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BC-AP--World Cup Digest, AP

July 5, 2014

The AP World Cup Digest at 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT). The supervisor of the World Cup desk in Rio de Janeiro is Simon Haydon. The desk can be reached at 0055 21 348 264 84.



FORTALEZA, Brazil — Neymar will miss the rest of the World Cup after fracturing a vertebra during the team’s quarterfinal win over Colombia, the team’s doctor said Friday. Neymar was kneed in the back by Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga late in the second half of Brazil’s 2-1 win, and was in tears when he was carried off the field on a stretcher. By Tales Azzoni. SENT. 600 words.


RIO DE JANEIRO — The fireworks celebrating victory had barely subsided when the disastrous news came through for Brazil: Neymar is out. The star who lit up the World Cup with his skill and sunny temperament fractured a bone in his back. The only way for Brazil to win now will be without him. The home side muscled past Colombia 2-1 on Friday into the semifinals. But making the step from there to the July 13 final will be much harder for Brazil without its 22-year-old goal scorer. By John Leicester. SENT. 700 words.


FORTALEZA, Brazil — Not long after celebrating another all-important win at the World Cup, Brazil was jolted by the loss of Neymar. The tournament’s poster boy with the dyed-blonde fauxhawk fractured a vertebra in his back during Brazil’s 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Colombia on Friday. The injury has ruled the striker out of the rest of the competition, dealing a massive blow to the team’s chances of finally winning a World Cup at home. By Tales Azzoni. SENT. 750 words.


RIO DE JANEIRO — It just wouldn’t be the World Cup without Germany in the semifinals. Harnessing all their big-game experience, the Germans delivered a performance of maturity and efficiency to hold off France 1-0 on Friday and become the first team to reach four straight semifinals in the sport’s marquee tournament. By Steve Douglas. SENT. 700 words.



FORTALEZA, Brazil — Colombia’s James Rodriguez, Brazil’s Neymar, Germany’s Thomas Mueller and France’s Karim Benzema came into the World Cup quarterfinals with a combined 16 goals. So with all that scoring ability on the pitch for Friday’s two games, of course the goals were coming from defenders. Mats Hummels gave Germany a 1-0 win over France, then Brazil’s Thiago Silva and David Luiz put Brazil up 2-0 against Colombia. Rodriguez went on to score in the 2-1 loss, though his goal came on a penalty. SENT.


RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil exploded into collective celebration Friday night after its soccer team won a hard-fought World Cup quarterfinal match against Colombia, 2-1 — then mourned that an injury to star striker Neymar means he’s out of the tournament. As the final whistle blew, thousands of fans wearing Brazil’s canary-colored jersey and watching the match on Copacabana beach in front of a giant TV screen jumped and screamed with joy. By Jenny Barchfield and Adriana Gomez Licon. SENT. 500 words.


FORTALEZA, Brazil — Full of tears and inconsolable, the World Cup’s leading scorer is going home. James Rodriguez put Colombia back into the match against Brazil by scoring a late penalty Friday, but it wasn’t enough. The playmaker then broke down after his team lost 2-1 in the quarterfinals. By Frank Griffiths. SENT. 400 words.


FORTALEZA, Brazil — David Luiz can only explain the technique behind his game-clinching free kick in the World Cup quarterfinal win over Colombia as a product of genetics. Lining up from 35 meters (yards) out, the 27-year-old Brazilian side-footed the ball with his right boot, smashing it over a wall of four Colombians and beyond the reach of goalkeeper David Ospina. SENT.


RIO DE JANEIRO — Even with France’s top striker bearing down on him late in the match, Manuel Neuer showed no signs of panic. Rather than go to the ground or commit too early, the Germany goalkeeper stood tall, forced Karim Benzema to make a snap decision and, in the end, preserved the 1-0 win in the World Cup quarterfinals. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT. 400 words.


RIO DE JANEIRO — There may have been tears as a young France squad made its World Cup exit on Friday, but the players are convinced the experience gained in Brazil will help when their country hosts the European Championship in 2016. That experience was gained the painful way in a 1-0 quarterfinal loss to Germany, with Antoine Griezmann being consoled by teammates as he cried after the final whistle. By Trevor Huggins. SENT. 500 words.


RIO DE JANEIRO — Nigeria could be suspended by FIFA after the country’s football federation leaders were removed from office and its president was arrested on returning from the World Cup. FIFA warned Nigeria’s government on Friday it must reinstate the federation’s executive committee by Tuesday or risk a ban. SENT. 300 words.


SALVADOR, Brazil — Costa Rica issued a plea to the referee on Friday to keep an eye on Arjen Robben’s diving. The Netherlands forward earned an injury-time penalty in the second round of the World Cup, giving his team a 2-1 win over Mexico. Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto is worried about more of the same when his team faces the Dutch in the quarterfinals on Saturday in Salvador. By Dusan Stojanovic. SENT. 300 words.


RIO DE JANEIRO — Joachim Loew’s decision to reshuffle his lineup and return captain Philipp Lahm to right back paid off immediately Friday, galvanizing the defense and earning Germany a place in the semifinals of the World Cup. Germany’s 1-0 win over France in the quarterfinal at Maracana Stadium was not particularly entertaining but at least coach Loew’s team didn’t repeat the slapstick mistakes of its 2-1 victory over Algeria at the start of the knockout round. By Nesha Starcevic. SENT. 600 words.


RIO DE JANEIRO — Despite the hype about its attacking flair, France failed to deliver the goals in the World Cup quarterfinals. The 1998 champions lacked conviction going forward Friday after missing two early opportunities and eventually lost to Germany 1-0. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT. 600 words.


BRASILIA, Brazil — Belgium coach Marc Wilmots is old enough to remember Diego Maradona dumbfounding four defenders and a goalie to stop the nation’s incredible run at the 1986 World Cup in the semifinals. What Maradona was to Argentina then, Lionel Messi is now. Wilmots called Maradona “the player that struck us down and gave us bad memories. Fortunately, that is well in the past now.” By Raf Casert. SENT. SENT. 400 words.


SALVADOR, Brazil — Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal expects Costa Rica to play a similar brand of attacking football as Chile and Mexico used in their unsuccessful attempts to derail the Dutch World Cup campaign. He expects the same result, too. By Mike Corder. 550 words.


BRASILIA, Brazil — Is Argentina’s World Cup only about Lionel Messi? Coach Alejandro Sabella seems to be getting a little exasperated with the observation — also made by Argentina great Diego Maradona — that his team is overly reliant on the four-time world player of the year. By Gerald Imray. 450 words.


RIO DE JANEIRO — The son of FIFA senior vice president Julio Grondona has denied claims he illegally sold a World Cup ticket for profit. Brazilian police are investigating a ticket scalping operation and have made 11 arrests this week, bringing the issue to public attention. By Graham Dunbar. SENT. 450 words.




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