MOSCOW – The last Saturday in the World Cup (all the locals):
Lionel Messi had a saved penalty kick when Argentina drew 1-1 with a hard Iceland that made a impressive Debut in the World Cup on Saturday.
Messi could not restore his team's lead when his 64-minute shot to the right of Hannes Halldorsson was at a good height for the goalkeeper to put two strong hands behind the ball.
Argentina opened the scoring on the 19th with a world class finish by Sergio Agüero, turning away from a defender to shoot an upward shot from the left foot.
Iceland equalized four minutes later by the volley of Alfred Finnbogason.
The small team from the Nordic island created several opportunities in the first half despite having only about 25 percent possession, and built a solid wall to deny the waves of Argentina in the second half.
Lionel Messi's grief problems have continued. Goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson has saved a penalty from Messi to maintain the level of Iceland with Argentina in the middle of the second half. Halldorsson went to his right and easily stopped Messi's shot.
Messi, the five-time FIFA player of the year, has had problems from the point of view at some crucial moments. He was famous (and briefly) retired from international soccer after losing when Argentina fell to Chile in the final of the Copa América 2016.
An outstanding group that campaigns against racism and The abuse of homosexuals in sports has accused the St. Petersburg authorities of having evicted him from the city's facilities.
The Fare Network, which helps FIFA and UEFA investigate cases of discriminatory behavior by fanatics, planned to operate "houses of diversity" in Moscow and St. Petersburg with exhibitions and lectures on human rights.
Fare says that the lease for a building in St. Petersburg was abruptly canceled and other tenants were told not to rent space to Fare.
Executive Director Piara Powar says that "it seems clear that the project in St. Petersburg has been subject to a political attack of the kind that shows how debates on human rights are restricted by powerful conservative political forces in Russia."
However, Powar says that Fare only has "anecdotal evidence" of the participation of the city government.
Fare plans to open its event in new facilities in other parts of St. Petersburg later on Saturday.
Iceland will face the Group D'Argentina favorites in 1-1 at halftime in a match that has all the ingredients for a surprise.
A strike by Sergio Agüero in the 19th minute was canceled just 4 minutes later when Alfred Finnbogason swept a loose ball in the Argentina net against another broken play of the South Americans' defense.
Iceland, the smallest nation in history to qualify for the World Cup, has been content to deliver most of the possession, but the odds have dropped fairly evenly. Iceland's strategy of long-range counterattacks and pressing Argentina's unsettled defensive line seems to be working.
Goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero and the defenders in front of him have left loose balls in the middle of the area, creating a second chance for Iceland.
Gylfi Sigurdsson's volley just before the break was the last of them, but it went wide.
Alfred Finnbogason buried a rebound from a game broken by Argentina's defense to bring Iceland level just minutes after an attack by Sergio Agüero had given the advantage to the South Americans at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow.
Aguero spun his defender near the penalty spot to create enough space to beat goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson on his right. The goal in the 19th minute was the first serious threat of the Argentine attack, which has seen Lionel Messi force a pair of direct saves from Haldorsson but not much more.
Finnbogason took home a fumble that was stopped by Argentina goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero to make it 1-1 in the 23rd.
Iceland lost a fantastic opportunity in the 10th when their pressure forced a breakdown in Argentina's baseline. Caballero was forced to stab a back pass badly advised, and the ball ended at the feet of Kari Arnason, whose volley missed a fairly open net.
Argentina has the First Time in its first World Cup match against Iceland – at least in the stands.
Lionel Messi & Co. fans outnumber their Icelandic counterparts perhaps 10 to one inside the Spartak Stadium in Moscow. His singing has filled the 45,000-seat stadium long before the start of the game.
The South Americans politely calmed down long enough for the Icelandic fans to get the first of their famous "Skol" songs and a song of their own. But the few fan sections that use the dark blue of Iceland are almost swallowed by the sea of blue and white celestial T-shirts from Argentina.
The match is the first for each team in a group that also includes Croatia and Nigeria, who play later on Saturday in Kaliningrad.
Iceland is the least populated nation that has played in the World Cup. The population of the entire country is only seven times larger than the capacity of the stadium.
Lionel Messi joins the attack of Argentina by Sergio Agüero to face Iceland at Spartak Stadium in Moscow. Agüero underwent knee surgery in March, but returned in a warm-up friendly against Haiti two weeks ago.
There is no space in the starting lineup for Juventus player Paulo Dybala.
Iceland's No. 10 Gylfi Sigurdsson is ready to start despite Aguero, finishing his English Premier League season in March due to a knee injury. Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson has opted for Alfred Finnbogason to lead the attack in a likely 4-5-1 formation.
It is the first game of Group D. Croatia plays against Nigeria later on Saturday.
Argentina: Willy Caballero, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lucas Biglia, Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Maximiliano Meza, Javier Mascherano, Marcos Rojo, Nicolás Otamendi, Eduardo Salvio, Sergio Agüero.
Iceland: Hannes Halldorsson, Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Alfred Finnbogason, Kari Arnason, Aron Gunnarsson, Hordur Magnusson, Emil Hallfredsson.
2: 52 pm
Midfielder Paul Pogba scored a last goal to help France to a 2-1 win against Australia in their first World Cup match in Group C on Saturday.
Pogba did not impress until the 81st minute at Kazan Arena, when he set up a good two-one with substitute Olivier Giroud to beat Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan with a shot that took a detour, hit the crossbar and crossed the line the Gol.
After a balanced first half, France received a penalty after a revision of VAR, the first of the World Cup, and scored to take the lead in the 58th minute. After reviewing the images of a tackle from behind by Joshua Risdon on Antoine Griezmann, referee Andrés Cunha pointed to the penalty spot. Griezmann sent a powerful blow to the net that left goalkeeper Ryan stranded.
Australia equalized in four minutes with captain Mile Jedinak converting from the penalty spot after Samuel Umtiti drove the ball into the box.
2: 38 pm
France has taken a 2-1 lead against Australia with less than 10 minutes to play in the Group C match of the World Cup. Paul Pogba scored after a good one-two with substitute Olivier Giroud after his shot went wide, hit the bar and crossed the goal line.
France has been awarded a VAR review penalty, the first in the World Cup, and scored to take the lead against Australia.
After reviewing the images of a tackle from behind Joshua Risdon on Antoine Griezmann, referee Andrés Cunha pointed to the penalty spot. Griezmann sent a powerful blow to the net that left goalkeeper Mat Ryan at a disadvantage to give France a 1-0 lead.
Australia equalized in minutes with captain Mile Jedinak converting from the penalty spot after Samuel Umtiti drove the ball into the box. Jedinak took the kick and sent France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris the wrong way
Germany coach Joachim Loew says goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is confident before the first game of the World Cup against Mexico, despite losing most of the season with injuries.
Neuer, a star of the winning team of the German World Cup in 2014, played only four times this season for Bayern Munich due to a fracture in his left foot.
Loew says "he seems confident in training, the Manuel Neuer we've always known."
Loew adds that Neuer has been "very calm, stable and in a very good mood". You could see that in the previous weeks and months he was working to strengthen his resistance. "
Before Sunday's game against Mexico, Loew revealed that Germany spent Friday focused on the corners, free throws and penalties to deal with a perception that -pieces could be a weak point for the 2014 champions.
Has a 0-0 record at halftime between France and Australia in their opening Group C match in Kazan.
The French have dominated in the early stages and had the best opportunities before Australia was established.
Australia's defenders Trent Sainsbury and Joshua Risdon have been doing a good job to make sure Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe do not have too many balls 19659075] Applying the orders of coach Bert Van Marwijk, the Socceroos are presenting a compound but aggressive show that has worked Well done so far.
Julian Draxler says "it's not true" that his German tea teammates Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan feel isolated in the team after the controversy over his photo with the president Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ozil of Arsenal and Gundogan of Manchester City, both of Turkish descent, posed with Erdogan during the Turkish president's visit to Britain last month.
Gundogan, who gave Erdogan a T-shirt with a message "to my revered president," was booed by fans during last week's friendly victory over Saudi Arabia.
Draxler says "that Mesut Ozil was not up at his best or that Ilkay Gundogan was a little off, that's not true." He has praised Ozil as "probably our most creative player in the field and I am sure that Mesut Oezil will be there when we need it. "  Germany begins its title defense against Mexico in Moscow on Sunday.
France coach Didier Deschamps has opted for an attack on three fronts by Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ou. Dembele will face Australia in the first match of Group C.
Paul Pogba, N & # 39; Golo Kante and Corentin Tolisso have been selected in a three-man midfield, with Benjamin Pavard, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane and Lucas Hernandez doing Peace. the last four.
Australian captain Mile Jedinak has been confirmed as a starter instead of Massimo Luongo, who started as a selection midfielder in recent friendlies. Striker Andrew Nabbout will assume the scoring duties for the Socceroos.
France: Hugo Lloris, Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez, Corentin Tolisso, N & # 39; Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Kylian Mbappe.
Australia: Mat Ryan, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury, Mark Milligan, Aziz Behich, Jedinak Mile, Aaron Mooy, Mathew Leckie, Tom Rogic, Robbie Kruse, Andrew Nabbout.
___  11:35 a.m.
Laurent Ciman left the Belgian team for the World Cup, the team says on their official Twitter account, although he has not said whether the defender's match means center-back Vincent Kompany is fit after injuring his groin in a Warming match two weeks ago.
Coach Roberto Martinez took defender Ciman from Los Angeles FC to Russia as a reserve player should Kompany not be able to play the opening game of Group G against Panama on Sunday.
The team says that despite returning to Be lgium, Ciman will remain on stand-by until Sunday night.
Kompany and Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen have not trained with the Belgium team in recent days.
French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to the World Cup only if Les Bleus reaches the semifinals.
But French players will have the support of a former French president during his first match against Australia in Group C.
FIFA says that Nicolas Sarkozy, an avid soccer fan who was president from 2007-12, is One of the guests at the Kazan Arena.
Some football fans will follow their team anywhere to watch them play in the World Cup. For five friends in Croatia that meant traveling 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) from Zagreb to Kaliningrad in Russia.
The epic journey took them 15 days, cycling for 10 hours a day while pedaling through Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland.
On the way they encountered a series of challenges, including a broken bridge. When they reached their final destination, the group collapsed in a bar and celebrated it with a well-earned drink.
Now they await Saturday's game between Croatia and Nigeria.
Frane Lukovic, a 46-year-old woman. an old Zagreb lawyer insisted that it was nothing out of the ordinary for long-distance cyclists like him.
For Lukovic, the trip represented a personal return, having been diagnosed with skin cancer six years ago.
____  10 am
While fans around the world sing and celebrate the World Cup on the streets of Moscow, they can not go to the most famous place in the Russian capital, Red Square.
Barriers served by police officers have blocked the plaza for several days, with authorities citing the need to build and dismantle stages for a national holiday and an opera with World Cup theme on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Mexico follower Cesar Reyes, looking beyond the barriers, says "It's a real shame it's closed because it's one of the best places to visit when you're in Moscow." It is a real pity that people miss it because it is closed for a special event and there is no opportunity to appreciate this building. "
Russian police have closed several roads and other areas for security reasons in recent days. when the plaza will reopen.
More coverage of the AP World Cup: www.apnews.com/tag/WorldCup
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press All rights reserved. can be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.