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25 June 2010 8:59 PM | Tagged: didier drogba
NELSPRUIT, South Africa - When Ivory Coast's name was pulled out of theWorld Cup group draw alongside Brazil and Portugal in December, the team wasentitled to think luck wasn't on its side.In the team's only other appearance at the finals, in 2006, it was alsoplaced in a nightmare group, losing to Argentina and Netherlands before comingfrom two goals behind to beat Serbia and Montenegro in its l

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25 June 2010 8:39 PM | Tagged: italian football federation
JOHANNESBURG - One of the most arrogant pronouncements so far of the WorldCup came from Steven Gerrard.Trying to explain how lowly Algeria managed torestrict England's more competent footballers to a goalless tie, the Englishcaptain said the North Africans played as though they were competing in theWorld Cup final.In other words, the Algerians really put their hearts into it.For Englandit was ju

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25 June 2010 7:19 PM | Tagged: fabio cannavaro
IRENE, South Africa - Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro is leaving the Azzurriin a state of disgrace after the defending champion's unexpected first-roundexit from the World Cup.Still, the player who raised the trophy after the title four years ago washolding on to a bit of pride, saying that 'what we did in 2006 can never beerased.' At 36, Cannavaro often appeared a step too slow in this tourname

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25 June 2010 7:19 PM | Tagged: saifi
JOHANNESBURG - FIFA is investigating a complaint against Algeria strikerRafik Saifi following an altercation with a journalist at the World Cup.The incident occurred after Algeria was eliminated by Wednesday's 1-0 lossto the United States. A female reporter from an Algerian publication was heard shouting at Saifi,who left Loftus Versfeld stadium holding his lip and refusing to respond toquestio

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25 June 2010 7:19 PM | Tagged: samuel eto o
CAPE TOWN, South Africa - Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o has pledged tocontinue playing for the west African nation despite its poor performance at theWorld Cup.The 29-year-old striker scored twice in Cameroon's three group defeats inSouth Africa but early elimination was a massive disappointment for a player soprominent in promotional material for the first World Cup in Africa.It also was a letd

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25 June 2010 7:19 PM | Tagged: bert van marwijk
CAPE TOWN, South Africa - The Netherlands again flew through itsfirst-round group.Now comes the tough part - learning how to win one of thoseall-or-nothing games.The Netherlands beat Cameroon 2-1 to finish top of World Cup Group E with aperfect nine points late Thursday, showing the same ease as in recent groupcampaigns at Euro 2008 and the 2006 World Cup.Those games lifted hopes of their millio

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25 June 2010 6:59 PM | Tagged: durban south africa
DURBAN, South Africa - What was supposed to be a World Cup classic betweentwo teams known for their attacking flair turned into a huge letdown Friday,with Portugal's 0-0 draw against Brazil light on quality football and full ofyellow cards. Brazil and Portugal are supposed to be friendly nations with a sharedlanguage and colonial past.But there was no love lost in Friday's first half in Durban.

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25 June 2010 6:59 PM | Tagged: giovanni van bronckhorst
CAPE TOWN, South Africa - More than half of the Netherlands first-choiceplayers are carrying yellow cards - a precarious situation if several pick up asecond booking and the team advances to the World Cup quarterfinals afterplaying Slovakia. The six players are Robin van Persie, Rafael van der Vaart, Dirk Kuyt, Nigelde Jong, Gregory van der Wiel and captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst.The Netherla