Live Coverage: World Cup live: June 23 - as it happened

Leroy Fer of the Netherlands scores his team's first goal on a header during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between the Netherlands and Chile at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 23, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole's rolling news coverage from day 12 of the World Cup in Brazil.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage from day 12 of the World Cup.

We will be bringing you all of the latest news and gossip from Brazil as well as reaction to last night's thrilling matches.

The action continues today with Brazil, the Netherlands and Spain among the teams playing their final group games.


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11amHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage from day 12 of the World Cup in Brazil. It's sure to be yet another busy day of action with decisive matches in Group A and Group B to come, but let's get things going by taking a look at some of the headlines from overnight...


11.15amChile midfielder Arturo Vidal has claimed that the team is capable of reaching the World Cup final. The South Americans face the Netherlands tonight to decide who finishes at the top of Group B.

11.27amSpain midfielder Xabi Alonso has played down claims that he will retire from international football at the end of the World Cup. It was reported over the weekend that the 32-year-old was ready to quit playing for his country following their final Group B game against Australia today.

11.40amNetherlands coach Louis van Gaal has revealed that he expects a tough game when his side faces Chile in Sao Paulo later today. The Dutch head into the match knowing that they will finish at the top of Group B if they avoid defeat.

Netherlands' coach Louis van Gaal attends a training session of the Dutch national football team in Hoenderloo on May 7, 2014© Getty Images


11.52amRussia coach Fabio Capello has insisted that his team can still reach the second round of the World Cup following their defeat to Belgium. The Russians, who were beaten 1-0 on Sunday, must now win their final Group H game against Algeria if they want to progress in Brazil.

12.03pmThat Usain Bolt gets about a bit, doesn't he? The Olympic champion recently showed off a picture of himself in Brazil cradling the World Cup trophy. The lucky devil.


12.15pmThere are some crucial matches to be played this week, with a number of places in the second round to be decided. One of those contests sees Switzerland facing Honduras with the chance to progress. You can read our preview of that match here.

12.28pmEden Hazard has admitted that Belgium failed to perform during their narrow win over Russia on Sunday. The Belgians were in danger of being held to a goalless draw in Rio de Janeiro before Divock Origi found the net late on to send them through to the last 16.

12.41pmNot all bad news for England fans...

A museum in Brazil has attempted to cheer up England supporters by offering them free entry to see its exhibitions.


12.55pmCameroon captain Samuel Eto'o remains an injury doubt for his team's encounter with Brazil tonight. The 33-year-old missed training on Sunday as he continues to struggle with a knee problem.

1.06pmItaly captain Gianluigi Buffon has called on his team to remain calm during their crucial clash with Uruguay on Tuesday. The Azzurri must avoid defeat in Natal if they want to make it through to the second round of the tournament.

1.20pmWhile Buffon wants Italy to stay focused against Uruguay, the South Americans' head coach Oscar Tabarez believes that his side will have their chances to win the match and go through to the next round.

1.34pmRussia defender Aleksei Kozlov has admitted that it is difficult to draw any positives from the team's late 1-0 defeat to Belgium. The Russians saw their hopes of reaching the second round suffer a blow on Sunday as they were beaten with two minutes to play by their fellow Europeans.

1.50pmMore from the Russian camp now with midfielder Viktor Fayzulin claiming that it was a lack of finishing that cost his team during their 1-0 defeat to Belgium.

1.55pmThere are a total of four matches to get your teeth sunk into today as Group A and Group B both come to an end. Brazil, Spain and the Netherlands are all in action, and you can check out the previews for their games and the rest below:

Australia vs. Chile

Netherlands vs. Chile

Cameroon vs. Brazil

Croatia vs. Mexico


1.58pmThat's all from me for now, but I'm pleased to say that Shane Callaghan will be taking over for the next two hours to guide you through all of the latest news and gossip from Brazil. Enjoy!

2.00pmCheers Jack. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to what promises to be another cracking day of the World Cup. Stay tuned, as we'll be bringing you the latest goings-on from Brazil along with build-up to today's FOUR games.

2.04pmStarting with Nigeria, and Peter Odemwingie claims that his Super Eagles teammates have what it takes to win the World Cup this summer!

2.26pmMoving to England's final World Cup clash with Costa Rica on Tuesday, and midfielder Jordan Henderson insists that his Three Lions teammates are determined to end what was a disappointing campaign on a positive note by beating the already-qualified Caribbean team.

2.52pmLooking forward to this afternoon's two World Cup encounters? We sure are. And, to help you decide whether you want to watch Chile and Netherlands battle it out for Group B supremacy, or if Spain can end their dismal campaign on a high by beating Australia, you can use our previews to help you decide.
Spain vs. Australia

Chile vs. Netherlands


3.13pmMoving to Group G now and USA boss Jurgen Klinsmann says that his USA team will "give everything" in a bid to beat Germany seal their place in the second round as group winners.

3.32pmUruguay legend Alvaro Recoba has described Mario Balotelli as a "loose cannon" and warns his compatriots to remember his threat as they chase victory against Italy on Tuesday.

3.46pmWe've got some team news for you now folks as Louis van Gaal makes three changes in all for this evening's clash with Chile. Three-goal Robin van Persie misses out through suspension, but Dirk Kuyt, Jeremain Lens and Georginio Wijnaldum all come into the side following the team's 3-2 win over Australia last week. Click here for full team news.

3.57pmAs expected, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has rang the changes for his side's final game of the World Cup against Australia this evening. Del Bosque has made seven changes in total from the side that lost 2-0 to Chile. Click here to find out exactly who has been dropped.

4.00pmRight, that's all from me this afternoon folks. It's time to hand you back to Jack Prescott, who will keep you apprised of all the drama from Spain's clash with Australia and Chile's encounter with the Netherlands. Cheers.

4.07pmThanking you, Shane. Our live text coverage for each of this evening's 5pm kickoffs has just started, and you can follow them by clicking the links below:

Netherlands vs. Chile

Australia vs. Spain


4.20pmJapan coach Alberto Zaccheroni has called on his players to show more energy during their vital World Cup clash with Colombia on Tuesday. The Japanese must beat Colombia and hope that the Ivory Coast drop points against Greece if they want to get out of Group C.

4.35pmYacine Brahimi has urged his Algeria teammates to continue with their attacking style of football and make it through to the second round of the World Cup. The Algerians saw off South Korea 4-2 on Sunday to boost their chances of reaching the last 16 in Brazil.

4.45pmFifteen minutes until kickoff! Not long to go now until the Netherlands take on Chile and Spain play Australia. Remember, you can follow our live text coverage of both of those matches below:


Netherlands vs. Chile

Australia vs. Spain


5pmAlgeria captain Madjid Bougherra has expressed his delight following the team's victory over South Korea. The Africans were dominant on Sunday night as they claimed their first win at a World Cup in 32 years.

Algeria's midfielder Yacine Brahimi (R) celebrates with defender Madjid Bougherra after scoring his team's fourth goal during the Group H football match against South Korea on June 22, 2014© Getty Images


5.15pmThe previews keep coming thick and fast ahead of some important fixtures this week. Here, we turn our spotlight on Nigeria's vital clash with Argentina in Porto Alegre. The Africans can book their place in the last 16 if they avoid defeat against the Group F leaders.

5.28pmAs you might expect, the Dutch fans are out in force today to see their team take on Chile. Remember, the Netherlands will end up as Group B winners if they get a draw or a win this afternoon:



5.36pmUPDATE: It's still goalless in both of this evening's early kickoffs, though Spain and the Netherlands are starting to look dangerous in their respective fixtures. We will be bringing you half-time reports from both games when the teams go in for the break.

5.50pmRight, the half-time whistles have gone in both of the early kickoffs. The Netherlands and Chile have both failed to find the net in their match, but Spain have had more luck against Australia as they lead 1-0 thanks to a goal from David Villa.

You can read our Half-Time Reports below:

Goalless between Netherlands, Chile

Spain lead against Australia


5.58pmThat's all from me, but I will now be handing you over to Pascal Lemesre to guide you through the latest news and gossip coming out of Brazil for the next couple of hours. Enjoy!

6.04pmThank you, JP. Right, second halves just underway in the final Group B games. Netherlands on course to top the group on goal difference, Spain set to finish their campaign with a win.

Spain's David Villa celebrates scoring the opener against Australia on June 23, 2014.© Getty Images

6.20pmAfter putting the Spanish in front, David Villa has just been substituted and broke down in tears on the bench as it is his last ever appearance for Spain.

6.27pmVIDEO! Our World Cup sofa discussions continue as we praise the most impressive minnows at the tournament - Iran, USA, Algeria and Costa Rica. Watch here.

6.35pmBIG goal in Sao Paulo as Norwich City's Leroy Fer heads home for the Dutch. They look set to maintain their 100% record and go top of Group B. That would set up a probable last-16 match between Brazil and Chile. What a cracker that will be!


6.39pmThe Spanish now lead 3-0 thanks to second-half goals from Premier League duo Fernando Torres and Juan Mata.

6.55pmAll over in Group B and you can find links to our match reports and check out some great pictures from both games in this tweet from our main account. I hope you follow us!


7.15pmAhead of the upcoming matches that round off Group A, prepare yourself with our match previews:

Cameroon vs. Brazil

Croatia vs. Mexico

7.52pmCheck out our match analysis for both of the 5pm games right here.

7.55pmOur previews keep on coming too and here's the one for the next match at the Maracana between France and Ecuador.

8pmThat's me done. Taking over for the next few hours will be Paul Gorst. He's good company, don't worry. Paul...

8.06pmEvening all! The team news is in for the final games of Group A, so without further ado...

8.07pmBrazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Hulk, Oscar, Neymar, Fred
Cameroon: Itandje, Nyom, Matip, N'Koulou, Bedimo, Enoh, M'Bia, N'Guemo, Choupo-Moting, Moukandjo, Aboubakar

8.17pmSo one change for Brazil, with Hulk recalled to the side that plays the superbly nicknamed the Indomitable Lions. There's no Alex Song for Cameroon who is suspended, while Samuel Eto'o misses out.

8.21pmMexico: Ochoa, Rodriguez, Marquez, Herrera, Layun, Dos Santos, Moreno, Guardado, Peralta, Aguilar, Vazquez

Croatia: Pletikosa, Vrsaljko, Pranjic, Perisic, Corluka Lovren, Rakitic, Modric, Srna, Mandzukic, Olic


8.34pmA reminder that you can catch both games this evening with our live commentary coverage. For Brazil against Cameroon click here. And for Mexico's clash with Croatia click here.

8.40pmTo break away from this evening's games for a moment, Frank Lampard has been speaking to the media ahead of what could be his final game for England against Costa Rica on Tuesday. He said: "It's difficult to pick ourselves up, we are disappointed. But as men we have to move on and this game is there to show our pride. We have to make the most out of our attributes and what our players do week in week out for their clubs and bring it to internationals."

8.55pmThe 36-year-old has also claimed that he is undecided on his international future. The former Chelsea man will start against Costa Rica on Tuesday, but has said that nothing will be made official until after the Three Lions' World Cup campaign has ended. You can read the full story here.

9.05pmEngland manager Roy Hodgson also named his starting lineup for the game against Costa Rica. With little to play for, the Three Lions boss has opted to field some of the squad's fringe players. England: Foster; Jones, Cahill, Smalling, Shaw; Milner, Lampard, Wilshere, Barkley; Lallana, Sturridge.

9.31pmUPDATE: Neymar opened the scoring for Brazil, but Joel Matip has since equalised and it's currently 1-1 in Brasilia. Elsewhere Croatia and Mexico are goalless on the half-hour mark.

9.57pmHALF TIME UPDATE: A Neymar-inspired Brazil has given them a 2-1 half-time lead against Cameroon in Brasilia. You can catch the half-time report here.

10pmUPDATE: Elsewhere Mexico are 45 minutes away from the knockout phase after taking a 0-0 draw in the break against Croatia. You can catch the half-time report here.

10.21pmSpain goalkeeper Pepe Reina has claimed David Villa's international retirement leaves Spain with a "great void" in their squad. The former Atletico Madrid striker signed off with a goal against Australia on Monday. You can read the full story here.

Manchester United star Juan Mata was also fulsome in his praise of Villa. He told reporters after the game: "Villa, for me, is unsurpassable for Spain."

10.36pmUPDATE: Fred's close-range header has extended Brazil's lead to 3-1, while Mexico have scored two goals in quick succession to take a 2-0 lead against Croatia. There's around 15 minutes or so left in those games. Stay tuned for full-time match reports.

11.05pmWell there we have it; Brazil and Mexico are through to the last 16 of the World Cup!

11.07pmLa Selecao eventually claimed a 4-1 win against Cameroon, and you can catch the match report in full here. You can also see how Mexico earned their 3-1 win against Croatia here.

11.15pmThat's all from me this evening, you're now in the capable hands of Chris O'Keefe, bye for now...

11:18pmThank you Paul. I'll be taking you through until 2am with plenty of news and reaction from what has been an eventful day of football in Brazil, with two enticing last-16 ties to look forward to at the weekend.

11:23pmNetherlands looked relieved to have broken through against Chile late-on in Sao Paulo. However, Mexico may think that they have plenty of attacking threat to worry the Dutch on Sunday in Fortaleza. Remember, La Verde were within one goal of overtaking Brazil in Group A, before conceding to Croatia.

Mexico's defender Rafael Marquez celebrates after scoring during a Group A football match between Croatia and Mexico at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 23, 2014© Getty Images


11:26pmMeanwhile, Brazil face regional foes Chile in round two. The last time these two met at a World Cup, La Selecao ran out 4-1 winners in 1998. However, La Roja have been talking of a fearless attitude and a willingness to take on any of the World's best sides. Well, they now have their wish! We'll know how they fare on Sunday as the teams clash in Belo Horizonte.

Holland's Daley Blind and Ron Vlaar argue with Chile's Alexis Sanchez on June 23, 2014.© Getty Images


12:04amLoosely on the subject of mental strength, Phil Neville believes that England's players will not scarred by their early exit from the tournament, because they didn't have that bad a tournament.

Neville's words come as the Three Lions are knocked out at the group stage for the first time since 1958.


12:12amNetherlands boss Louis van Gaal doesn't seem happy enough with maximum points from Group B. He has questioned the standard refereeing in the World Cup so far and called on the sport's governing body to regularly assess officials.

12:18amBrazil, as expected, made the last-16 of the World Cup and won Group A with victory over Cameroon, but how did they fare in Brasilia? Matt Law's analysis of the game is now available for your perusal.

12:22amIf that wasn't enough for you, Barney Corkhill has assessed Mexico's 3-1 win against Croatia. He's even put together player ratings, so you can see who starred for La Verde. We really do spoil you.

12:36amCameroon coach Volker Finke has lamented his side's concentration in defence after they conceded four against Brazil and believes that they far better if they don't switch off.

Incidentally, Sports Mole's player ratings for the game in Brasilia are now available.


12:48amArturo Vidal is confident that Chile can beat Brazil when the sides meet in Belo Horizonte this Saturday.

"Beating Brazil? That's our dream. Chile can create a surprise. We've beaten the world champions, so we can beat Brazil," he told FIFA.com.

Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal in action for Chile against Spain on September 10, 2013.© Getty Images


12:51amStepping away from all things World Cup for a moment, Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has insisted that no details have yet been agreed with Chelsea for a possible deal for Diego Costa. The Blues were thought to be closing in on the Brazilian-born striker.

1:05amGreece coach Fernando Santos has called on his team to demonstrate the quality of football that helped them qualify for Brazil 2014. The Greeks are currently languishing at the foot of Group C, ties on one point with Japan.

1:21amBrazil striker Neymar is adamant that he is not under pressure when playing for the national team. The Barcelona forward scored twice in La Selecao's 4-1 victory over Cameroon.

1:24amLast night's dramatic 2-2 draw between the USA and Portugal was the most watched football broadcast in American TV history, with an estimated 23m people tuning in to watch the Stars and Stripes as they tried to secure a place in round two.

1:40amFIFA has said it will investigate evidence that German supporters attended their country's game with Ghana while being 'blacked-up'.

"If something is not spotted and someone has images of it, then if anyone submits evidence of those things then our disciplinary committee will consider it. We clearly have zero tolerance of any form of discrimination," a FIFA spokesperson said.


1:52amLuiz Felipe Scolari claims that the introduction of Fernandinho was crucial in Brazil's victory over Cameroon. The Manchester City midfielder came on for Paulinho at half time in La Selecao's 4-1 victory in Brasilia.

2:10amLooking ahead to Tuesday evening's action. Uruguay will face Italy, knowing only a win will do to progress from Group D. However, midfielder Alvaro Gonzalez says that La Celeste have the belief to emerge victorius.

2:11amElsewhere, England will be hoping to bow out of the competititon with a win against Costa Rica. Remember, Frank Lampard will start the game in Belo Horizonte. Will it be his last appearance for the Three Lions.

Frank Lampard celebrates scoring for England against the Republic of Ireland on May 29, 2013.© Getty Images


2:15amThe other action on Tuesday sees the conclusion of Group C. Colombia will Japan knowing that they have already qualified. The Asian side - tied on points with Greece can still qualify for the knockout phase, but needs both results to go their way. Ivory Coast can make sure of their place in the last-16, if they can beat the Greeks.

Colombia's midfielder James Rodriguez celebrates scoring during a Group C football match between Colombia and Ivory Coast on June 19, 2014© Getty Images


2:19amYou can catch all the action, with the first set of matches involving Group D (including England) getting underway from 5pm. However, if you can't wait that long for your World Cup fix then may I recommend joining Jack Prescott from 11am. He will bring all the latest from what promises to be a dramatic day in Brazil (because they have been dull so far, of course). Until then, it's good night from me!

Jordan Henderson of England in action during the International Friendly match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium on March 5, 2014
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