Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has never coached a game at the international level, yet his influence was considered partly responsible for the success of the last two World Cup champions and could play a role in next Sunday’s final was well.
Alex Ovechkin has brought the Stanley Cup to the World Cup.
The Washington Capitals captain took the NHL trophy to a fan zone in Moscow where World Cup games are screened. With the Russian national guard providing security, Ovechkin lifted the cup above his head in front of a crowd of fans, who were allowed to take photos with the trophy.
“The cup is with us. The cup is in Moscow, Russia,” Ovechkin said. “I am very happy for the people that can see it and touch it. I am very, very happy.”
Belgium reached the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 32 years by holding off five-time champion Brazil 2-1 Friday, sending Neymar home without living up to the expectations of being soccer's most expensive player.
Kevin De Bruyne put Belgium up 2-0 by completing a counterattack led by Romelu Lukaku in the 31st minute.
The opener came after a bit of good fortune. Fernandinho's trailing arm inadvertently helped Belgium captain Vincent Kompany's header land in his own net in the 13th.
Antoine Griezmann set up one goal and scored another Friday as France became the first team to clinch a spot in the World Cup semifinals with a 2-0 win over Uruguay before a crowd of 43,319 at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.