FIFA World Cup

Salah helpless as Russia march on

Whatever was to unfold at Krestovsky Stadium – ultimately almost certainly a swift World Cup exit via a chastening 3-1 defeat for his country – Salah would be in no position to influence the outcome.

Having scattered defences across England and Europe throughout a dizzying 2017-18 campaign that yielded 44 goals, here Salah was on the periphery. A powerless, forlorn victim of circumstance.

Poland 1 Senegal 2

Poland were widely expected to qualify for the knockout rounds but after suffering a seventh loss in their last nine World Cup matches, FIFA's eighth-ranked team are in danger of making an early exit.

Thiago Cionek's own goal, the defender deflecting in a shot from Idrissa Gueye, handed Senegal the lead in the 37th minute.

Senegal doubled their lead when M'Baye Niang took advantage of a mix-up between Grzegorz Krychowiak and Wojciech Szczesny to finish with ease.

Colombia 1 Japan 2

The Group H favourites suffered a nightmarish start to their campaign when Sanchez blocked Shinji Kagawa's shot with his arm after just two minutes and 56 seconds, prompting the referee to brandish the first straight red card for handball at a World Cup since Luis Suarez was sent off against Ghana in 2010.

Kagawa then put Japan ahead from the penalty spot but even with 10 men Jose Pekerman was able to make his side competitive and Juan Fernando Quintero levelled with a free-kick six minutes before half-time.

Tunisia 1 England 2

England's talisman and captain put them ahead in the 11th minute of Monday's clash in Volgograd, but Tunisia levelled in contentious fashion.

Referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot when Kyle Walker caught Fakhreddine Ben Youssef with his arm and Ferjani Sassi levelled with an unconvincing penalty.

England wasted numerous opportunities prior to that leveller but will have been unimpressed by Roldan's performance thereafter, the Colombian ignoring multiple penalty appeals from the Three Lions.

Lozano goal causes earthquake

According to the Instituto de Investigaciones Geologicas and Atmosfericas' seismic monitoring network, a spike in activity was recorded after Lozano struck against the world champions.

"The #sismo detected in Mexico City originated artificially," the organisation posted on social media. 

"Possibly by massive jumps during the goal by Mexico in the World Cup."

Argentina 1 Iceland 1

With Diego Maradona watching on from the stands, Messi failed to convert from the spot in the second half of an eventful Group D opener at the Otkrytie Arena in Moscow.

Sergio Aguero had fired the beaten finalists from four years ago ahead in the 19th minute, finally breaking his World Cup duck at the ninth attempt with a rising left-footed drive.

Yet debutants Iceland refused to melt on the main stage, Alfred Finnbogason capitalising on Willy Caballero's weak punch to score his country's maiden goal in the history of the tournament just four minutes later.

Portugal 3 Spain 3

Spain led with three minutes to go after Nacho Fernandez hit a wonderful 25-yard drive but Ronaldo was determined to steal the headlines for himself.

And he ended the day with a World Cup match-ball after hitting an outrageous late free-kick to ensure the spoils were shared in this blockbuster clash in Sochi.

Captain Ronaldo had given Portugal a fourth-minute lead from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Madrid team-mate Nacho, restoring the lead thanks to David de Gea's horrible mistake.

With its 48-team proposal, FIFA is doing its best to ruin the World Cup

The European Champions League now represents the highest-quality football on the planet, and a bloated 48-team World Cup will only fall further behind.

The decision-makers have put the desire for profits — more games means more ticket sales and TV money — ahead of any concerns for the integrity of the tournament itself.

FIFA politics also plays a part. The governing body's top dogs, supposedly representing a new start after a series of scandals rocked the organisation, can gain political leverage by promising World Cup spots to a higher number of countries.

Expanded World Cup is 'absurd' idea, sponsorship guru says

Patrick Nally, who brokered FIFA's first major sponsorship deal, with Coca Cola, ahead of the 1978 World Cup, said the sports body's decision to inflate the size of the tournament from 32 teams will devalue it, and ultimately make it less attractive and lucrative.

"They have rushed through this 48-team plan thinking it is going to make them billions more," Nally said.

LOOP PNG’s 5@5

Police apprehend suspect in Gr 10 student killing

A quick response by Lae Police has seen the apprehension of the main suspect involved in the killing of a student at Bumayong Lutheran Secondary School last Friday.

http://www.looppng.com/content/police-apprehend-suspect-gr-10-student-killing

 

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