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The Latest: Portugal, Spain want routine wins to advance

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408   //    25 Jun 2018, 04:00 IST
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MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Sunday at the World Cup (all times local):

1:10 a.m.

Portugal and Spain want routine victories to lock up its place in the knockout rounds.

The first day of simultaneous matches at the tournament Monday includes Portugal playing Iran at the same time its neighbor and rival faces Morocco.

Portugal and Spain could each advance with a win, a draw or a loss — depending what its rival does in the other match. Or they could knock out Iran and both move through.

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12:50 a.m.

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman says the team's 3-0 win over Poland was dedicated to midfielder Carlos Sanchez, who was sent off in the first group match and received a death threat.

Pekerman said Sanchez "has had a very hard time these last few days. We achieved this victory and I wanted to share it with him. I'm expressing it personally but it's something that the whole squad feels."

Sanchez was given a red card in the third minute against Japan last Tuesday for a handball in the penalty area. Japan scored the resultant penalty and went on to beat Colombia 2-1.

Authorities in Colombia have said they are investigating a death threat made against Sanchez on social media. The ominous message referenced Andres Escobar, who was shot and killed days after returning to Colombia from the 1994 World Cup, where he scored an own-goal in a loss to the host United States.

Pekerman said that Sanchez, who served a one-match ban and wasn't eligible to play against Poland, "was deeply affected by this matter."

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10:55 p.m.

Radamel Falcao's first career World Cup goal has helped Colombia keep alive its hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage of the World Cup and eliminate Poland with a 3-0 win.

A Yerry Mina header from a floated James Rodriguez pass put Colombia in front just before halftime.

Falcao made it 2-0 in the 70th before Juan Cuadrado sealed it in the 75th on a breakaway after Poland gave the ball away at midfield.

Both teams opened with 2-1 losses in Group H, and knew going into the match that another loss would end their hopes of advancing at the World Cup. Poland came into the tournament ranked eighth in the world.

Senegal and Japan drew 2-2 earlier Sunday and lead the group with four points apiece. Colombia has three points and would advance with a win Thursday over Senegal.

— Associated Press writer Samuel Petrequin reported from Kazan.

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10:32 p.m.

Poland is suddenly down 3-0 to Colombia and on the verge of crashing out of the World Cup after just two games thanks to second-half strikes from Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado.

Falcao scored his first career World Cup goal in the 70th minute on a through ball from Juan Quintero. The Colombian captain beat the offside trap and Polish 'keeper Wojciech Szczesny to double the lead after a Yerry Mina header had put Colombia up in the first half.

Minutes after Falcao's finish, Poland gave the ball away in midfield and Cuadrado rushed toward the box on a breakaway, timed his shot perfectly and beat Szczesny in the 75th.

Poland will be eliminated with a loss.

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9:50 p.m.

Colombia leads Poland 1-0 at halftime in the much-win second group game in Kazan.

Yerry Mina outjumped the Poland defenders to open the scoring with a fine header from a James Rodriguez cross in the 40th minute, rewarding a spell of domination by the Colombians.

Both teams opened with 2-1 losses in Group H, and knew going into the match that another loss would end their hopes of advancing at the World Cup.

Colombia was upset by Japan, becoming the first South American team to lose a game to an Asian team at the World Cup. Poland lost to Senegal, who are back at the World Cup for the first time since reaching the quarterfinals in 2002.

Senegal and Japan had a 2-2 draw earlier Sunday and lead the group with four points apiece.

The atmosphere is hot and humid in the Tatarstan's capital and early exchanges have been heated with lots of hard impacts in duels. 

Poland got away to an aggressive start and tried to impose a fast pace, pressing its opponents very high on the pitch and winning most of the duels in the opening minutes.

Colombia gradually settled in, though, with its midfielders providing attacking width and playmaker Juan Quintero being a constant threat.

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9:19 p.m.

Lewis Hamilton kept himself up to date on the happenings in Russia even though he had a race to win in France.

Hamilton, who won the French Grand Prix on Sunday, says he didn't get to watch England's 6-1 victory over Panama at the World Cup.

"When I walked in the garage I saw a screen. It was 6-0 at the time," the reigning Formula One champ said.

He called it a great result but said, "I don't know how England would be able to handle winning the World Cup."

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8:56 p.m.

Former Colombia 'keeper Rene Higuita has traveled to Kazan to support the Cafeteros against Poland in the World Cup.

Higuita, who is remembered for the spectacular "Scorpio Kick" he made during a friendly match against England back in 1995 and frequently during his club career, has been greeting the players as they returned to the locker room after they finished their warmup.

Higuita played in the 1990 World Cup but missed the 1994 tournament after gaining notoriety for befriending drug lord Pablo Escobar.

— Associated Press writer Sam Petrequin reported from Kazan.

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8:45 p.m.

Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho will be available for Monday's World Cup game against Iran but has been given no assurances about being in the starting lineup.

Coach Fernando Santos says only that Moutinho will be among the 23 eligible to play.

Moutinho missed two days of practice because of a cold but returned on Sunday.

Portugal and Spain lead Group B with four points apiece, one point clear of Iran. Portugal needs at least a draw to ensure it advances to the next stage. It can still top the group depending on Spain's result against Morocco.

Santos says Iran, the top-ranked team in Asia, will be hard to beat. Iran's best shot at advancing is a win over Portugal.

"Iran is not a merely defensive side, when they have the ball they know how to play," Santos says.

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8:10 p.m.

Jose Pekerman has decided to field a very attacking team and to start playmaker James Rodriguez for Colombia's World Cup game against Poland.

Pekerman used Rodriguez, the top scorer at the 2014 World Cup, as a second-half substitute during Colombia's 2-1 opening loss to Japan. Rodriguez has been hampered by a left calf-muscle injury recently.

He will be playing alongside creative midfielder Juan Quintero and the versatile Juan Cuadrado, with Radamel Falcao leading the attack. Wilmar Barrios takes suspended Carlos Sanchez's spot as a defensive midfielder.

Poland coach Adam Nawalka made four changes following the 2-1 loss to Senegal. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has kept his place in the heart of Poland's attacking line, backed up on the wings by Piotr Zielinski and Dawid Kownacki.

Lineups:

Poland: Wojciech Szczesny, Michal Pazdan, Jan Bednarek, Jacek Goralski, Robert Lewandowski, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Maciej Rybus, Bartosz Bereszynski, Piotr Zielinski, Lukasz Piszczek, Dawid Kownacki.

Colombia: David Ospina, Santiago Arias, Wilmar Barrios, Abel Aguilar, Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, Yerry Mina, Johan Mojica, Juan Quintero, Davinson Sanchez.

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8 p.m.

Two Germany team officials face FIFA punishment for provoking Sweden's bench when celebrating a late victory in the tense World Cup Group F match.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel opened cases against Ulrich Voigt and Georg Behlau from the German staff.

Footage shows Voigt and Behlau walking toward the Sweden dugout at the final whistle and seeming to gloat by clapping and pointing at their opponents.

Their behavior provoked a confrontation between players and team officials.

Germany's 2-1 win came from a Toni Kroos goal deep into stoppage time.

In other cases opened Sunday, FIFA says Stephan Lichtsteiner is the third Switzerland player charged for making the hand gesture of an Albanian two-headed eagle to celebrate a goal in a 2-1 win over Serbia in Group E.

Serbia's coach Mladen Krstajic and federation president Slavisa Kokeza have had disciplinary cases opened against them for comments made after the game, FIFA says.

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7:52 p.m.

Japan and Senegal have had a 2-2 draw in a result that will keep the two underdogs atop the World Cup group.

Both teams opened with surprising 2-1 wins— Japan over Colombia and Senegal over Poland — and lead Group H with four points.

Colombia and Poland were playing later Sunday.

Sadio Mane scored the opener for Senegal in the 11th minute after finding himself in the right spot and deflected the ball past goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

Takashi Inui equalized with a low right-foot in the 34th.

Senegal regained the lead in the 71st when Moussa Wague scored from close range but veteran Keisuke Honda equalized again for Japan six minutes after coming off the bench.

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7:35 p.m.

It's 2-2 with 12 minutes to go in regulation after Keisuke Honda scored an equalizer for Japan to offset a goal from Senegal's Moussa Wague in the second half.

Mbaye Niang back heeled a feed from Youssouf Sabaly and Wague swooped in from the right and drove it hard past Eiji Kawashima in the 71st minute.

Honda had just come as a substitute in the 72nd to replacing Shinji Kagawa and scored six minutes later from close range

Both teams won their opening matches 2-1.

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7:10 p.m.

FIFA has fined Denmark's soccer federation 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,200) for misconduct by fans at the team's 1-1 draw with Australia, including a sexist banner.

FIFA says Danish fans also threw objects at Australia supporters and disrespected "pre-match protocol." Fans are required to respect the national anthem of an opponent before a game.

Denmark was also charged for fans displaying a "a sexist banner" at the game in Samara.

FIFA is using anti-discrimination monitors to spot offensive behavior at the World Cup.

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7 p.m.

The German football federation says Sebastian Rudy has undergone surgery after breaking his nose during his team's 2-1 win over Sweden at the World Cup.

Rudy was forced to leave the pitch after taking a boot to his face in the first half.

The injury is likely sideline the Bayern Munich midfielder for Germany's last group game against South Korea on Wednesday in Kazan.

Toni Kroos scored the winner for Germany deep in stoppage time against Sweden, keeping the defending champions in contention to advance to the knockout stage.

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6:46 p.m.

Group leaders Japan and Senegal are deadlocked at a goal apiece at halftime of their World Cup match in Yekaterinburg.

Takashi Inui evened the score when he curled the ball just inside the right post in the 34th minute. 

Yuto Nagatomo took a deep pass in the box and tapped it to a cutting Inui, who controlled it with the outside of his foot, pulled it back and drove it hard into the corner past Senegal goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye.

Sadio Mane put Senegal up in the 11th when Japanese keeper Eiji Kawashima ill-advisedly tried to punch clear a low shot and it ricocheted off Mane.

The teams sit atop Group H with Poland and Colombia playing later Saturday.

No Asian team has ever won both of its opening games at the World Cup.

— AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower reported from Yekaterinburg.

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6:25 p.m.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has his own version of the three Rs he's hoping will help his team advance to the knockout stage of the World Cup.

Brazil's famous three Rs — Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos — were instrumental in winning the 2002 World Cup.

Queiroz doesn't have the same caliber of player, so he has a different spin on the theme ahead of the Monday's game against Portugal.

He says "I base everything in respect, realism and romanticism. Three Rs."

Iran needs to Cristiano Ronald and the Portugal lineup to advance from Group B.

"Respect we all know what it is. Realism is our team having in mind we are playing against one of the title contenders. And romanticism is about playing our game according with foundations of football, having in mind that the leader of Iran is not a player, but the team itself," Queiroz said.

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6:12 p.m.

Sadio Mane has his first goal of this World Cup, giving Senegal a 1-0 lead over Japan.

The Senegal striker found himself in the right place at the right time in the 11th minute, deflecting in a missed shot by Youssouf Sabaly past Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

Mane rarely threatened in Senegal's opening win over Poland, but said prior the game that he hadn't lost confidence in his scoring ability. 

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6:03 p.m.

Egypt's 45-year-old backup goalkeeper says he would be the world's happiest man if he were to play in his country's final World Cup match and become the tournament's oldest player ever.

Essam Al Hadary did not play in Egypt's 1-0 loss to Uruguay or its 3-1 loss to Russia, and there is no word on whether he will get into Monday's match against Saudi Arabia.

Both teams are already eliminated.

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5:45 p.m.

Herve Renard has suggested he will not field unused squad members in Morocco's last World Cup group game against Spain, even though his team has no chance of advancing.

Morocco is out of contention for the knock-out stages in Russia following 1-0 defeats to both Iran and Portugal. But coach Renard says "I'm going to play this last match as if we were trying to get qualified."

Asked about the prospect of giving game time to other players, Renard says: "My job is not to try and please people; my job ... is to challenge the Spanish team, to cause difficulties and to make the Moroccan people even prouder."

Morocco takes on Spain in Kaliningrad on Monday night.

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5:28 p.m.

Uruguay defender Jose Maria Gimenez has been ruled out of the team's final World Cup group stage match because of a right thigh injury.

Gimenez scored in Uruguay's 1-0 victory over Egypt to start the tournament. La Celeste also defeated Saudi Arabia 1-0 to secure a spot in the knockout round heading into Monday's match against hosts Russia.

The 23-year-old center back has been key to the team's two shutouts. Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez would not reveal Sunday who would replace the Atletico Madrid defender.

Russia has also qualified in Group A for the round of 16. Monday's match will help determine who plays against Spain, Portugal or Serbia, the three teams playing the following day for the top two spots in Group B.

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5:15 p.m.

Pape Alioune Ndiaye has replaced Mame Diouf is the only change to the Senegal lineup for the World Cup Group H game against Japan.

Both teams opened with 2-1 wins in the group, with Senegal beating Poland and Japan upsetting Colombia to register the first victory by an Asian team over a South American country at the World Cup.

Japan has retained the same starting lineup that started against Colombia.

Lineups:

Japan: Eiji Kawashima; Gen Shoji, Yuto Nagatomo, Gaku Shibasaki, Genki Haraguchi, Shinji Kagawa, Takashi Inui, Yuya Osako, Makoto Hasebe, Hiroki Sakai, Maya Yoshida.

Senegal: Khadim Ndiaye; Kalidou Koulibaly, Idrissa Gane Gueye, Salif Sane, Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Sadio Mane, Youssouf Sabaly, Alfred Ndiaye, Ismaila Sarr, Mbaye Niang, Moussa Wague.

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5:04 p.m.

Switzerland's soccer federation president does not expect FIFA to suspend Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri for their goal celebrations against Serbia.

Peter Gillieron says he expects a "quick decision" after FIFA announced a disciplinary case late Saturday for the players making hand gestures of a two-headed eagle that is an Albanian national symbol.

Xhaka and Shaqiri have ethnic Albanian heritage linked to Kosovo, a former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008. Serbia does not recognize that independence.

Gillieron says in an interview published by Swiss news website "20 Minutes" that "I don't have any concerns" about FIFA's disciplinary committee suspending the players for Switzerland's game against Costa Rica on Wednesday.

FIFA rules prohibit political gestures by players or fans, and let the disciplinary panel act on "serious infringements which have escaped the match officials' attention."

Xhaka and Shaqiri, whose 90th-minute goal gave Switzerland a 2-1 win, would likely have been shown a yellow card at the time for their celebrations.

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4:53 p.m.

Harry Kane scored a hat trick to propel England to its most emphatic World Cup victory and into the knockout stage.

With John Stones heading in twice and Jesse Lingard curling in a shot, England beat Panama 6-1 and scored its most goals ever in a World Cup game.

Two of Kane's goals came from the penalty spot and the third via his heel, sending the striker to the top of the scoring chart in Russia with five — one more than Cristiano Ronaldo.

The ruthless performance ensures England goes into the Group G finale against Belgium level on points and with the same goal difference after conceding a late goal to Panama.

The central American side, on its World Cup debut, joins Tunisia in making an early exit.

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4.36 p.m.

Panama has scored its first World Cup goal — after conceding six in the game against England.

Substitute Felipe Baloy scored Panama's goal in the 78th minute in Nizhny Novgorod for a tiny bit of joy for the World Cup first-timers.

England captain Harry Kane scored a hat-trick, defender John Stones scored twice, and Jesse Lingard netted with a sublime curling shot off the crossbar to all but guarantee England's progression to the last 16.

Belgium would also qualify for the knockout stages from Group G with an England victory.

England led 5-0 at halftime, with Kane's two first-half goals coming from penalties. He was credited with a third in the 62nd minute, although it was a fortunate deflection off him that wrong-footed Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

As well as the last 16, England is also on course for its biggest win at the World Cup. Previously, England had never won by more than three goals.

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4:25 p.m.

Liverpool and Egypt striker Mohamed Salah's shoulder injury appears to have significantly improved ahead of the Pharaohs' last World Cup game against Saudi Arabia.

Injured in last month's Champions League final, Salah showed more energy and upper body mobility in practice than earlier in the tournament, but did not appear he was 100 percent fit in warmup drills in Volgograd, Russia.

Salah did not play in Egypt's 1-0 loss to Uruguay June 15, but started against Russia five days later, scoring from the penalty in a 3-1 loss. Both eliminated, the Saudis and Egyptians play each other Monday.

— Associated Press writer Hamza Hendawi reported from Volgograd.

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4:22 p.m.

Harry Kane is the third Englishman to score three goals in a World Cup game, completing the hat trick with a lucky deflection to give his team a 6-0 lead over Panama in the 62nd minute.

Kane scored two penalties in the first half and has now overtaken Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku of Belgium as the leading scorer in Russia with five goals — if he gets to keep his third goal. The score is set to be a record for England at the World Cup.

Defender John Stones also scored twice to see England cruise toward a place in the last 16. An England win over Panama would see it qualify and also send Belgium through as well.

Jesse Lingard got England's third goal with a sublime curling shot off the crossbar in the 36th. Stones got his second before Kane again fired in from the penalty spot in first-half injury time.

Panama is playing at its first World Cup ever and has now conceded nine goals in less than two games.

— AP Sports Writer Gerald Imray reported from Nizhny Novgorod.

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4:15 p.m.

A day after being put under investigation by FIFA for complaining about the refereeing of their 2-1 World Cup loss to Switzerland and misbehavior by fans, Serbia's football association says it has filed an official complaint with football's governing body alleging "biased officiating" by referee Feliz Brych.

In a statement posted on its website Sunday, the Football Association of Serbia says it has submitted to FIFA "seven videos that clearly showed tendency in officiating of the referee Brych to the detriment of our national team."

Serbia officials have complained vociferously since Friday's match in Kaliningrad that their team was not awarded a penalty for a second-half challenge by two Swiss defenders on Aleksandar Mitrovic and that Brych did not consult the Video Assistant Referee about the incident.

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4 p.m.

England coach Gareth Southgate cautioned that the cannily taken photo of training ground notes that ruffled feathers between the team and the media didn't indicate what the lineup could be for Sunday's World Cup game against Panama. He was right.

Raheem Sterling retained his place in the starting lineup after an underwhelming performance in England's opening win against Tunisia even though the photo indicated he could be dropped.

Publication of the photo led to criticism of the British media among some former players and fans for potentially giving the opposition an edge.

Southgate told reporters he doesn't expect "the media to be supporters of us in terms of the way they work," adding "the guys have to find stories and produce content. We have to get results."

England has already produced a record result with a 5-0 lead over Panama at the break that virtually guarantees it will advance.

— AP Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris reported from Nizhny Novgorod.

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3:50 p.m.

England is on course for a record victory in a World Cup game and leads Panama 5-0 at halftime in Nizhny Novgorod.

England had never scored five goals in a World Cup game before and has never won at the tournament by more than three.

Captain Harry Kane scored two penalties to tie Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku of Belgium as the top scorers in Russia with four goals each through two games.

Defender John Stones also scored twice to see England cruise toward a place in the last 16. An England win over the World Cup first-timer would see it qualify and also send Belgium through as well. They would play Thursday to determine who wins the group.

Stones opened the scoring with a header from a corner in the 8th minute. Kane made it 2-0 from the spot in the 22nd.

Jesse Lingard got the third with a sublime curling shot off the crossbar in the 36th. Stones got his second before Kane again fired in from the penalty spot in first-half injury time.

Panama is playing at its first World Cup ever and has now conceded eight goals in a game-and-a-half.

— Associated Press writer Gerald Imray reported from Nizhny Novgorod.

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3:22 p.m.

England is 2-0 up after just 22 minutes against Panama, with Harry Kane adding a penalty to John Stones' early goal.

Kane smashed his spot-kick into the top left corner after Jesse Lingard was fouled by Panama's Fidel Escobar.

The early lead puts England on course for a place in the last 16. England can qualify with a win over Panama and also send Belgium through from Group G.

Stones put England ahead early when he headed home Kieran Trippier's corner in the eighth minute. The England defender was completely unmarked near the penalty spot and buried his header in the bottom left corner of Jaime Penedo's goal.

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3:08 p.m.

England has taken an early lead against Panama at the World Cup with a header by defender John Stones.

Stones was unmarked when he met Kieran Trippier's corner in the eighth minute and buried his header in the bottom left corner.

England can qualify for the last 16 with a win over the World Cup first-timers in Nizhny Novgorod.

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2:05 p.m.

France forward Antoine Griezmann is confident his World Cup form will pick up following a slow start.

Although he earned and scored a penalty as France opened its campaign with a 2-1 win against Australia, he had a quiet game otherwise and was substituted by coach Didier Deschamps with 20 minutes remaining.

Griezmann was taken off with 10 minutes left in the 1-0 win against Peru, following another frustratingly below-par performance.

But Griezmann, the European Championship's top scorer two years ago, is confident he can repeat his Euro 2016 exploits.

He tells French soccer show Telefoot, "I will get better and better. It was the same at the Euros. It was only after the (second round) that I started to play very well."

Midfielder Paul Pogba praised Griezmann for his "enormous" work-rate when tracking back to defend against Peru.

Pogba says, "He's fighting for the team."

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1:15 p.m.

Denmark midfielder William Kvist, who was sent home after sustaining two broken ribs and a punctured lung after a hard collision in a match against Peru last week, is set to return to the World Cup.

Denmark coach Age Hareide tells Danish broadcaster TV2 that Kvist is on his way back to Russia but probably can't play against France in Group C match in Moscow on Tuesday.

Hareide says Kvist went through examinations in Denmark which showed there was no substantial injury to the lung.

"It's now only the fractures on the ribs that give him problems," Hareide told TV2. "So we have to see if he's fit to train after the match against France."

Denmark beat Peru 1-0 in its opening game and played out a 1-1 draw against Australia on June 21.

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11:25 a.m.

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren says teammate Luka Modric would be a contender for the world's best player of the year award if he played for one of the supposed powers of international football.

Modric has been one of the standout players at the World Cup, scoring in both matches — including a long-range shot against Argentina — to help Croatian qualify for the knockout stage with a game to spare.

Lovren says "Modric would probably be getting more attention than he is right now if he was a German or Spanish player — he would maybe even be a Ballon D'Or winner."

The Liverpool defender adds: "Because we are a smaller country, he does get less attention than he deserves."

Croatia plays Iceland in their final Group D on Tuesday.

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11:20 a.m.

Peru's soccer federation says striker Jefferson Farfan has been hospitalized with head trauma after a hard collision with a teammate during practice at the World Cup.

The federation says initial results "were favorable for the player" but Farfan was going to remain in the hospital so doctors could monitor him.

Farfan went down after colliding with one of the team's goalkeepers in a practice session on Saturday.

The federation says he was transferred to the hospital after all medical protocols were followed on the field.

Peru has been eliminated from World Cup contention after losses to Denmark and France and has a group game remaining against Australia in Sochi.

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