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MOSCOW, June 19, 2018 (News Wires) - Tunisia goalkeeper Moez Hassen has been ruled out of the World Cup after dislocating his left shoulder in the team's 2-1 loss to England Monday night.

The team posted the injury update on Twitter on Tuesday, saying Hassen was the "victim of a dislocation" and the injury was "very bad news for Tunisia."

Hassen collided with England's Jesse Lingard in the 5th minute in the match at Volgograd. But he remained on the field and even pulled off a fine save - clawing away John Stones' header from Ashley Young's corner - before Harry Kane scored the opening goal for England.

Hassen was forced off in the 15th and replaced by Ben Mustapha.

The Tunisia squad has returned to its World Cup training base in Moscow to prepare for Saturday's Group G game against Belgium.

VOLGOGRAD, Russia, June 19, 2018 (News Wires) - Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez will be relieved about one thing. His third-minute dismissal in the team's opener with Japan on Tuesday at the World Cup isn't the fastest in the tournament's history.

That honor remains in the hands of Uruguay defender Jose Batista, who was shown a red card against Scotland at the 1986 World Cup inside the first minute.

Still, Sanchez is second in the all-time list and his dismissal means there are now three players in the history of the World Cup who have been sent off inside the first 10 minutes.

JOSE BATISTA, 1986

Batista, a defender, was shown a red card in the 52nd second of a group match against a Scotland team coached by Alex Ferguson, after he brought down midfielder Gordon Strachan at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. It could have been even earlier as the foul was committed in the 39th second - it took the French referee Joel Quiniou a full 13 seconds to brandish the card.

Despite having a one-man advantage for nearly the whole match, the game ended 0-0 and Scotland was eliminated.

Batista, who unlike some of the other players in that Uruguay side didn't have much of a reputation as a bruiser, appears to have come to terms with his place in World Cup history.

"I work at a football academy and I coach an amateur team, and I always hear, 'You know who this guy is? He's the one that got sent off.' So I get my phone out and show them the tackle," Batista said in an interview posted on FIFA.com in 2016.

CARLOS SANCHEZ, 2018

The Colombian holding midfielder's offense wasn't as blatant as Batista's but he was sent off by Slovenian referee Damir Skomina for handling the ball.

Sanchez had struck out his arm to stop a shot that looked bound for the Colombian net at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk.

It was costly. Shinji Kagawa converted the ensuing penalty to give Japan the lead. And though Colombia managed to get back on level terms in the 39th minute with a smart free-kick from Juan Quintero, Japan's man-advantage was evident in the second half. Yuya Osako sealed the win with a powerful header in the 73rd minute.

GEORGIO FERRINI, 1962

The Italian's sending-off in the 1962 World Cup took place during what is arguably the dirtiest game in World Cup history. Italy versus Chile will forever be known as the "Battle of Santiago."

The 66,000 fans at Chile's national stadium witnessed spitting, two-footed challenges, punches, scuffles and even police intervention.

Referee Ken Aston, who later invented the yellow and red card system in place from the 1970 World Cup, took to the field fearful of what was to come. The backdrop to the game had already added an edge to the match with Italian reporters maligning Chile as a country.

In the eighth minute, Aston sent off midfielder Ferrini for a violent foul on a Chile player. Ferrini refused to leave the field and was eventually escorted off by police.

Arguably, the violence only got worse. Italy defender Mario David was also sent off after he high-kicked at Leonel Sanchez's throat. Sanchez, the son of a professional boxer, should have been sent off himself after breaking Humberto Maschio's nose with a punch.

Italy, down to nine men, held on until two late goals saw Chile win 2-0.

ZEZE PROCOPIO,1938

Before the "Battle of Santiago," the match that was perhaps the most violent in World Cup history had taken place at the 1938 World Cup in France when Brazil took on Czechoslovakia.

According to British journalist Brian Glanville, there was "carnage" in the quarterfinal match in Bordeaux.

Zeze, a midfielder, was sent off in the 14th minute for kicking out at Czechoslovakia forward Oldrich Nejedly, who ended up with a broken leg.

Also sent off were Czechoslovakia striker Jan Riha and Brazilian defender Arthur Machado for trading punches in the 89th minute.

The match ended 1-1 and the two sides had to replay two days later, again in Bordeaux. This time, there were no expulsions and Brazil came through 2-1.

Sanchez's red card means that Zeze is no longer one of the three fastest sending offs in World Cup history.

 

MOSCOW, June 19, 2018 (News Wires) - Senegal became the first African team to win at this year's World Cup, defeating Poland 2-1 Tuesday on a first-half own-goal and a controversial second-half score by Mbaye Niang.

Senegal, back in the tournament for the first time since 2002, went ahead in the 37th minute when Thiago Cionek's attempted block of Idrissa Gueye's shot wrong-footed goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who was picked to start over fellow Arsenal castoff Lukasz Fabianski.

Niang, who returned to the field from treatment, later beat Szczesny to double the lead in the 60th.

Grzegorz Krychowiak, whose backpass led to Senegal's second goal, headed in a free kick in the 86th minute to end Poland's streak of five straight scoreless World Cup openers.

Both teams' stars, Senegal's Sadio Mane and Poland's Robert Lewandowski, rarely threatened in quiet World Cup debuts.

Senegal is tied for the group lead with Japan, which upset Colombia 2-1 earlier. Senegal will play Japan on Sunday, when Poland meets Colombia.

MOSCOW, June 19, 2018 (News Wires) - Senegal took full advantage of their opponents' errors to beat Poland 2-1 in their opening Group H match Tuesday, finally giving Africa something to cheer about at the World Cup as the group favourites failed to fire.

Leading thanks to a clumsy Thiago Cionek own-goal in a poor first half, M'Baye Niang put the game beyond the disjointed Poles on the hour, seizing on goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny's decision to race out of his area to gather a long back pass. Niang showed pace and control to beat the keeper and covering defender Jan Bednarek before slotting home in an empty net.

Grzegorz Krychowiak, author of the wayward back pass, made partial amends with a header five minutes from time but it was too late.

The result leaves Senegal, famous winners over defending champions France in the opening match of their last World Cup appearance in 2002, level with Japan.

The Asian team overcame Colombia by the same score earlier in the day. The last of five African teams to play in the tournament, Senegal are the only ones not to lose.

Poland have now gone six successive World Cups without scoring in their opening match and last won one in 1974.

 

MOSCOW, June 19, 2018 (News Wires) – Coach Carlos Queiroz said Iran will soak up the experience of facing World Cup contenders Spain on Wednesday but warned the Lions of Persia will produce their "best game ever" as they strive to cause the shock of the tournament.

Days after celebrating only their second-ever World Cup win in five editions with a 1-0 victory over Morocco that sent them top of Group B, Iran are expected to return to earth with a bump against a Spain side oozing class.

"For us it's a privilege and an honour to be here. It's a unique opportunity for us to play against Spain, one of the candidates to win the World Cup," Queiroz told a packed and, at times, chaotic media conference in Kazan on Tuesday.

"We're in a win-win situation because it's a unique opportunity for our national team to learn more about the game and to grow as players."

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa scored twice while Real Madrid defender Nacho gave Spain a 3-2 lead before Cristiano Ronaldo snatched a 3-3 draw for Portugal with a late third in a spectacular game in Sochi last Friday.

Queiroz is under no illusions about the superiority of Fernando Hierro's side as the Spaniards look to claim their first win of the tournament.

But he says Iran are in Russia carrying the hopes of an entire nation, not just to make up the numbers.

"If there was a magic potion to stop the Spanish team, then $1 million would not be too much to buy it, even though we do have some financial troubles," said Queiroz, who was flanked by AEK Athens midfielder Masoud Shojaei.

Queiroz, a former assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, sounded a defiant message, saying Spain could boss the match technically but could not control how much Iran will fight.

"We are well aware of Spain's reputation, so we'll have to play our best game ever. In the end the football gods will decide," he said.

 

 

SARANSK, Russia, June 19, 2018 (News Wires) - Japan beat 10-man Colombia 2-1 in Group H on Tuesday to become the first Asian side to beat a South American one at the World Cup.

Asian teams had managed three draws in 17 matches against South American sides but the four-times Asian champions made their extra man count after Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez became the first player to get a red card in Russia.

His sending-off in the third minute, for a deliberate handball, was the second fastest in World Cup history after Uruguay's Jose Batista was dismissed after 55 seconds against Scotland in 1986.

Shinji Kagawa scored from the resulting penalty to give Japan the lead.Juan Quintero's clever low free kick in the 39th minute brought Colombia's equalizer but Yuya Osako leapt above his marker to head a corner into the net for the 73rd-minute winner.

It was sweet revenge for Japan, who were thumped 4-1 by Colombia in Brazil four years ago, but they wasted plenty of chances to kill the game off.

Kagawa went close in the 16th minute but his shot rolled past the post and Osako fired against the face of goal from a dangerous position in the box.

With Japan dominating in midfield, Colombia's Argentine coach Jose Pekerman opted to sacrifice Juan Cuadrado around the half hour mark to send on defensive midfielder Wilmar Barrios.

That gave Colombia extra control and their all-time leading scorer and captain Radamel Falcao came more into the game.

Falcao, making his World Cup debut after missing the last tournament in Brazil due to injury, showed his hunger when he stretched full length to get his foot to an overhead cross but did not have the power to beat the goalkeeper.

Genki Haraguchi's foul on Falcao earned Colombia a foul on the edge of the box and Quintero fired a low free kick under the leaping wall. Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima reacted late and by the time he got his hands to the ball, it had crossed the line.

Pekerman introduced James Rodriguez, who did not start due to a calf problem, in the 59th minute but the Golden Boot winner in Brazil was unable to change the course of the match.

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