Belgium v South Korea and Algeria v Russia - World Cup 2014 LIVE: Latest news on Day 15 including Luis Suarez and reaction to USA 0-1 Germany and Portugal 2-1 Ghana - Live coverage - The Independent

Belgium v South Korea and Algeria v Russia - World Cup 2014 LIVE: Latest news on Day 15 including Luis Suarez and reaction to USA 0-1 Germany and Portugal 2-1 Ghana

Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of Portugal 2-1 Ghana and USA 0-1 Germany on day 15 of the World Cup with Sam Dymond and Samuel Stevens. We'll be bringing you all the news from Brazil including the reaction to Luis Suarez's four month ban and the build-up to tonight's final group games; Algeria v Russia and South Korea v Belgium.

  • Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of day 15 of the FIFA World Cup, and it’s time to shed a tear.

    For today is the final time at Brazil 2014 that we’ll be able to enjoy three or four games in a single evening. From here on in, it will be two, and then one, and then bleak reality. Hell, tomorrow is even a ‘rest’ day when we’ll go back to watching Corrie and Celebrity Masterchef. Hold me.

    But hopefully, we’ll go out with a bang tonight with the final four fixtures of the group stage. There’s certainly plenty at stake for those involved with Germany, USA, Portgual, Ghana, Algeria, Russia and South Korea all looking to book their place in the second round; only Belgium are guaranteed of their place in the last 16 as it stands.

    It begins in Brasilia and Recife at 5pm this evening when Portugal face Ghana and the USA meet Germany respectively in Group G, and a draw in either game will send the Stars and Stripes and Die Mannschaft through.

    Then, at 9pm, Group H completes proceedings as Algeria take on Russia in Curitiba while South Korea play Belgium in Sao Paulo. The Desert Foxes are in pole position to follow the Belgians through, and another point would see them all but complete the job unless the Taegeuk Warriors can convincingly beat the leaders.

    Sam Dymond, and later Samuel Stevens, will be here to talk you through all the action as it happens, and if you want to have your say on the games in these groups, Luis Suarez or anything World Cup related, then please tweet @sammydymond or email sam.dymond@gmail.com.
    6/26/2014 10:42:47 AM
  • We'll start with the latest Luis Suarez news, and the...erm...latest is there is...er...no news. At least no new news.

    According to reports in Brazil, the striker's legal representatives are currently making their case to FIFA, and the governing body have indicated some urgency in getting the matter sorted - especially considering Suarez will be hoping to be in last 16 action for Uruguay against Colombia on Saturday - but, at this moment, they are also keeping their cards close to their chest.

    FIFA are expected to host their daily press conference this lunchtime in Rio de Janeiro where they may reveal what their disciplinary committee has decided on. But then they may not.

    We'll bring you more as we have it.

    6/26/2014 11:24:55 AM
  • It seems that everybody has had their say on Luis Suarez this past two days, and now that may be true because the boss has finally spoken out. No, not Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez, but The Boss Bruce Springsteen. 

    The legendary American musician revealed that he had watched 'a little bit' of the World Cup, presumably put off by that Nigeria v Iran game, but when pressed on the latest antics of the Uruguayan striker, he delivered this pearl of wisdom...

    Biting has no place in sports.
    The Boss clearly doesn't recall the epic finale to the 1992 World Biting Championship. 
    6/26/2014 11:34:58 AM
  • From one American hero to another. Speaking/Shouting ahead of the USA's crunch Group G match with Germany this evening, former wrestler Hulk Hogan has delivered a stirring message to the players and issued a warning to Joachim Low's men that the United States are going 'to run wild' on them.

    Let's hope that, considering a draw would see the US progress and Germany top the group, the match isn't as staged as Hogan's greatest title bouts. 

    Hulk Hogan Pumps up US Soccer team
    by Hulk Hogan via YouTube
    6/26/2014 11:50:37 AM
  • Breaking News

    Ghana midfielders Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng have been suspended indefinitely by the Ghana Football Association for disciplinary reasons and have been sent home from the World Cup.

    According to the official GFA website, Boateng targeted 'vulgar verbal insults' at coach Kwesi Appiah during the team’s training session in Maceio, while Muntari was guilty of an 'unprovoked physical attack' on a Ghanaian official.

    It caps a chaotic World Cup campaign for the Black Stars just hours ahead of their final Group G match against Portugal. Earlier this week, the Ghana squad had refused to train following a row over appearance fees and the country's president had to intervene by flying in money to appease the situation.

    6/26/2014 11:56:29 AM
  • Another on their way home from the 2014 World Cup this afternoon is Iran manager Carlos Queiroz, or, as he will now be known, former Iran manager Carlos Queiroz.

    The former Real Madrid coach announced immediately after his side's 3-1 defeat to Bosnia that his marriage with the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran was over, having been unable to agree terms on a new contract. The good news is he gets to keep the car and he'll be allowed to see the kids at weekends. 

    You can’t have a marriage when there is only one side that wants to marry. The last 11 months I’ve waited and waited and there was a moment I was forced take a decision and today I just came here to say thank you.
    6/26/2014 12:33:39 PM
  • The USA have been turning the awesome up at this World Cup, and have a great opportunity to confirm their place in the last 16 by taking at least a point against Germany this evening.

    But many supporters back in America have been unable to witness the exploits of their team due to the kick-off times often falling during work hours, and they include my pal Aubrey who has been stuck in school (she's a teacher, he hasn't been befriending American children on the Internet - Ed).

    However, their national coach and former World Cup winner, Jürgen Klinsmann has come to the rescue with this hastily written, legally-binding, mom-get-me-out-of-PE note.

    Just print this off and let's unify as one big team on a field of dreams.


    6/26/2014 12:58:46 PM
  • Reports are emanating from the press in South America that Sergio Aguero has been ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup with injury.

    The Argentina striker went off during yesterday 3-2 victory against Nigeria with a thigh problem, and was expected to have further muscle tests this morning to see if he would be able to feature again at these finals. However, preliminary reports are suggesting that the Manchester City man's problem is worse than envisaged and he could well be on his way home early.

    6/26/2014 1:17:52 PM
  • Breaking News From The FIFA Daily Media Briefing


    In an official statement made by FIFA, Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has just been handed a record nine-game ban and a four month ban from 'all football activity' after being found guilty of biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, making the sanction the biggest ever World Cup suspension in history.

    The ban means that not only will Suarez be unable to feature in Uruguay's next nine games, starting with Saturday's World Cup second round tie against Colombia, but he'll also be unavailable for any club football until November. Furthermore, the player will be banned from any football activity, administrative, sports or otherwise, and will be subject to a stadium suspension. He has also been fined 100,000 Swiss Francs.

    Suarez's ban trumps the heaviest sanction that FiFA have ever given out, being an eight-match ban it imposed on Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for breaking the nose of Spain’s Luis Enrique during the 1994 tournament.









    6/26/2014 1:50:34 PM
  • USA v Germany

    Back to football activities, and the USA face Germany in Recife in just over an hour's time, knowing that a single point will see them through to the last 16, and, as Konstantinos Lianos explains in his match preview, it would be all the sweeter for their coach if they can achieve it against the country he lifted the World Cup trophy with in 1990.

    USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann will be facing the team for which he played 108 times and scored 47 goals. The 49-year-old seems keen to field the same line-up with much being expected by the form of Clint Dempsey.
    6/26/2014 2:47:12 PM
  • Portugal v Ghana

    Meanwhile, Portugal meet Ghana in Brasilia with both nations hoping to rectify shambolic World Cup campaigns at the last moment. While the Black Stars have been disrupted by chaos off the pitch, culminating in this afternoon's suspension of Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng, the Selecção have had to deal with injuries, ill discipline and 22 players not on the same wavelength as Cristiano Ronaldo.

    It seems unthinkable that both nations are still in with a chance of second-round qualification considering, but as Konstantinos Lianos explains in his match preview how it's possible while Jack Pitt-Brooke discusses the achievements of this World Cup's ultimate one-man teams.

    Ronaldo is the only reason Portugal are at the World Cup, and the only reason they are still in it. He scored all four goals in Portugal’s 4-2 play-off win against Sweden, including a legendary hat-trick in Solna. He was the only player who threatened Germany in Portugal’s dismal opening game, and it was his cross which rescued the crucial equaliser against the US.
    6/26/2014 3:03:31 PM
  • The teams are in for the two Group G games in Recife and Brasilia.

    USA v Germany

    USA: Howard, Gonzalez, Bradley, Besler, Beasley, Dempsey, Jones, Davis, Beckerman, Zusi, Johnson

    Subs: Yedlin, Brooks. Jóhannsson, Diskerud, Bedoya, Guzan. Green. Wondolowski. Cameron, Chandler, Rimand

    Germany: Neuer, Howedes, Hummels, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Podolski, Muller, Lahm, Mertesacker, Kroos, Boateng

    Subs: Großkreutz, Ginter, Khedira, Schürrle. Klose. Zieler, Draxler, Durm. Götze, Mustafi, Weidenfeller, Kramer

    Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)


    Portugal v Ghana

    Portugal: Beto, Alves, Pepe, Veloso, Carvalho, Ronaldo, Moutinho, Eder, Nani, Amorim, Pereira

    Subs: Eduardo, Vieirinha, Costa, Neto, Silva, Meireles, Varela
     
    Ghana: Dauda, Gyan, Atsu, Agyemang Badu, A. Ayew, Rabiu, Waris, Mensah, Asamoah, Boye, Afful

    Subs: Adams, Inkoom, Opare, Essien, Acquah, Kwarasey, J. Ayew, Adomah, Sumaila, Wakaso

    Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain)
    6/26/2014 3:14:51 PM
  • Five minutes until kick-off, and while it's hotting up in Brasilia, the rain has been torrential in Recife.




    6/26/2014 3:56:07 PM
  • KICK-OFF: The action is underway in these two Group G games, and while there's not so much a flood of immediate action in Recife where USA take on Germany, there is the danger of a flood period. The heavy rain that has been an issue all day has got even worse, and there are thousands of empty seats in the Arena Pernambuco as the game kicks-off.
    6/26/2014 4:03:15 PM
  • 5 mins: Portugal 0 Ghana 0: Cristiano Ronaldo hits the crossbar in Brasilia! The Real Madrid star hasn't scored yet at these finals but he's gone so close to getting off the mark with an audacious effort from out wide on the touchline. Cynics will argue that it was a poor attempt at a cross from the right wing, but surely he completed his quota of passes for the month with that last-minute ball to Silvestre Varela in the USA game.
    6/26/2014 4:10:04 PM
  • 10 mins: USA 0 Germany 0: The impossible-to-pronounce Benedikt Höwedes goes into the book for a cynical foul that has Graham Zusi splashing about on the turf, but the Americans aren't happy as they feel Fabian Johnson was away down the wing with the loose ball.

    6/26/2014 4:14:45 PM
  • 15 mins: USA 0 Germany 0: For a German team that looked so narrow on paper, they are finding some joy in attacking the USA down each flank. The most recent opportunity came when Bastian Schweinsteiger played a neat one-two with Mesut Ozil and burst into the box, but Omar Gonzalez denied him a shot at goal with a perfectly timed slide tackle.
    6/26/2014 4:16:42 PM
  • 18 mins: USA 0 Germany 0: "I don't mean to be disparaging but I thought that bloke was a tramp" says the BBC's Mark Lawrenson with an alarming lack of self-awareness. The co-commentator unleashes his  nugget of wisdom while talking about a man in his hotel who looked like the USA's Kyle Beckerman, who has just been fortunate to escape a booking.
    6/26/2014 4:21:30 PM
  • 19 mins: Portugal 0 Ghana 0: If this really is Lionel Messi's World Cup, it certainly isn't Cristiano Ronaldo's. The Portuguese forward has just been denied at point blank range by Ghana goalkeeper Fatay Dauda, who celebrated his save from the header as if he had scored one himself.

    6/26/2014 4:23:41 PM
  • 28 mins: USA 0 Germany 0: A cynical shoulder to the face takes out Jermaine Jones on the edge of the German penalty area as he was about to connect with Fabian Johnson's pull-back, but there will neither a card nor a free-kick. And that's because the offender was Uzbekistan referee Ravshan Irmatov.
    6/26/2014 4:31:01 PM
  • 31 mins: GOAL! PORTUGAL 1 GHANA 0:

    A chaotic week for the Ghanaians has just been summed up by one disastrous, not to mention hilarious, own-goal by defender John Boye!  Nani looked dangerous as he escaped down the left wing, but his cross into the middle was anything but. However, that was reckoning without the Rennes centre-back, who wildly sliced his clearance to loop it behind him and over the despairing hand of his goalkeeper Fatau Dauda. Portugal lead but they can't stop there if they want to have any chance of qualifying ahead of the USA.

    6/26/2014 4:31:31 PM
  • 39 mins: USA 0 Germany 0: US gloveman Tim Howard makes the latest in a long list of interceptions to deny the Germans an opportunity inside the danger zone. Joachim Low's men appear to be targeting low balls into the penalty area in this first half, but they have yet to prove beneficial. 
    6/26/2014 4:41:01 PM
  • 42 mins: Portugal 1 Ghana 0: Asamoah Gyan wants a penalty after going down while trying to turn Bruno Alves inside the box, but referee Nawaf Shukralla is correct to wave him up to his feet. It's another piece of poorly timed play by a Ghana player because if the striker had thrown himself to the ground a few seconds earlier, when the Portugal defender had his arms all over him, he may have been rewarded with a spotkick.
    6/26/2014 4:44:57 PM
  • 45 mins: USA 0 Germany 0: Former international teammates Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jermaine Jones have started to pay each other close attention at the end of this first half - with their studs. The pair have come together on three occasions in the past five minutes, most recently with the Bayern Munich midfielder cleaning the Besiktas man out off the ball. This could be a midfield battle to watch in the second half.

    6/26/2014 4:46:27 PM
  • 45 mins: Portugal 1 Ghana 0: John Boye nearly bags himself a second own-goal with another wild slice on the stroke of half-time, but his accuracy deserts him on this occasions and the ball flies over the crossbar. Portugal dilly and dally for so long over the corner that the Bahrain official gets bored and blows for half-time.
    6/26/2014 4:46:43 PM
  • HALF-TIME - USA 0 GERMANY 0:
    6/26/2014 4:47:00 PM
  • HALF-TIME - PORTUGAL 1 GHANA 0:
    6/26/2014 4:47:10 PM
  • SECOND HALF KICK-OFF: We're back underway in Group G, and Jogi Low has made a half-time substitution. Miroslav Klose is on for Germany in place of Lukas Podolski; after equalling Ronaldo's record by scoring against Ghana, is this the evening that Klose becomes the leading all-time World Cup goalscorer?
    6/26/2014 5:06:06 PM
  • 51 mins: Portugal 1 Ghana 0: Asamoah Gyan has the Portugal net rippling at the start of the second half, but that's only because his shot from 25 yards has just flicked the side netting. The Al Ain striker did well to get an effort away having turned his marker outside the box, and it indicates a more attacking approach from Ghana since the restart.
    6/26/2014 5:11:47 PM
  • 55 mins: GOAL! USA 0 GERMANY 1:

    Thomas Muller just loves scoring at the World Cup! The winner of the Golden Boot in South Africa in 2010, the Bayern Munich man has just bagged his fourth of this tournament with a splendid strike! The USA defence switched off at a German corner, but they appeared to have got away with it when Tim Howard palmed out Bastian Schweinsteiger's header. However, nobody was picking up Muller on the edge of the box, and he sent his shot back first-time past a crowd of bodies and into the far corner of the net.

    6/26/2014 5:12:48 PM
  • 57 mins: GOAL! PORTUGAL 1 GHANA 1:

    Asamoah Gyan scores for Ghana! And Group G has an intriguing look about it now! The goal means Gyan is the record all-time African World Cup goalscorer, but he owes this one to the brilliance of the pass from
     Kwadwo Asamoah. The Juventus midfielder finally got in behind the full-back and sent in a fantastic cross with the outside of his left foot to the far post, where Gyan was in the right place to head past Beto. Another Ghana goal would mean they leapfrog America into second place!

    6/26/2014 5:15:26 PM
  • 60 mins: Portugal 1 Ghana 1: And Ghana should have had that second goal! Gyan turned provider from the left flank, but how he would have loved to have been on the end of his own cross. He would surely have done better than Abdul Majeed Waris, whose header at the far post was poor, cushioning it well wide with the goal gaping.
    6/26/2014 5:22:31 PM
  • 68 mins: USA 0 Germany 1: The clothes may be damp, but the spirit of the American support isn't and the first cry of "USA! USA!" goes up in this second half. The game itself has gone somewhat flat, and the Stars and Stripes need to be careful because another Ghana goal in Brasilia would mean they drop to third - and the Black Stars are pressing.
    6/26/2014 5:28:36 PM
  • 75 mins: USA 0 Germany 1: It's going to be a worrying final 15 minutes for the United States, and their first concern are the two American players - substitute Alejandro Bedoya and Jermaine Jones - who are prostrate in the middle of the park after a nasty clash of heads. Thankfully, Bedoya is back up and in the action after treatment, while Jones will shortly join him once his bloodied nose is patched up.

    6/26/2014 5:35:14 PM
  • 78 mins: Portugal 1 Ghana 1: Andre Ayew sees the figurative kind of red and lashes out at William Carvalho with his arm after some close attention from the Sporting midfielder displayed all beneath the Ghanians shorts. Remarkably, however, Ayew fails to see the literal red for his forearm smash despite the unpleasant incident happening right under the nose of the referee, who decides to produce only a yellow card.
    6/26/2014 5:38:31 PM
  • 80 mins: GOAL! PORTUGAL 2 GHANA 1:

    Cristiano Ronaldo finally has his goal of this World Cup! But it's likely to have come too late to stop Portugal bowing out of the finals! A smile doesn't even flicker across the captain's face as he mops up on a sloppy mistake from Ghana goalkeeper Fatau Dauda, who drops a looping cross from right underneath the crossbar. Portugal will need another three goals - or some help from Germany - in the final ten minutes to give themselves a chance of qualification.

    6/26/2014 5:38:56 PM
  • 83 mins: Portugal 2 Ghana 1: The Portuguese are having a real go at finding these three goals, and Ronaldo could perhaps have had them himself with a little more composure and his regular assertiveness. The Real Madrid man has been denied twice in quick succession since scoring with Dauda making amends for that costly mistake with a couple of fine blocks.

    6/26/2014 5:45:53 PM
  • 87 mins: USA 0 Germany 1: Cheers around the stadium greeted that second Portugal goal, and that has transcended to the US players on the pitch. They know they're nearly there now and are content to keep possession without committing too many men forward in these final few minutes.
    6/26/2014 5:48:09 PM
  • 90 mins: Portugal 2 Ghana 1: John Boye nearly acknowledges the four minutes of injury time in both Group G games with another attempt on his own goal, but is once again off target. Meanwhile, Portugal are on to their third goalkeeper of the tournament, Eduardo, with the replaced Beto in tears on the bench. He's possibly upset because Ronaldo has just fluffed another two chances at the death, and the lasting image of this one will be that of the captain thumping the turf in frustration.


    6/26/2014 5:51:11 PM
  • 90+3 mins: USA 0 Germany 1: USA almost turn the awesome up in injury time, but miss two great opportunities to equalise! First, Alejandro Bedoya looked certain to cap a swift counter-attack, but German captain Philipp Lahm appeared from nowhere to block the shot, and then, from a long cross into the box, Clint Dempsey could only nod the ball over the bar under close attention in the six yard box. Thanksfully, for the United States, it's unlikely to matter.
    6/26/2014 5:52:13 PM
  • FULL TIME - USA 0 GERMANY 1:
    6/26/2014 5:52:45 PM
  • FULL TIME - PORTUGAL 2 GHANA 1:
    6/26/2014 5:53:28 PM
  • Evening all, Samuel Stevens here with you right until 11pm as Algeria, Russia and South Korea try and join Belgium in the next round of what is proving to be a stunning World Cup in Brazil. 

    To get us started, here is a section of photos of American and German joy after both sides sealed their places in the final sixteen...






    6/26/2014 6:33:40 PM
  • 6/26/2014 6:44:10 PM
  • If you haven't' heard about Luis Suarez's four month ban by now, then where have you been folks?! 


    Here's Jack De Menezes' report on a dramatic day in the Fifa World Cup - one which also effects Liverpool's upcoming Premier League campaign...

    Luis Suarez has been handed a record nine-game international ban and a four month football ban after Fifa found him guilty of biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, making the sanction the biggest ever World Cup suspension in history.

    Fifa confirmed the news at their morning briefing on Friday at the Maracana Stadium, where they also confirmed that Suarez will have to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs (around £66,000).

    The governing body also confirmed that while he can appeal the decision, the ban will start immediately, meaning Suarez's World Cup is over. Furthermore, Suarez cannot attend any football stadium for the duration of the ban, after Fifa confirmed that he has been suspended from taking part in "any kind of football-related activity".
    6/26/2014 6:57:41 PM
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