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SAO PAULO, Brazil – There were a couple of things most fans wanted to see in the final games of this World Cup. Yet, neither will be on display in today’s semifinal game between Germany and host Brazil in Belo Horizonte. The first is Neymar, the 22-year-old star striker and heir apparent to the long line of legendary Brazilian players that runs from Zizinho to Garrincha to Pele, then down through Zico, Romario, Rivaldo, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. That’s because Neymar is out for the rest of the World Cup because of a fractured vertebra.
There were a couple of things most fans wanted to see in the final games of this World Cup. Yet, neither will be on display in today’s semifinal game between Germany and host Brazil in Belo Horizonte.
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 an efficient performance to hold off France 1-0 on Friday and become the first team to reach four straight semifinals in the sport’s marquee tournament.
It just wouldn’t be the World Cup without Germany in the semifinals.
RIO DE JANEIRO – When Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer embarked on a series of hair-raising dashes out of his area in the second-round win over Algeria, it would have struck a chord with French football fans of a certain vintage. Thoughts no doubt returned to one of the most shocking collisions in World Cup history, which occurred in the 1982 semifinal between West Germany and France and involved another goalkeeper’s excursion off his line.
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — When it comes to the knockout stages of the World Cup, wins are worth more than style. That was on full display Monday when Germany labored to a 2-1 extra-time win over an aggressive Algeria side to reach the tournament’s quarterfinals for the ninth consecutive time.
RECIFE, Brazil – They heard about people back home watching during their lunch breaks, streaming on office computers or playing hooky with fellow fans. And then, as the bus pulled away from the hotel Thursday, the U.S. World Cup team was struck with an unusual sight. Hundreds, maybe thousands of fans in red, white and blue, walking for miles around stalled cars through nearly hip-high water along flooded streets and highways, making their way to the stadium to cheer them on.
They heard about people back home watching during their lunch breaks, streaming on office computers or playing hooky with fellow fans. And then, as the bus pulled away from the hotel Thursday, the U.S. World Cup team was struck with an unusual sight.
Jozy Altidore will miss the United States’ World Cup game against Germany on Thursday in Recife, Brazil, because of his strained left hamstring. The forward was injured in the Americans’ opening 2-1 win against Ghana on June 16 and didn’t play in Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Portugal.
Miroslav Klose rescued a point for Germany, and tied the World Cup scoring record in the process. Germany was held to a 2-2 draw by Ghana on Saturday in Fortaleza, Brazil, needing Klose’s equalizer in the 71st minute to avoid a second-game letdown.
The United States drew a daunting task for next year’s FIFA World Cup: difficult opponents, tropical venues and a wearying 9,000-mile zigzag journey across Brazil. The Americans and coach Jurgen Klinsmann (pictured) wound up with the potentially punishing group they feared and will play Ghana, Portugal and Germany next June as they try to achieve a U.S. first: reaching the knockout phase twice in a row. While Ghana eliminated the Americans in 2006 and 2010, the Black Stars won’t do it again. The U.S. opens its seventh straight World Cup appearance against Ghana on June 16 at Natal. The U.S. meets Portugal and favorite for 2013 FIFA Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo six days later in the Amazon rain forest city Manaus. The Americans have just three off days to recover before closing Group G on June 26 in Recife against three-time champion Germany. – AP
Brazil was made a 3-1 favorite to win the 2014 World Cup it will be hosting. The Brazilians remained at the same odds after Friday’s draw as they held going into it. Argentina was next at 9-2, followed by Germany at 5-1 and defending champion Spain at 7-1 according to professional oddsmakers. The odds for the United States, placed with Germany, Portugal (30-1) and Ghana (175-1) for the first round, rose from 60-1 to 150-1. “We’re excited,” U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge and we think we’re a good team.” Midfielder Clint Dempsey added, “I don’t look at it like we’re the underdog … we can get out of the group.” – AP
BERLIN — The German government says it is helping Bavarian prosecutors investigate a huge art find related to pieces seized by the Nazis from Jews and art that the Nazis considered “degenerate.”
ROME — It was Italy’s night against the Germans, on and off the field. Premier Mario Monti and striker Mario Balotelli gave a much-needed boost to a country suffering for months under harsh austerity measures and embarrassed by a match-fixing scandal in its national sport in which dozens have been arrested.