FILE - In this file photo from June 1, 2018, Belgium players warm up during a training session at the Belgian Football Center in Tubize, Belgium. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)

The Latest: Belgium sets a stacked lineup for Panama match

June 18, 2018 - 10:14 am

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Monday at the World Cup (all times local):

5:09 p.m.

Belgium is rolling out a powerful lineup for its opener against Panama, with more than half the starting 11 coming from Premier League clubs. 

The one question lingering with the Red Devils was who would start in the midfield with concerns about the conditioning of Moussa Dembele. Belgium went with Yannick Carrasco as part of a midfield that also features Thomas Meunier, Kevin De Bruyne and Axel Witsel. 

Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez laid out his lineup Sunday during the pre-match news conference with Blas Perez as the lone striker up top. 

Belgium: Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Yannick Carrasco, Dries Mertens, Thomas Meunier, Dedryck Bedoya.

Panama: Jaime Penedo, Michael Murillo, Fidel Escobar, Roman Torres, Gabriel Gomez, Blas Perez, Edgar Barcenas, Armando Cooper, Eric Davis, Anibal Godoy, Jose Rodriguez. 


4:53 p.m.

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Mexico after its fans used an anti-gay slur in Sunday's 1-0 win over Germany.

Some Mexican supporters chanted the slur when Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer prepared to take a goal kick in the 24th minute.

Fans in Mexico use the chant to insult opposing goalkeepers as they take a goal kick. Widely considered a slur, some argue there is no discriminatory intent.

Mexico's football federation has been repeatedly fined by FIFA over fans chanting the slur.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport canceled two fines against Mexico in November, ruling the chant was "insulting" but not meant to offend, though it left other fines in force.


4:40 p.m.

Captain Andreas Granqvist has scored from a penalty after a review by the video assistant referee to give Sweden a 1-0 lead over South Korea at the World Cup.

Granqvist slid his penalty kick into the bottom right corner to put Sweden ahead in its first World Cup game since 2006.

He only got the chance after referee Joel Aguilar used the replay technology to decide whether South Korea substitute Kim Min-woo had fouled Viktor Claesson in the area.

Kim had, and Granqvist finally released the frustration for the Swedes with the 65th-minute goal from the spot.

Before that, Sweden had controlled the game and shown most of the attacking intent but couldn't find a way past South Korea backup goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo.

— AP Sports Writer Gerald Imray reported from Nizhny Novgorod.


4:20 p.m.

England football fans have laid a wreath in memory of the Soviets who died during the Battle of Stalingrad.

In a ceremony at the Mamayev Kurgan — The Motherland Calls — monument in Volgograd, fans James Lockett and Billy Grant helped commemorate the hundreds of thousands who are said to have died during one of the most important battles in World War II, a battle that helped turn the tide against the Nazis.

Britain's deputy ambassador to Russia, Lindsay Skoll, and Greg Clarke, the chairman of the Football Association, also took part in the ceremony in Volgograd, which used to be called Stalingrad.

Grant said he was "very honored" and added that when "you have an event like this, you realize it's more, there's more than just football."

England takes on Tunisia later Monday in both teams' first match at the World Cup.

— Associated Press writer Pan Pylas reported from Volgograd.


4 p.m.

Sweden and South Korea are drawing 0-0 at halftime at the World Cup.

Sweden striker Marcus Berg had the best chance of the half in Nizhny Novgorod on Monday when he was put clear on goal in the 21st minute and had his close-range shot blocked by the right leg of Korean goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo.

Sweden had a flurry of opportunities late in the half, with Berg, again, Andreas Granqvist and Viktor Claesson all threatening.

Sweden took a while to settle in its first World Cup game since 2006 but was in control by the end of the half. Korea was relying on counterattacks as the Swedes had most of the possession, and most of the attacking intent.

It's the second game in a group that began with Mexico's 1-0 win over defending champion Germany on Sunday.

— AP Sports Writer Gerald Imray reported from Nizhny Novgorod.


3:30 p.m.

Paul Pogba is no longer the scorer of France's winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Australia.

FIFA says its panel of former coaches and players analyzing World Cup games judged that Australia defender Aziz Behich got the decisive final touch in the 81st minute.

After Pogba stretched to shoot, the ball looped up from Behich's attempted clearance and struck the crossbar on its way down to land over the goal-line.

The decision means an assist for France forward Olivier Giroud is also cancelled.

FIFA's technical study group reviews each goal as part of its work preparing a report of tactical trends at the tournament.

Saturday's game was contentious when France scored from the spot after being awarded a penalty following a VAR review.


3:15 p.m.

Millions of Russians will be watching when their team plays Egypt in its second World Cup game — but not President Vladimir Putin.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that "it's hardly likely that (Putin) will manage to watch the game live" during a visit to neighboring Belarus for talks.

However, Peskov says "he probably will watch some kind of highlights in a news format and will probably be interested in the result of the game."

Putin was at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium last week to see Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the tournament's opening games, but football isn't his No. 1 sport. His favorite sports are judo, which he trained in as a teenager, and ice hockey, which he sometimes plays in televised exhibition games.


2:55 p.m.

There was only one TV show that mattered in Iceland when the national team kicked off its first World Cup.

According to figures obtained by the Icelandic FA, 99.6 percent of all people in Iceland watching television during the Iceland-Argentina match on Saturday were watching the game.

It begs the question: What did the other 0.4 percent of the TV-viewing population have on their screens?

They would have missed Iceland earning a 1-1 draw against the Argentine team captained by Lionel Messi, a player widely regarded as the best in the game.

Iceland has a population of about 335,000 and is the least populous nation to play at a World Cup.


2:45 p.m.

A Kremlin spokesman says the Russian government is relieved nobody died in a weekend taxi crash in Moscow that injured two Mexican soccer fans and six other pedestrians.

A taxi veered onto the sidewalk near Red Square on Saturday, striking pedestrians. The man identified as the taxi driver later told interrogators that he hadn't slept for 20 hours and accelerated accidentally.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters Monday that "we breathed a sigh of relief" upon learning that there were no fatalities. He wished the injured a speedy recovery.

City authorities identified the driver as a 28-year-old man from Kyrgyzstan.


1:50 p.m.

Stanislav Cherchesov's lineup faces Egypt in its next World Cup game, but that isn't stopping the Russia coach wishing the injured Mohamed Salah is fit to play.

He wants Egypt's biggest star to play because it will heighten the contest.

Cherchesov says "God willing, he'll be fit and entertain the fans, not just of Egypt but the whole world. He's the kind of player who lights up games and tournaments like this."

Salah was injured playing in the Champions League final for Liverpool last month and missed Egypt's opening 1-0 loss to Uruguay on Friday, a day after Russia opened the tournament with a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

Cherchesov isn't giving away any details of how Russia will play with or without Salah on the field in St. Petersburg, but says Egypt isn't necessarily doomed to a second defeat if Salah's not fit.

He says "It's clear they have other players who play at a good level with pretty modern football."


12:30 p.m.

The Denmark midfielder who sustained two broken ribs and a punctured lung after a hard collision with Peru's Jefferson Farfan says he is doing better and hopes to return at the World Cup.

William Kvist posted a video on Facebook from the hospital in Saransk to say he was travelling home Monday for further checks. He said there was "tiny opportunity" he would return to the Danish squad, adding "we will get a long way."

Denmark beat Peru 1-0 on Saturday in its opening game and next plays Australia in Group C.

Denmark coach Ake Hareide said after the game that if Kvist has a fractured rib, "he's out of the World Cup for sure."

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