England's John Stones, right, scores his side's opening goal during the group G match between England and Panama at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod , Russia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

The Latest: Stones' header gives England 1-0 lead v Panama

June 24, 2018 - 8:13 am

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

3:08 p.m.

England has taken an early lead against Panama at the World Cup with a header by defender John Stones.

Stones was unmarked when he met Kieran Trippier's corner in the eighth minute and buried his header in the bottom left corner.

England can qualify for the last 16 with a win over the World Cup first-timers in Nizhny Novgorod.

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2:05 p.m.

France forward Antoine Griezmann is confident his World Cup form will pick up following a slow start.

Although he earned and scored a penalty as France opened its campaign with a 2-1 win against Australia, he had a quiet game otherwise and was substituted by coach Didier Deschamps with 20 minutes remaining.

Griezmann was taken off with 10 minutes left in the 1-0 win against Peru, following another frustratingly below-par performance.

But Griezmann, the European Championship's top scorer two years ago, is confident he can repeat his Euro 2016 exploits.

He tells French soccer show Telefoot, "I will get better and better. It was the same at the Euros. It was only after the (second round) that I started to play very well."

Midfielder Paul Pogba praised Griezmann for his "enormous" work-rate when tracking back to defend against Peru.

Pogba says, "He's fighting for the team."

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2 p.m.

England has made one change to its lineup for the World Cup game against Panama, bringing in midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek for the injured Dele Alli.

Otherwise, coach Gareth Southgate went with the same lineup that won 2-1 over Tunisia, meaning forward Raheem Sterling retains his starting place after an underwhelming opening performance.

A win for England in Nizhny Novgorod will take it through to the last 16 and ensure Belgium qualifies from Group G as well.

Panama coach Hernan Gomez made good on his promise to field the same lineup that lost 3-0 to Belgium on its World Cup debut.

Lineups:

England: Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Kieran Trippier, Ashley Young, Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

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

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1:15 p.m.

Denmark midfielder William Kvist, who was sent home after sustaining two broken ribs and a punctured lung after a hard collision in a match against Peru last week, is set to return to the World Cup.

Denmark coach Age Hareide tells Danish broadcaster TV2 that Kvist is on his way back to Russia but probably can't play against France in Group C match in Moscow on Tuesday.

Hareide says Kvist went through examinations in Denmark which showed there was no substantial injury to the lung.

"It's now only the fractures on the ribs that give him problems," Hareide told TV2. "So we have to see if he's fit to train after the match against France."

Denmark beat Peru 1-0 in its opening game and played out a 1-1 draw against Australia on June 21.

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11:25 a.m.

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren says teammate Luka Modric would be a contender for the world's best player of the year award if he played for one of the supposed powers of international football.

Modric has been one of the standout players at the World Cup, scoring in both matches — including a long-range shot against Argentina — to help Croatian qualify for the knockout stage with a game to spare.

Lovren says "Modric would probably be getting more attention than he is right now if he was a German or Spanish player — he would maybe even be a Ballon D'Or winner."

The Liverpool defender adds: "Because we are a smaller country, he does get less attention than he deserves."

Croatia plays Iceland in their final Group D on Tuesday.

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11:20 a.m.

Peru's soccer federation says striker Jefferson Farfan has been hospitalized with head trauma after a hard collision with a teammate during practice at the World Cup.

The federation says initial results "were favorable for the player" but Farfan was going to remain in the hospital so doctors could monitor him.

Farfan went down after colliding with one of the team's goalkeepers in a practice session on Saturday.

The federation says he was transferred to the hospital after all medical protocols were followed on the field.

Peru has been eliminated from World Cup contention after losses to Denmark and France and has a group game remaining against Australia in Sochi.

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