed in Rostov-on-Don airport, and now they’re heading to their residence safely”. Continue reading...

FOX adds Clarence Seedorf to try to resuscitate World Cup studio analysis

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Clarence Seedorf (far left) on BBC.

In an obvious attempt to try to boost disappointing World Cup tactical analysis by FOX Sports’ studio talent, the US English-language broadcaster has hired Clarence Seedorf to join the FOX team for the duration of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Seedorf will be based in Moscow and will offer his tactical nous to the pre-match, half-time and post-match analysis on FOX Sports. The former Dutch footballer has a wealth of knowledge and was an analyst for BBC during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. FOX Sports is in desperate need to try to boost its coverage after it has been met with a tirade of criticism from sports fans across the United States. Much of the criticism has focused on the unwatchable match analysis that has been short on substance. Specifically, former Russia manager Guus Hiddink has been unable to grind out any Continue reading "FOX adds Clarence Seedorf to try to resuscitate World Cup studio analysis"

England’s late winner was ‘justice’ after Tunisia’s tactics, says Harry Kane

• Captain believes his side should have had a couple of penalties
• ‘Good teams score late goals,’ says coach, Gareth SouthgateHarry Kane argued justice had been done after the England captain nodded his side’s stoppage‑time winner having seen two vociferous penalty appeals for fouls by Yassine Meriah waved away by the Colombian referee, Wilmar Roldan. The Tottenham Hotspur forward was twice wrestled to the ground at corners as England heaved to re-establish the lead surrendered to a relatively soft penalty, awarded against Kyle Walker. As it was, Kane’s first goals at a major finals, both from set pieces, ensured England won their opening group game for the sixth time at a World Cup. Continue reading...

Saudi World Cup team’s plane suffers engine fire

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) – The plane carrying Saudi Arabia’s World Cup team suffered a fire in one of its engines as the players flew to Rostov-on-Don for their next match, the Saudi football federation said Monday. The aircraft landed safely after what one of the Saudi players called a “simple malfunction”. “It was a small fire in one of the engines, the right engine, but the plane landed safely,” association president Ahmad Al Harbi told Saudi sports TV channel KSA. One of the Saudi players, Hatan Bahbir, said in a video on the federation’s Twitter account: “We arrived safely and we are all fine… it was a simple malfunction’.” In the video, someone off-camera asks him if he was scared. He replies: “No, no. Well, of course we were scared a bit, but thank God.” The Saudi Arabian Football Federation said in a statement it “would like to
Continue reading "Saudi World Cup team’s plane suffers engine fire"

England almost pay price for carelessness at both ends | Dominic Fifield

Profligacy in attack and sloppiness in defence very nearly cost England two points against Tunisia before Kane’s rescue act Amid all the positivity which had swept this vibrant, attack-minded England side to Volgograd and the joy which accompanied their departure back to St Petersburg, Gareth Southgate will be more acutely aware of this team’s shortcomings now. Principal among them is profligacy. Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard have scored 144 goals for their various club sides, albeit not always in the top flight, since the 2014 World Cup, but have now contributed only five in 73 caps between them for the national team. Some of the misses here were excruciating and undermined an otherwise dominant performance. Until England find a way of easing the goalscoring burden on Harry Kane, their excellent approach play will invariably bring frustration. Southgate must coax bite from those at the captain’s back. Continue reading...

Harry Kane keeps his head and England find a ray of sunshine | Barney Ronay

England’s talismanic captain scores at both ends of the pitch, at both ends of the game and from about three yards each time Oh, Harry. At the end of a puzzling, sweltering, deeply confusing World Cup Group G opener, it is probably fair to say Harry Kane didn’t just save his team with a headed winner in the final, desperate knockings. He rescued us all from the heavy weather and the unbearable introspection of another slow first-week death. Football is a strange game at times, a vast frothing narrative built on the tiniest of details, on elements of personality and basic luck that could quite easily have fallen the other way. Continue reading...

Swiss fans book hotel in wrong Russian Rostov

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Moscow (AFP) – A group of Swiss World Cup fans booked a hotel in the wrong Russian city, confusing Rostov-on-Don where Switzerland played Brazil on Sunday, with Rostov Veliky, 1281 km (795 miles) away.  Russian media reported the fans called police when they could not find the hotel, while finding the same street name in the World Cup host city. “Foreign tourists who have come to support Switzerland called us and said they were looking for a hotel,” local police said in a statement on Monday. “Our translator told them they were confused in the difficulties of translating Russian geographical names and that they booked a hotel in Rostov Veliky.”  Rostov’s police press service told Russian media it has employed professional translators and volunteers who speak Spanish, English, Arabic and French for the period of the World Cup.  It added that it helped the confused fans find Continue reading "Swiss fans book hotel in wrong Russian Rostov"

Mexico face FIFA action over ‘homophobic’ chants


Moscow (AFP) – FIFA said Monday it had opened disciplinary proceedings against Mexico after supporters allegedly shouted a homophobic slur during the World Cup match against Germany. The world football body gave no details of the nature of the insults but media reports said Mexican fans aimed the shouts at Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Mexico inflicted a shock 1-0 defeat on the World Cup holders in the match on Sunday. FIFA took no action when the same chant was widely heard when Mexico played at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It now takes a harder line and other Latin American teams have been fined for the same chant.

Kane grabs late winner for England, Belgium beat Panama

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Volgograd (Russia) (AFP) – Harry Kane grabbed a dramatic late winner for England on Monday, powering home a header in the dying minutes of their World Cup opener after Belgium had earlier swept past Panama. Gareth Southgate’s team won 2-1 after it looked as if they had squandered their chance to take all three points when they faded in the second half following a bright opening but the Tottenham striker, who also scored England’s opener, was not to be denied.  Menaced by flying insects under the floodlights in Volgograd, England raced out of the blocks and took an early lead in the Group G match through Kane. But the young English team squandered multiple chances, with Jesse Lingard particularly wasteful, and Tunisia made them pay when Ferjani Sassi scored from the penalty spot after Kyle Walker was adjudged to have fouled Fakhreddine Ben Youssef. Despite enjoying the bulk of Continue reading "Kane grabs late winner for England, Belgium beat Panama"

Martinez worried over opposition targeting of Belgian skipper Hazard

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Sochi (Russia) (AFP) – Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said he is concerned aggressive targeting of Eden Hazard by opposition defenders could lead to his side losing their captain and star player at the World Cup. Belgium ran out 3-0 winners over tournament new boys Panama in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday, with Dries Mertens opening the scoring before Romelu Lukaku netted twice. Chelsea star Hazard set up Lukaku’s second goal, as the Red Devils overcame a difficult first half in the Group G encounter. But the game was also marked by some tough challenges, with five Panama players booked by the Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe. “It is a worry that in any of those tackles he could really get hurt,” said Martinez. “It doesn’t worry me if that is a way of trying to stop him. Everyone is allowed to prepare games in the way that Continue reading "Martinez worried over opposition targeting of Belgian skipper Hazard"

Captain fantastic Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the last

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Volgograd (Russia) (AFP) – Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday. Gareth Southgate’s men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time. And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark. But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates. England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes. First Jordan Henderson’s lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Continue reading "Captain fantastic Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the last"

Croatia game ‘crucial’ for Argentina – Mercado

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Bronnitsy (Russia) (AFP) – Argentina defender Gabriel Mercado admitted his team’s World Cup hopes will be on the line in Thursday’s second group game against Croatia. Lionel Messi missed a penalty as Argentina were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by tournament debutants Iceland in their Group D opener at the weekend. Croatia lead the group after a 2-0 victory over Nigeria and would seal their place in the knockout stages with a win against Argentina in Nizhny Novgorod. “The reality is that this game is crucial for us, knowing we weren’t able to get the three points the other day,” said Mercado.  “This is a vital game. We need to win to go ahead of them.”  The Sevilla player highlighted Spain-based midfield duo Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic as the dangermen for Zlatko Dalic’s side. “We know that Croatia has those two players in the centre who Continue reading "Croatia game ‘crucial’ for Argentina – Mercado"

R.I.P. Walter Bahr

Walter Bahr's 1950 World Cup shirt. National Soccer Hall of Famer and USMNT player Walter Bahr died on Monday, June 18, 2018. Bahr was a member of the 1950 World Cup squad that beat England 1-0 in Brazil. The members of that team entered the National Soccer Hall of Fame together in 1976, responsible for one of the most famous moments in world soccer. The story eventually became the movie The Game of their Lives. Bahr would play 19 times for the USMNT, but it was his shot deflected into the English goal by teammate Joe Gaetjens that would be his seminal moment in a USA shirt. Bahr's time with the USMNT started in 1948 where he played in the London Olympics. In what was then a knockout competition, the USMNT lost 9-0 to Italy at Brentford's Griffin Park on August 2. Bahr became a key member of the squad during the 1949 World Cup Continue reading "R.I.P. Walter Bahr"

Harry Kane double ensures England defeat Tunisia in World Cup opener

The clock had ticked past the 90-minute mark when the corner came in. Harry Kane was there. He had told us he wanted to emulate Cristiano Ronaldo with a hat-trick of goals. He managed only two but this, undoubtedly, was the biggest moment yet of his international career and suddenly England’s opening game of the World Cup had the happy ending it deserved. Until that point, it had been threatening to be another case of the same old story and a familiar sense of deja vu. England, after all, had managed only five wins in their opening fixtures of either the World Cup or the European Championship since 1950. Continue reading...

Harry Kane double ensures England defeat Tunisia in World Cup opener

The clock had ticked past the 90-minute mark when the corner came in. Harry Kane was there. He had told us he wanted to emulate Cristiano Ronaldo with a hat-trick of goals. He managed only two but this, undoubtedly, was the biggest moment yet of his international career and suddenly England’s opening game of the World Cup had the happy ending it deserved. Until that point, it had been threatening to be another case of the same old story and a familiar sense of deja vu. England, after all, had managed only five wins in their opening fixtures of either the World Cup or the European Championship since 1950. Continue reading...