MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Sunday at the World Cup (all times local):
Mexican fans have chanted a homophobic slur at Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during the World Cup game in Moscow.
FIFA has repeatedly fined the Mexican football federation over the chant. It rang out at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium in the 24th minute of Mexico’s game against Germany on Sunday with the score at 0-0.
Fans in Mexico use the chant to insult opposing goalkeepers as they take a goal kick. Widely considered a slur, some argue there is no discriminatory intent.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport canceled two fines against Mexico in November, ruling the chant was “insulting” but not meant to offend, though it left other fines in force.
Germany is in an unfamiliar position for a World Cup opener — trailing at halftime.
Hirving Lozano scored from 14 yards out in the 35th minute to give Mexico a 1-0 lead in Moscow. He took a pass from Javier Hernandez and wrong-footed Mesut Ozil to score his eighth international goal.
Both sides put pressure on the goalkeepers in a high-energy first half at Luzhniki Stadium. Germany had five shots on goal to Mexico’s four. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer stopped a header just short of the goal line.
Germany has won its last seven World Cup openers, outscoring opponents 20-2 in its last four.
Hirving Lozano has wrong-footed Germany’s Mesut Ozil and scored from about 14 yards out to give Mexico a 1-0 lead over the defending World Cup champions.
Lozano took a pass from Javier Hernandez and got around Ozil and had a clear path to the net in the 35th minute. It was his eighth international goal.
Both teams had several chances before the opening goal. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer saved a header, and Germany later had two shots on goal in a 3-minute span.
Germany trailed only once in the last World Cup, 2-1 to Ghana, and has outscored opponents 20-2 in its past four World Cup openers.
Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez is not in the business of sugarcoating the truth ahead of his team’s historic World Cup debut.
He admits Panama has trouble scoring and says it will need a good day to have any chance against Belgium on Monday.
The blunt and honest Gomez doesn’t even hide his starting lineup, the normal procedure for coaches these days — even those trying to keep expectations minimal.
Asked if Panama could match Iceland’s draw with Argentina, he didn’t bother picking the right words. He says this Argentina “is not at the same level as Belgium right now.”
— AP Sports Writer Tim Booth reported from Sochi.
Belgium will keep defender Vincent Kompany on the 23-man roster for the World Cup even though it’s likely to be later in the group stage before the veteran sees the field.
Coach Roberto Martinez said Sunday he would not be making any roster changes. Kompany suffered a groin injury in a friendly against Portugal earlier this month and the Red Devils added Laurent Ciman to their camp as a precaution. Ciman was sent back to Brussels on Saturday to await final word on Kompany’s status.
Martinez says there is a stronger chance now of Kompany now appearing in the group stage and that his experience is important to have around the squad.
Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will lead Mexico’s attack in its opening World Cup game against Germany.
There’s also a place in the starting lineup for midfielder Jesus Gallardo, while brothers Jonathan and Giovani dos Santos of the LA Galaxy are both on the bench.
Mexico lineup: Guillermo Ochoa, Hugo Ayala, Carlos Salcedo, Miguel Layun, Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez, Hector Moreno, Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado, Hirving Lozano, Jesus Gallardo.
Germany is starting with Mesut Ozil in midfield for its World Cup opener against Mexico, while Marco Reus is on the bench.
Ozil’s start follows weeks of debate in Germany over his decision to pose for a photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan along with teammate Ilkay Gundogan. Some German politicians and media questioned whether the players, who are of Turkish heritage, were sufficiently committed to Germany.
Manuel Neuer starts in goal despite missing most of the club season with a foot fracture. Marvin Plattenhardt is in at left back; German media reported Jonas Hector has an illness.
Germany: Manuel Neuer, Marvin Plattenhardt, Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira, Julian Draxler, Toni Kroos, Timo Werner, Mesut Ozil, Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng, Joshua Kimmich.
Aleksandar Kolarov’s curling free kick in the 56th minute has helped Serbia to a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in its World Cup opener.
Serbia, which missed out on the 2014 World Cup, had the early advantage in a tough group in Russia that includes five-time champion Brazil and Switzerland, who were set to play later Sunday in Rostov-on-Don.
After a scoreless first half, Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas withstood a barrage of Serbian challenges to open the second with the boisterous Costa Rican fans cheering him on at Samara Arena.
But after David Guzman was handed a yellow card, Kolarov curled the free kick over the wall and Navas, who plays for Real Madrid, was not able to reach it.
South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong has warned his players about the new replay system being used for the first time in the World Cup. He’s telling them that the video assistant referee can’t be tricked.
Shin says “the players are aware of this. We are training the players. There are 32 cameras that are targeting the pitch. So you might be able to fool the referee, but you cannot fool the cameras. The players know this, and that is something we have emphasized.”
Shin is famous for using some trickery in his tactics. But he says his players have been schooled about the new system, which will detect a dive or a faked contact with another player.
He says “the VAR has really come to the forefront and it’s become an important part of the game.”
Captain Aleksandar Kolarov has given Serbia a 1-0 lead against Costa Rica. His free kick curled over the wall and diving Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas wasn’t able to reach it before it sailed into the upper right corner in the 56th minute. The free kick came after a yellow card on Costa Rica’s David Guzman.
The opening half between Costa Rica and Serbia was back and forth, right from the start: Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header was off in the opening minute and moments later Marco Urena’s angled shot for Costa Rica was saved in the left corner by Vladimir Stojkovic.
Following a corner kick, David Guzman popped the ball to Giancarlo Gonzalez but his header sailed over the net in the 12th minute. Branislav Ivanovic’s cross was knocked out of the box by Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas three minutes later.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic challenged Navas in the 27th from just outside the box, but Navas fell on the ball.
Urena’s right-foot strike from outside the box in the 39th went over the bar. A short time later Calvo’s chance was wide, and Stojkovic gestured for his side to calm down.
Milinkovic-Savic’s bicycle kick from in front of goal was ruled offside in the 42nd.
Mexico fans are agreeing among themselves not to chant what is considered a homophobic slur at the World Cup in Russia to avoid FIFA sanctions.
Instead of the chant, Mexicans plan to sing songs related to a couple of recent scandals in their country at Sunday’s Group F match against Germany.
Mexico’s Football Federation has been fined previously for the chant that fans shout out in unison every time the opposing goalkeeper kicks the ball. Despite campaigns to try to stop it, the chant has continued in the Estadio Azteca in Mexico when the national team plays there.
At last year’s Confederations Cup in Russia amid FIFA threats to suspend a match, El Tri fans practically stopped chanting in the Russian stadium. For the World Cup, fans don’t plan to keep quiet like last year, but instead modify the chants.
Sweden coach Janne Andersson says one of his staff got into a closed South Korea training session and was asked to leave, leading to a squabble between the teams over spying ahead of their World Cup game on Monday.
Andersson says the staffer, who is entrusted with scouting the opposition, thought the practice session at South Korea’s pre-World Cup training camp in Austria was open. Andersson says the coach left when asked and “watched from more of a distance.”
The incident has created a frosty atmosphere between the teams ahead of their game in Nizhny Novgorod.
Andersson says his team analyzes all opponents and the incident has been overblown, but adds “it’s very important that we show respect for opponents … If it has been perceived in another way, we apologize.”
Veteran defender Branislav Ivanovic is set to become Serbia’s most capped international player when he starts against Costa Rica in the World Cup. It will be his 104th international appearance and Serbia’s first at the World Cup in eight years.
The former Chelsea star surpassed Dejan Stankovic, known as “Deki,” who played 103 games for the national team from 1998-2013, through three different eras: Yugoslavia, Serbia-Montenegro and finally Serbia.
Johan Venegas, Francisco Calvo and David Guzman will be making their World Cup debuts for Costa Rica. The rest of the Costa Rica starting lineup was involved in Brazil in 2014, when the team lost a quarterfinal match to Netherlands on penalties.
Costa Rica: Keylor Navas, Johnny Acosta, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Celso Borges, Oscar Duarte, Bryan Ruiz, Johan Venegas, Francisco Calvo, Cristian Gamboa, David Guzman, Marcos Urena.
Serbia: Vladimir Stojkovic, Dusko Tosic, Luka Milivojevic, Branislav Ivanovic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Nikola Molenkovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Nemanja Matic, Adem Ljajic.
Midfielder Alan Dzagoev has ruled himself out of Russia’s two remaining World Cup group games because of injury.
Dzagoev hurt his left hamstring during Russia’s opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia and tells Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency he’s in pain when walking and will only resume light training Monday.
Dzagoev says “there’s nothing good about the biggest tournament going on without you. I hope I can still play. I hope to God that we make the knockout stages and maybe I’ll be able to play.”
Dzagoev has played 58 times for Russia and was expected to be a key player for the host nation at the World Cup.
Diego Maradona has given his version of an exchange with an Asian fan that witnesses perceived as racist.
British television staff working in Spartak Stadium in Moscow during Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland on Saturday reported seeing Maradona respond to South Korea fans calling his name.
On Twitter, BBC presenter Jacqui Oatley posted that Maradona “obliged with a smile, kiss and wave. Then pulled his eyes to the side in a clearly racist gesture.”
In a Facebook message early Sunday, the Argentina great says he saw “an Asian boy wearing an Argentina T-shirt.”
He adds: “I, from afar, tried to tell them how nice it seemed to me that even the Asians cheer for us. And that’s all, guys, come on.”
FIFA statutes prohibit acts of discrimination by teams, officials and fans at games it organizes.
In a response to The Associated Press, FIFA refers to its anti-discrimination rules without commenting on the incident.
Maradona also apologizes for smoking a cigar in the VIP seats, despite a FIFA ban on smoking at World Cup stadiums.
Moscow police are investigating a taxi crash that injured eight people, including two Mexican World Cup fans, when the driver plowed into pedestrians on a sidewalk near Red Square.
Video circulating on Russian social media and some news websites showed the taxi veering onto the sidewalk Saturday and striking pedestrians. The source of the video was unclear.
City police released a video Sunday of an interrogation session with a man identified as the Kyrgyz taxi driver, in which he says he briefly fell asleep at the wheel in the crash and accidentally accelerated. It was unclear whether the man spoke under duress.
The man says he hadn’t slept in 20 hours, and ran away after the accident because he was afraid that angry bystanders would kill him. He was later detained.
Moscow police would not comment Sunday on whether the crash would affect security measures for the World Cup, which is being held in 11 Russian cities over the next month. Among the security concerns has been the possible use of vehicles as weapons.
The Mexican Embassy told The Associated Press that the two injured female fans met with embassy representatives and were not hospitalized. The Mexican national soccer teams plays against Germany on Sunday in Moscow.