The Latest: Brazil, Switzerland have 1-0 halftime leads

The Latest: Brazil, Switzerland have 1-0 halftime leads
The Latest: Brazil, Switzerland have 1-0 halftime leads

MOSCOW (AP) – The Latest on Wednesday at the World Cup (all times local):

9:48 p.m.

Brazil and Switzerland have halftime leads in the last Group E games and are on track to advance to the knockout stage at the World Cup.

Brazil has a 1-0 lead over Serbia in Moscow after Paulinho took a long pass from Philippe Coutinho down the center of the field and chipped it over the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic just above the penalty spot.

Blerim Dzemaili has given Switzerland a 1-0 lead over Costa Rica in Nizhny Novgorod.

Dzemaili scored in the 31st after the ball was headed back to him by Breel Embolo and he finished off from close range.

Costa Rica is yet to score in the tournament, and in the first half against Switzerland it was unlucky not to have a few.

Daniel Colindres hit the crossbar in the 10th minute, and in the opening few minutes Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz had golden chances. Bryan Oviedo also came close with a cross that Swiss keeper Yann Sommer batted away.

Brazil and Switzerland had four points apiece going into the last games, which are being played simultaneously. Serbia has three points and still has a chance to advance.


9:41 p.m.

Brazil has taken a 1-0 lead over Serbia after Paulinho took a long pass from Philippe Coutinho down the center of the field and chipped it over the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic just above the penalty spot.

The goal came after an initial 35 minutes where Brazil dominated possession and gave up few scoring opportunities to Serbia. Gabriel Jesus had a chance similar to Paulinho’s that Nikola Milenkovic blocked at the last moment, and Stojkovic palmed away a close-in chip from Neymar before that.

Brazil would advance out of Group E with a win or draw. Serbia would likely need a victory to move on.


9:33 p.m.

Blerim Dzemaili has given Switzerland a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 31st minute against Costa Rica in their World Cup group game. Switzerland needs only a draw to reach the knockout stage from Group E. Costa Rica has lost it first two matches and had four or five chance to score until the Swiss broke through.


9:30 p.m.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez says it would be “unprofessional” for him to allow players who already have picked up a yellow card at the World Cup to play against England in the last group match.

Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Thomas Meunier all picked up a caution in Belgium’s opening 3-0 win against Panama and would miss the round of 16 match if they were to be shown another yellow against England.

Martinez has already signaled he plans to make wholesale changes in a match Belgium no longer needs to win to advance.

With England and Belgium already guaranteed of progressing to the round of 16, Martinez says the match at Kaliningrad Stadium should be a “celebration” between two teams safe in the knowledge that they are qualified for the next phase.


9:21 p.m.

Brazil defender Marcelo has limped off the field and been replaced just 10 minutes into his team’s World Cup match against Serbia.

Marcelo grimaced before he left the field and was walking gingerly on the sideline, favoring his left leg as he was led to the training room. He was replaced by Filipe Luis, who is seeing his first action of this World Cup.

The 30-year-old Marcelo plays for Real Madrid and made his international debut at age 18 in 2006. He played on Brazil’s World Cup squad when they hosted the tournament four years ago but saw little action following the team’s blowout loss to Germany in the semifinals. That changed when Tite took over as coach in 2016.


8:45 p.m.

Serbia attacking midfielder Dusan Tadic is heading to Ajax after the World Cup.

The Amsterdam club has announced it agreed to the transfer with Tadic’s English club Southampton. Ajax says Tadic will settle personal terms of a four-year contract when his duties for Serbia in Russia are over.

Tadic has previously played for Dutch Eredivisie clubs Groningen and Twente.

Ajax director of players Marc Overmars says Tadic’s 11.4 million-euro ($13 million) transfer gives the Amsterdam team a significant boost as he can play midfield or in attack.

Tadic also brings experience “that is important for the many talented young players we have in the squad,” Overmars says.


8:41 p.m.

Mexico defender Edson Alvarez’s 74th-minute own goal Wednesday against Sweden makes the seventh time at this World Cup that a player has sent the ball into his team’s net – a tournament record with 22 matches still to be played.

As with many of the earlier miscues, Alvarez was trying to clear a cross in the box. But it bounced off of him and inside the left goalpost as ‘keeper Guillermo Ochoa watched helplessly.

Mexico lost 3-0 but Alvarez can take heart – Mexico and the host Russians are the only teams so far to make it out of their groups after scoring on themselves.


8:20 p.m.

Brazil coach Tite is sticking with the same lineup that beat Costa Rica as his team tries to earn a trip to the knockout stage of the World Cup against Serbia.

On the other side of the pitch, coach Mladen Krstajic is shaking up Serbia’s defense against Brazil’s potent attack. Veteran defender Antonio Rukavina is making his first start at this World Cup along with 22-year-old Milos Velkovic, who has just two international appearances. Midfielder Adem Ljajic, who started Serbia’s first game and came off the bench in its second, is starting once more.

Brazil sits atop Group E alongside Switzerland with four points and would advance with a win or a draw. Serbia likely needs a win, although it could advance with a draw if Costa Rica beats Switzerland.


Serbia: Vladimir Stojkovic, Antonio Rukavina, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Milos Veljkovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Filip Kostic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Nemanja Matic, Adem Ljajic.

Brazil: Alisson, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Casemiro, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Marcelo, Paulinho, Willian, Fagner.


8:10 p.m.

Germans are shaking their heads in disbelief after their defending champion team was eliminated from the group stage of the World Cup in a 2-0 loss to South Korea.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert took the stiff-upper-lip approach, tweeting after the loss “Not our World Cup – that is sad! More tournaments will come where we can celebrate.”

In the capital, bars and public viewing areas emptied out quickly as fans tried to come to grips with the loss.

Leaving a patio bar at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, an upset Tiffany Tuchen said Germany gave up too many chances to win.

She says “I can’t believe it, my pulse was 180 the whole game, but they deserved to lose.”


8:05 p.m.

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic has made two changes to his lineup for the World Cup Group E game against Costa Rica. He starts Breel Embolo and Mario Gavranovic up front in place of Steven Zuber and Haris Seferovic.

Switzerland needs to avoid defeat to secure a spot in the knockout stage, with Brazil and Serbia playing the other group match in Moscow.

Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez makes three changes, bringing in defender Kedall Watson, forward Joel Campbell, and Daniel Colindres at midfield. The Costa Ricans are already out of contention.


Switzerland: Yann Sommer, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Manuel Akanji, Breel Embolo, Granit Xhaka, Valon Behrami, Ricardo Rodriguez, Blerim Dzemaili, Mario Gavranovic, Fabian Schaer, Xherdan Shaqiri.

Costa Rica: Keylor Navas, Johnny Acosta, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Celso Borges, Bryan Oviedo, Daniel Colindres, Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell, Cristian Gamboa, Kendall Waston, David Guzman.


8 p.m.

South Korea goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo was one of the stars in the 2-0 win over Germany as his team became the first from Asia to beat a defending champion at the World Cup. He had another first, too.

Jo says “I’ve never had a perfect game like this before, all my career.”

The Koreans didn’t advance out of the group stage, but the win over Germany after two stoppage-time goals helped them finish above the defending champions in the group. It also propelled Mexico into the round of 16 behind Sweden. The win over Germany was the first for the 2002 semifinalists at the World Cup since a 2-0 victory over Greece on June 12, 2010.

Jo says “All of the Korea players, and also the head coach, were playing for the Korean people, we all become one for the Korean people.”


7:54 p.m.

FIFA says Mexico defender Jesus Gallardo’s yellow card 13 seconds into Wednesday’s match against Sweden has competition for the record of fastest booking in World Cup history.

Gallardo’s yellow card for a tough aerial challenge on a Sweden forward is believed to be the fastest ever. However, FIFA says there were 1st-minute bookings at games in 1950 and 1962 – before yellow and red cards were used – as well as in 1982 and 1994.

FIFA’s records do not show exactly how much time was on the clock for those bookings.

The record for the fastest red card still belongs to Uruguay’s Jose Batista, who was sent off in the first minute against Scotland in 1986.


7:25 p.m.

Goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima is set to keep his place for Japan’s last World Cup group match against Poland despite an error in the previous game that gifted Senegal’s Sadio Mane the opening goal. Sitting next to coach Akira Nishino at a news conference on the eve of the Group H game in Volgograd, Kawashima spoke about his disappointment and that he was intent on making amends.

Nishino said after the 2-2 draw he would assess the goalkeeping situation after Kawashima punched a low shot straight onto the knee of Mane, who was just in front of him.

Kawashima says he understood the criticism and that he was grateful to his team-mates for retrieving the situation.

He says “This time. I would like to help them.”

Japan needs to avoid defeat in the match to progress to the round of 16.


7:23 p.m.

Sweden has seized a spot in the World Cup knockout stage and a measure of revenge against Germany.

The Swedes’ second-half goal spree gave them a 3-0 win over Mexico and sent the defending champion Germans home after they fell 2-0 to South Korea in the simultaneous match. Mexico backs into the round of 16 with two wins despite giving up one more goal than they scored over the course of the three matches.

Ludvig Augustinsson and Andreas Granqvist scored minutes apart after a scoreless first half, and Sweden got its third courtesy of an own goal on Mexico defender Edson Alvarez. Sweden will play in the knockout stage for the first time in a dozen years despite blowing a 1-0 lead on 10-man Germany in the previous match, the 2-1 defeat coming on virtually the final kick in injury time.


7:05 p.m.

Germany has had a humiliating exit at the World Cup, extending the curse for defending champions. Germany needed a win to have a shot at advancing from Group F but conceded two goals in stoppage time in a 2-0 loss to South Korea. That allowed Sweden and Mexico to advance. The Swedes recovered quickly from a stoppage-time loss to Germany to beat Mexico 3-0.

And so for the fourth time in five World Cups this millennium, the Cup holder has been knocked out in the group stage. Germany, a four-time winner, joins France, Italy and Spain among the fallen champs.

South Korea scored in added time to take a 1-0 lead after Kim Young-gwon turned in a shot from six meters. Initially flagged offside, the goal has finally been allowed after a VAR review.

Son Heung-min made it 2-0 on the break after goalkeeper Manuel Neuer came up the field to help his teammates outside the South Korea box. But South Korea recovered the ball and Ju Se-jong set up Son Heung-min, who finished it off.

The South Koreans, semifinalists in 2002, are the first team from Asia to beat the defending champions at the World Cup.


6:58 p.m.

Defending champion Germany has been eliminated in the group stage of the World Cup in a 2-0 stoppage-time loss to South Korea, and Sweden has topped Group F with a 3-0 win over Mexico.

South Korea’s first goal in injury time was initially disallowed for offside but that decision was overturned after a video review – meaning Mexico would advance to the knockout stage along with Sweden despite the heavy loss in their head-to-head encounter.

All four teams had a chance to advance in games that were being played simultaneously and Sweden’s comprehensive lead over Mexico put Germany into prime position to advance as well – provided the Germans could score against the South Koreans.

That was the problem, for Germany.

The mood of Mexico fans at the game in Yekaterinburg improved when news filtered in that South Korean goalkeeper Joe Hyeon-woo was holding the Germans at bay in Kazan.

They cheered wildly when Kim Young-gwon turned in a shot home from six meters. Initially flagged offside, the goal has finally been allowed after a VAR review. Germany’s exit was beyond any doubt when Son Heung-min made it 2-0 for South Korea.


6:39 p.m.

Sweden is pouring it on against Mexico, and defending champion Germany is on the verge of being out of the World Cup.

Mexico defender Edson Alvarez scored an own goal in the 74th minute to make it 3-0, the ball bouncing off his hand as he tried to clear a cross. Sweden had scored two quick goals to take the lead after a scoreless first half.

Despite the second-half collapse, Mexico will back into the knockout stage if Germany fails to beat South Korea in a match being played simultaneously. The score there is 0-0 with about 10 minutes to play.


6:27 p.m.

It’s suddenly a 2-0 lead for Sweden on Mexico as the two fight with defending champion Germany for the right to advance at the World Cup.

Germany is tied with 0-0 with South Korea in a match being played simultaneously. If the results hold, Sweden would win the group and Mexico would edge Germany for the second spot.

Hector Moreno was whistled for a tackle on Marcus Berg in the penalty area, and captain Andreas Granqvist converted from the spot to make it 2-0 Sweden in the 62nd minute. Ludvig Augstinsson had scored minutes earlier to put the Swedes in front.


6:16 p.m.

Sweden has grabbed a 1-0 lead on Mexico that could knock defending champion Germany out of the World Cup.

Ludvig Augustinsson volleyed past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa from close range five minutes into the second half after Viktor Claeson miskicked a cross in the box and the ball fell to Augustinsson’s feet. If that score holds and Germany fails to beat South Korea in the simultaneous match, Sweden and Mexico would advance and the Germans would be gone.


5:55 p.m.

Mexico and Sweden are tied at 0-0 after the first half of their final Group F game but still managed to enter the record book. Jesus Gallardo received a yellow just 13 seconds in for the fastest card ever at the World Cup.

Mexico leads the group and will advance with at least a draw. Sweden can squeeze by with a draw if Germany loses to South Korea in the group’s simultaneous match, which is also goalless at the break.

Sweden has looked more dangerous, with crosses that kept goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa busy. Ochoa gave up a dangerous free kick when he handled the ball outside the right side of his penalty area, then pushed away the ensuing shot from Emil Forsberg. Ochoa also saved Marcus Berg’s goal-bound attempt in the 31st minute.

Mexico’s best chance came courtesy of Carlos Vela, who fired wide after a giveaway just outside Sweden’s area.


5:50 p.m.

Defending champion Germany has made a nervous start against South Korea and it is 0-0 at halftime in its last World Cup group game.

Germany has been playing slower than it usually does to avoid being vulnerable on the break, but the strategy has not brought much success so far.

The Germans have kept peppering the South Korea box with harmless crosses.

South Korea came close from a set piece in the 19th minute after Manuel Neuer failed to control a 25-meter free-kick from Jung Woo-young. The keeper released the ball and needed to palm the rebound away from the attackers after a spectacular dive. Soon after, forward Son Heung-min connected with a cross from Lee Yong, but his powerful strike from inside the box ended wide.

In a wide-open Group F topped by Mexico with six points, all teams still have chances to progress to the knockout stage.


5:49 p.m.

Mexico and Germany are on track to qualify for the World Cup’s knockout stage at halftime of their simultaneous matches.

Mexico is playing Sweden and Germany is playing South Korea, and neither match has seen a goal through 45 minutes.

Three teams could finish tied for first in the tightly contested group, and three teams could tie for second.


5:27 p.m.

Jesus Gallardo has received what FIFA is calling the fastest yellow card in World Cup history.

The Mexico fullback was booked for a hard tackle just 13 seconds into Wednesday’s match against Sweden.

The record for the fastest red card still belongs to Uruguay’s Jose Batista, who was sent off in the first minute against Scotland in 1986.

The booking touched off a lively first few minutes of the match in Yekaterinburg, with both teams needing points to be assured of advancing to the knockout stage. Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa gave up a dangerous free kick when he handled the ball outside the right side of his penalty area, then pushed away the ensuing free kick from Emil Forsberg. Marcus Berg went just wide minutes later when he chipped a shot over himself as he fell backward, and Forsberg later went high on a volley from within a few yards of the goal mouth.

Carlos Vela fired just wide at the other end after a giveaway by Sweden.


4:50 p.m.

German fans are outnumbering their Asian counterparts in the Kazan Arena stands. With the 45,000-spectator stadium gradually filling before kick-off, the Mannschaft supporters are making plenty of noise, waving their country’s flags to the sound of their favorite songs belted over the venue’s loudspeakers.

The defending champions had a tense win over Sweden to get back on track at the World Cup. South Korea has lost its first two games.


4:40 p.m.

The head of Egypt’s soccer federation has defended the decision to select Chechnya as the base for the country’s World Cup squad in Russia, but has not directly addressed complaints that Mohamed Salah was used as a political symbol there.

Speaking at a chaotic news conference in Cairo Wednesday, Hany Abo Rida says Grozny, Chechnya’s capital, was selected on technical grounds. Rida acknowledged the federation had considered moving its base, but decided not to.

“We could not as a football federation be held responsible for tensions or problems between Egypt and Russia,” he said. He also dismissed Salah’s appearance in Chechnya as a political symbol as “outside talk.” He was apparently alluding to criticism in the British press of the Liverpool star posing for photos with and receiving “honorary citizenship” from Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Egypt was eliminated after three successive defeats in the World Cup.

– Associated Press writer Samy Magdy reported from Cairo.


4:25 p.m.

Notorious for tinkering, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Orosio has made no change to his lineup for the final World Cup group stage game against Sweden, relying on the selection that beat South Korea in the previous game. It’s the first time he’s sent out the same squad twice in a row since he took over in 2015.

Likewise, Sweden coach Janne Andersson is sticking with the team that took a 2-1 loss to 10-man Germany in the closing moments.

In a wide open Group F, Mexico leads with six points but isn’t safe yet.

If defending champion Germany defeats South Korea on Wednesday and Sweden simultaneously beats Mexico, three teams would finish with six points. That would send it to tiebreakers that start with the best goal differential. If Mexico and South Korea win, Mexico would top the group and the other three teams would be equal on three points.


Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa, Carlos Salcedo, Miguel Layun, Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez, Hector Moreno, Hector Herrera, Andres Guadrado, Edson Alvarez, Hirving Lozano, Jesus Gallardo.

Sweden: Robin Olsen, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Ludwig Augustinsson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Marcus Berg, Emil Forsberg, Viktor Claesson, Ola Toivonen.


4:15 p.m.

Joachim Loew has recalled playmaker Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira to the starting lineup and dropped Thomas Mueller for Germany’s last World Cup group match against South Korea.

Defending champion Germany is without suspended Jerome Boateng and injured midfielder Sebastian Rudy, but central defender Mats Hummels makes his return after recovering from a neck injury.

Attacking midfielder Leon Goretzka has been picked ahead of Mueller.

Ozil and Khedira were dropped against Sweden after a below-par performance in Germany’s 1-0 loss to Mexico in its opening game. Germany got back on track with a stoppage-time winner from Toni Kroos against Sweden.

In a wide-open Group F topped by Mexico with six points, the Germans can qualify for the knockout round if they beat South Korea by at least two goals.

South Korea still has an outside chance of progressing, but needs a big win combined with Mexico beating Sweden in the other group match.

South Korea is without captain Ki Sung-yueng, who has been ruled out with a left calf injury.


Germany: Manuel Neuer, Jonas Hector, Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Timo Werner, Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus, Leon Goretzka, Niklas Suele, Joshua Kimmich

South Korea: Jo Hyeon-woo, Lee Yong, Yun Young-sun, Son Heung-min, Koo Ja-cheol, Hong Chul, Jung Woo-young, Lee Jae-sung, Moon Seon-min, Kim Young-gwon, Jang Hyun-soo


3:20 p.m.

Midfielder Abel Aguilar won’t play for Colombia on Thursday against Senegal because of a left adductor injury.

Aguilar was injured in the first half of Colombia’s 3-0 victory over Poland last Sunday in Kazan and had to be stretchered off the field.

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said Aguilar would not be available in the team’s decisive final group match in Samara, but he did not rule the 33-year-old veteran out of the rest of the tournament should Colombia advance.

Aguilar underwent an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. Pekerman said Wednesday the injury was not as serious as feared but it would still keep him out of the group finale.

Aguilar was replaced against Poland by Mateus Uribe.


2:50 p.m.

Injured defender Dani Alves has visited Brazil’s national team ahead of its match against Serbia.

The Paris Saint-Germain player was dropped from the World Cup squad because of a right knee injury but will watch Wednesday’s match in Moscow.

Alves had lunch with his former teammates at the hotel where Brazil is staying.

He says he needed to show his “good vibe” to the players on this important day for the team.

Alves says it will be special for him to watch the Selecao from the stands for the first time.

Brazil needs at least a draw against Serbia to advance to the round of 16.


12:25 p.m.

Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona says he is well after requiring medical treatment at a World Cup game in Russia.

Footage posted on social media showed Maradona apparently disoriented and being helped to climb stairs at Argentina’s 2-1 win over Nigeria on Tuesday.

He had earlier been seen reacting emotionally to the game and showing a middle-finger salute when Argentina scored. TV footage also showed Maradona with his eyes closed for part of the game.

Maradona says he was dizzy and his “neck hurt a lot,” so he was examined at the stadium.

Writing on Instagram underneath a picture of himself with medical staff, Maradona says, “I was checked by a doctor and he recommended me to go home before the second half, but I wanted to stay because we were risking it all. How could I leave?”


More AP World Cup coverage:

Brazil’s Neymar grimaces in pain after a tackle by Serbia’s Adem Ljajic during the group E match between Serbia and Brazil, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)