Sport

‘We have made history’: Hervé Renard salutes ‘crazy’ Saudi Arabia victory

Hervé Renard claimed the stars were aligned for Saudi Arabia and that Argentina underestimated his team after they produced one of the great World Cup shocks against the Copa América champions. Lionel Messi gave Argentina an early lead with his seventh goal in 20 World Cup appearances only for their 36-game unbeaten run to be […]

Sport

England and Arsenal’s Beth Mead set for long absence due to knee injury

The England forward Beth Mead faces a fight to be fit for the World Cup next summer after suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament with Arsenal having announced she “is set for an extended period on the sidelines”. The 27-year-old sustained the injury in Saturday’s dramatic 3-2 Women’s Super League loss to Manchester United at […]

Sport

As if by magic: Qatar World Cup stadium capacities grow by 12% overnight

The Qatar World Cup took another strange twist on Tuesday with the capacity of its eight stadiums officially growing by 12%. Overnight the Al Bayt Stadium, which hosted the opening game, went from 60,000 in the pre-tournament guide to 68,895 on the official website – while the biggest stadium, the Lusail, went from 80,000 to […]

Sport

Time after time: World Cup’s record match durations after new Fifa directive

So much for football being a game that lasts 90 minutes. Or the sight of a fourth official holding up a board showing two or three minutes of added time. At this tournament, the 100min-plus match is becoming the new normal. England’s 6-2 victory against Iran on Monday lasted a record‑breaking 117min, with 14min 08sec […]

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Keira Walsh prepares for Camp Nou bow – and facing Georgia Stanway

When Barcelona welcome Bayern Munich to the Camp Nou in the Champions League on Thursday night, Keira Walsh will be opposite a familiar face for the first time. Central to England’s run to the European Championship title in the summer was the midfield trio of Walsh, Georgia Stanway and Fran Kirby. The 25-year-old Walsh and […]

Sport

USA must adjust if they are to blunt England’s attack for 90 minutes

The Americans, Gareth Southgate warned in the wake of England’s 6-2 dissection of Iran, will be “coming for us full throttle”. What does Top Gear USMNT: World Cup Edition look like? We saw the engine revving at close to maximum for 45 minutes or so against Wales on Monday before a splutter and a second-half […]

Sport

Belgium’s emerging stars can replenish their golden stock

Golden generation. The eyes must roll every time that loaded description is mentioned in Belgium circles but there it is, from Eden Hazard no less, in a Fifa promotional video for the World Cup in which the Real Madrid man insists this incarnation has delivered on account of a third-place finish in Russia four years […]