Professional soccer

FILE - In this file photo from May 13, 2018, Cossacks practice on the bank of the Don river near the World Cup stadium before a Russian league match between Rostov and Ural, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)
June 16, 2018 - 10:58 am
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (AP) — A senior official in Russia's southern Rostov region says Cossack patrols in this World Cup city will "display their military skills" and not replace the role of police. Deputy regional governor Igor Guskov told reporters Saturday that members of the academy of the self...
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Australia's Robbie Kruse, center, and Andrew Nabbout, right, react on referee Andres Cunha from Uruguay, left, after he watches a replay on a screen during the group C match between France and Australia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
June 16, 2018 - 10:39 am
KAZAN, Russia (AP) — Technology twice helped France at the World Cup on Saturday as the 1998 champions labored to beat a gritty Australia 2-1 in their opening game. The French team was given a controversial penalty kick, eventually converted by Antoine Griezmann in the 58th minute, after the...
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Russian police detane Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, center, as he holds a banner that read "Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people" near Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. A British LGBT activist has been detained has been detained near the Red Square for holding a one-man protest against Russia's abuse of gays. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
June 16, 2018 - 10:37 am
MOSCOW (AP) — A prominent group that campaigns against racism and anti-gay abuse in sports has accused St. Petersburg authorities of having it evicted from its premises in the city. The Fare Network, which helps FIFA and UEFA investigate cases of discriminatory behavior by fans, had planned to...
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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo gestures to the fans at the end of the group B match between Portugal and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
June 16, 2018 - 10:20 am
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — After conquering Europe with his club and his country, Cristiano Ronaldo is out to show he can also dominate on the world stage. The Portugal forward hasn't been at his best in past World Cups, but his opening hat trick in Russia is a sign that things are starting to change...
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FILE - In this March 27, 2018 file photo, Serbia defender Branislav Ivanovic during the international friendly soccer match between Serbia and Nigeria at The Hive Stadium in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
June 16, 2018 - 10:08 am
SAMARA, Russia (AP) — Serbia's World Cup opener against Costa Rica on Sunday will have added significance for Branislav Ivanovic. A win would be nice, but the 34-year-old defender and former Chelsea player could make his record 104th appearance for the national team, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. "He...
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Spain goalkeeper David De Gea looks to the ball when Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scores his side's third goal during the group B match between Portugal and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
June 16, 2018 - 8:16 am
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — David De Gea had a forgettable World Cup debut as goalkeeper for Spain but quickly turned his focus to the bigger picture for the national team. "We didn't even lose," he said after Spain's 3-3 draw with Portugal to open Group B. De Gea had a blunder late in the first half that...
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Brazil's soccer players Philippe Coutinho, right, and Gabriel Jesus practice during a training session in Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Brazil will face Switzerland on June 17 in the group E for the soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
June 16, 2018 - 8:08 am
MOSCOW (AP) — Brazil's quest for World Cup redemption begins Sunday. So does Germany's title defense. The nations are forever linked by Germany's 7-1 humiliation of host Brazil in the 2014 World Cup semifinals. This year's Brazil squad is stacked with talented strikers as usual, while top-ranked...
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FILE - In this file photo from June 1, 2018, Belgium players warm up during a training session at the Belgian Football Center in Tubize, Belgium. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)
June 16, 2018 - 7:48 am
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The celebration after Panama qualified for the World Cup was wild and emotional, enough that Panama City essentially shut down in honor of reaching soccer's showcase event for the first time. Elation from that night last October was replaced with a stark dose of reality when...
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Iranians celebrate the 1-0 victory of their national soccer team over Morocco in the 2018 World Cup, in downtown Tehran, Iran, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
June 16, 2018 - 6:27 am
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Mission impossible might just be possible for Iran. The scoreboard inside St. Petersburg Stadium read "MOROCCO 0, IRAN 1," a beautiful sight for the thousands of Iranians — women, as well as men — who flocked to Russia to see their team win a World Cup match for only...
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FILE - The March 27, 2017 file photo shows Sweden's national soccer team before an international friendly soccer match between Romania and Sweden on the Ion Oblemenco stadium in Craiova, Romania. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, file)
June 16, 2018 - 6:05 am
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (AP) — Sweden is without Zlatan Ibrahimovic and, for the first time since 2006, it's at the World Cup. That's the strange thing about Sweden. It may be better off without one of its best ever players. Sweden was expected to struggle after the international retirement of...
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