The Latest: Vela converts penalty to put Mexico up 1-0

The Latest: Vela converts penalty to put Mexico up 1-0
The Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Saturday at the World Cup (all times local):

6:33 p.m.

Carlos Vela has converted a penalty kick to put Mexico up a goal on South Korea in the 26th minute in Rostov-on-Don.

The referee awarded the penalty after a sliding Jang Hyun-soo handled the ball while trying to stop a cross from Andres Guardado on the left side. Goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo stalled for time to freeze Vela but the forward coolly knocked it into the right side of the goal as the ‘keeper went left.

Miguel Layun nearly doubled the lead moments later but his 20-yard drive went over the bar.

Mexico upset Germany to start the tournament and would be in strong position to advance with another win.

— Associated Press writer Derek Gatopoulos reported from Rostov-on-Don.

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5:20 p.m.

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Orosio has made only one change to his lineup for the World Cup game against South Korea, keeping faith with players who combined to beat Germany in their Group F opener. Defender Edson Alvarez replaced Hugo Ayala at the back.

South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong stuck to his attacking line up but shook up his midfield with Ju Se-jong and Moon Seon-min coming in for Park Joo-ho and Koo Ja-cheol, as the 2002 semifinalists seek to recover from their opening 1-0 loss to Sweden.

Lineups:

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

South Korea: Jo Hyeon-woo, Lee Yong, Son Heung-min, Ju Se-jong, Hwang Hee-chan, Kim Min-woo, Ki Sung-yueng, Kim Young-gwon, Jang Hyun-soo, Lee Jae-sung, Moon Seo-min.

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4:56 p.m.

Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard have each scored twice as Belgium beat Tunisia 5-2 in the highest scoring game of the World Cup so far.

The Belgians, who rested both star forwards in the second half for tougher tests ahead, lead Group G with two wins and a for-and-against record of 8-2

Belgium had a two-goal lead within 16 minutes after Hazard scored from the penalty spot and Lukaku angled a low, left-foot shot into the corner of Tunisia’s goal.

The North Africans cut the lead through defender Dylan Bronn’s 18th minute header, but Belgium settled the game with goals either side of half time.

Lukaku clipped a right-foot shot over advancing goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha to match Cristiano Ronaldo on four goals as the tournament’s leading scorer.

Hazard ran on to a long pass in the 51st, flicked the ball around Ben Mustapha and shot into an empty net. Substitute Michy Batshuayi made it a rout in stoppage time, and failed with three other good scoring chances.

Tunisia captain Wahbi Khazri got his team’s second with almost the last kick.

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4:45 p.m.

Amid Panama’s joy at playing at its first World Cup, the team also carries with it desperate pain and sorrow over the death of teammate Amilcar Henriquez.

Henriquez, who played for Panama in qualifying, was killed last year in a drive-by shooting in his home town of Colon.

Panama coach Hernan Gomez says the players still talk about their slain teammate, who was “a leader within our team.”

He says talking about Henriquez and remembering him “helps to bring us together.”

Gomez compared Henriquez’s story with that of Colombia defender Andres Escobar, who was shot to death days after his team was eliminated from the 1994 World Cup.

Henriquez, who was 33, was killed by unknown assailants while playing a game of dominoes with friends. One other person was killed in the shooting. The crime has not been solved.

Gomez says the Panama team still feels the pain of Henriquez’s killing “in our hearts and souls.”

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4:33 p.m.

Prior to the World Cup, Japan coach Akira Nishino said it would take a miracle of sorts for his team to beat Columbia.

Yet even after Japan’s surprise 2-1 victory over the Columbians, it is again the underdog as it prepares for a pivotal matchup with Senegal.

That doesn’t mean Nishino is fearful of a team he says is physically superior.

“Senegal has some superstars,” Nishino said Saturday. “But as a team we’re going to deal with them and cope with them.”

The teams have met three times in their history, all in friendlies, but haven’t played in 15 years.

One of the biggest challenges for Japan will be trying to contain Liverpool winger Sadio Mane. Nishino said that may require some creativity, and numbers.

“It may not be 1-on-1,” the coach said. “It may be 3-on-1.”

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4:20 p.m.

The cabin of a plane carrying Peruvian soccer fans at the World Cup filled with smoke as the aircraft prepared for landing in a Siberian city.

The Interfax news agency says the incident occurred as the plane was coming in to land in Tyumen. The flight originated in Yekaterinburg and the Peru fans were to transfer in Tyumen to a flight to Moscow, the report said.

The plane, a twin-turboprop ATR-72 flown by the UTAir airline, landed safely, the agency said. Citing national aviation agency Rosaviatsiya, the report said the smoke came from overheated oil in one of the plane’s engines.

There was no fire and no injuries were reported. Peru lost 1-0 to France at Yekaterinburg, ending its chances of progressing to the knockout stage

The Saudi World Cup squad had a similar experience flying between St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don earlier in the week.

Russia’s federal agency for air traffic said an engine burst into flames during landing on the Airbus airplane, but no emergency procedures were required.

The aircraft landed with both of its engines working and the passengers disembarked normally, the agency’s statement said.

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4:10 p.m.

Not even the World Cup can interfere with nap time in Spain.

Spain midfielder Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion says he and his teammates are not being able to watch all matches in Russia because some are at the same time of the “siesta,” the country’s traditional afternoon nap time.

He told El Pais newspaper the early afternoon games are coinciding with the siesta and the ones after that are usually conflicting with the team’s practice sessions, so players can only watch the night matches during dinner time.

Spain’s game against Morocco on Monday will be at night, as were its first two games in the group stage — a 3-3 draw against Portugal and a 1-0 win over Iran.

Spain and Portugal lead Group B with four points. Iran is third with three points, while Morocco has already been eliminated after two losses.

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3:49 p.m.

Romelu Lukaku scored just before halftime to give Belgium a 3-1 lead over Tunisia and equal Cristiano Ronaldo’s tally of four goals so far at the World Cup.

Thomas Meunier played the ball through the defense for Lukaku to beat the offside trap and flick the ball over goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha.

Earlier, Eden Hazard opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Lukaku made it 2-0 for Belgium. Tunisia cut the deficit when Dylan Bronn headed in from a free-kick.

Bronn soon went off injured and was later joined on the sidelines by Tunisia defender Syam Ben Youssef.

Lukaku also scored two goals in Belgium’s opening 3-0 win over Panama. Ronaldo has scored four goals in Portugal’s first two games.

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3:25 p.m.

Belgium’s quick goal from the penalty spot against Tunisia ensured there were no 0-0 draws in the first 27 matches of a World Cup for the first time. There were no 0-0 draws in the 1954 tournament, which included 16 teams and a total of 26 games.

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3:18 p.m.

Belgium leads Tunisia 2-1 after goals in quick succession at opposite ends of the field.

Romelu Lukaku gave Belgium a 2-0 lead with a low shot in the 16th minute after a pass from Dries Mertens when Tunisia’s Ali Maaloul lost the ball on the halfway line.

Tunisia responded two minutes later when Dylan Bronn headed the ball past Thibaut Courtois at a free-kick.

That gives Tunisia some reprieve as it must avoid defeat to retain any hope of qualifying for the knockout stages.

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3:06 p.m.

Eden Hazard has given Belgium a 1-0 lead over Tunisia with a penalty in the 6th minute of the World Cup Group G match.

Hazard hit the ball low and left past Tunisia goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha to give Belgium the lead.

Hazard won the penalty when he was brought down by Tunisia’s Syam Ben Youssef on the edge of the area.

If Belgium beats Tunisia it will be almost certainly assured of a place in the knockout stages of the World Cup.

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1:15 p.m.

It wouldn’t be the World Cup without some emotion from Brazil.

Thiago Silva is upset with his teammate Neymar for shouting at him during Friday’s tense 2-0 win over Costa Rica.

Neymar apparently was angry with Silva for giving the ball back to Costa Rica late in the game with the score locked at 0-0, because the star striker considered Costa Rica to be time wasting.

In comments reported by globo.com, Silva says he has always tried to treat Neymar as a younger brother but, “When I gave the ball back (to Costa Rica) he insulted me. Theoretically he was right, because they stalled a lot.”

Silva, who was captain for the game under coach Tite’s captaincy rotation policy, added “I was very sad about that insult.”

Neymar scored Brazil’s second goal in the seventh minute of injury time, his first of the tournament and 56th overall for Brazil.

Brazil is level with Switzerland on four points in Group E and next plays Serbia.

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1:10 p.m.

Dele Alli has returned to practice with the England squad but carried out individual drills away from the main group, keeping him in doubt for the World Cup match against Panama.

The midfielder hurt his thigh in England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday and didn’t practice with the group for four days.

Alli participated in warm-up routines on Saturday and later worked alone on his fitness.

England coach Gareth Southgate has said Alli is unlikely to feature against Panama in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday.

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