Germany facing shock exit as Sweden grab halftime lead

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Holders Germany were facing a shock early exit from the World Cup as they trailed Sweden 1-0 at halftime in Group F on Saturday after a 32nd-minute goal from Ola Toivonen.

Rampant Mexico see off South Korea to close on last 16

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (Reuters) - Mexico built on the momentum from their stunning victory over world champions Germany by overpowering South Korea 2-1 on Saturday to take a giant step towards the World Cup last 16.

No hiding now - Lukaku gives Belgium killer edge

MOSCOW (Reuters) - With four World Cup goals in two games, Romelu Lukaku may have finally answered Belgian prayers for a consistent target man to turn a team of abundant midfield creativity into potential champions.

England end barren run by beating Boks 25-10 at wet Newlands

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Captain Owen Farrell kicked 20 points as England ended their five-match winless run with a deserved 25-10 victory over South Africa in the third and final test at a wet and windy Newlands on Saturday.

'No drama' - Southgate plays down team leak

SAMARA, Russia (Reuters) - England manager Gareth Southgate played down any confrontation with the media after a photograph was taken allegedly showing the line-up for England's clash with Panama on Sunday.

Ozil, Khedira out as Germany make changes for Sweden game

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Germany coach Joachim Loew has dropped Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira from the side that desperately need a victory over Sweden in their World Cup Group F clash in Sochi on Saturday.

Hooliganism fear fading, English fans enjoy next Russian city

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (Reuters) - With fears of hooliganism and animosity from Russians disappearing fast, England fans are streaming into the tranquil, riverside city of Nizhny Novgorod for their next game, mingling happily with locals in old streets and sun-kissed squares.

Croats dream of repeating their 1998 'miracle'

ROSHCHINO, Russia (Reuters) - Croatia's hugely impressive 3-0 win over Argentina moved them into the World Cup knockout stages for the first time since 1998 and inevitably Zlatko Delic's team are earning comparisons with the celebrated side who finished third in France

For expatriates, Iran's World Cup fuels pride in troubled homeland

SARANSK, Russia (Reuters) - For the Iranian expatriates who have come from far and wide to Russia, the World Cup is a chance to show their pride in a troubled homeland denounced by the West as a rogue state.

'Angry' Poland will beat Colombia, says coach Nawalka

KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - Poland are still "angry" about their shock defeat in the World Cup opener against Senegal and their rancour will propel them to victory against Colombia, coach Adam Nawalka said on Saturday.