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    Ghana spoil Japan’s WC wave-off

    Agence France-Presse . Yokohama | Updated at 12:29am on May 31, 2018

    Ghana gatecrashed Japan’s farewell game before the World Cup -- coach Akira Nishino’s first in charge of the Blue Samurai -- with a 2-0 win on Wednesday. Thomas Partey put the visitors in front after just nine minutes in rain-lashed Yokohama before an Emmanuel Boateng penalty early in the second further dented Japan’s fragile confidence....

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    Messi treble kick-starts Argentina prep

    Reuters . Sao Paulo | Updated at 12:27am on May 31, 2018

    Two South American sides warmed up for next month’s World Cup in Russia with easy wins on Tuesday as Argentina hammered Haiti 4-0 in Buenos Aires and Peru overcame Scotland 2-0 in Lima....

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    England hone shootout skills

    Reuters . London | Updated at 12:24am on May 31, 2018

    England are preparing for the prospect of penalties at next month’s World Cup as they look to avoid a familiar fate of being knocked out of a major competition on spot kicks, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has said....

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    Salah’s WC still hangs in balance

    Agence France-Presse . Madrid | Updated at 12:18am on May 31, 2018

    Mohamed Salah faces a fight to play in any of Egypt’s World Cup group games, according to one of Liverpool’s physiotherapists. Club physio Ruben Pons has estimated Salah would normally need ‘three to four weeks’ to recover from the left shoulder injury he sustained during Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid...

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    Messi grabs hat-trick as Argentina rout Haiti

    Reuters. Buenos Aires | Updated at 10:42am on May 30, 2018

    Argentina showed once again how reliant they are on Lionel Messi as the Barcelona forward scored a hat-trick in their 4-0 World Cup warm-up win over Haiti on Tuesday....

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    England fans face long, costly trip to Russia

    Reuters . London | Updated at 12:05am on May 30, 2018

    England fans can expect to rack up the air miles and take a major hit to their bank balances to follow their side at the World Cup, but spare a thought for the most ardent of Uruguay supporters, who must make the longest trip for their opener....

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    Sterling defends gun tattoo following criticism

    Reuters   | Updated at 12:05am on May 30, 2018

    England international Raheem Sterling has defended a new tattoo depicting an assault rifle after anti-gun campaigners labelled it ‘disgusting’ on Tuesday....

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    Neuer set for comeback against Austria

    Agence France-Presse . Berlin | Updated at 12:05am on May 30, 2018

    Germany’s captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will return to international action in Saturday’s World Cup warm-up match against Austria after more than eight months on the sidelines because of a fractured foot....

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    Portugal stumble, France impress

    Reuters . Barcelona | Updated at 12:05am on May 30, 2018

    European champions Portugal spurned a two-goal lead against Tunisia, stumbling to a 2-2 draw, as France, one of the World Cup favourites, flexed their muscles with a comfortable 2-0 win over Ireland in warm-up friendlies on Monday....

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    Spain coach strives to match domestic dominance in WC

    Agence France-Presse . Madrid | Updated at 12:05am on May 30, 2018

    Spain’s recent dominance in club competitions has masked a period of underachievement at international level, but coach Julen Lopetegui believes failure leaves his side more determined than ever to win the World Cup....