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Croatia's moment of truth

Croatia Jun 22, 2014
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El Tri prepping for Croatia test

Mexico Jun 20, 2014
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Rakitic, Mbia swap shorts

The Toe Poke Jun 19, 2014
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PVC: Mandzukic lands brace on WC debut

World Cup Jun 19, 2014
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Finding hope in the teeth of despair

Croatia Jun 18, 2014
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 Posted by Gabriele Marcotti
Jul 2, 2014

Match-fixing: More regulation needed

OK, so at some point in the past two weeks (at what point -- as you'll see -- is crucially important) a convicted match-fixer named Wilson Raj Perumal decided to chat with a German journalist from the magazine Der Spiegel.

They chose to do so on Facebook (possibly because it's still 2009 where they live, or maybe because Snapchat was unavailable). In the course of the conversation, according to Der Spiegel, Perumal claimed that the Cameroon squad at the World Cup had "seven bad apples in it" and...

 Posted by Aleksandar Holiga
Jun 26, 2014

Assessment: Croatia's disappointment

Croatia failed to deliver on its pre-World Cup promise, and ESPN FC blogger Aleks Holiga looks back at the highs and lows of their brief campaign.

One sentence, World Cup recap

Croatia disappointed by not playing to its strengths and bowed out having fallen apart in the key match against a really well organised Mexico side.

All team assessments

Group Stage: Australia | Bosnia-Herzegovina | Cameroon | Croatia | Ecuador | England | Ghana | Honduras | Italy | Iran
Ivory Coast Japan | Portugal | Russia | South Korea | Spain
Round of 16: Algeria | Chile | Greece | Mexico
Nigeria | Switzerland | Uruguay | United States
Quarterfinals: Colombia | France | Belgium | Costa Rica
Semifinals: Brazil | Netherlands
Finalists: Argentina
Winners: Germany

Star Man

Much to everyone's surprise, it wasn't any of the key players. Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic all showed a somewhat average form with only a few flashes...

Jun 25, 2014

Back to reality for Bosnia, Croatia

Edin Dzeko scored his first World Cup goal for Bosnia in their finale Wednesday.
Edin Dzeko scored his first World Cup goal for Bosnia in their finale Wednesday.

MOSTAR, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are out of the World Cup. Both are headed home, and whatever rush of happiness and goodwill that their journey brought to the ethnic Bosniaks and Croats in the divided nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina is coming to an end. Reality starts again now, which makes me remember the segregated city of Mostar, which is half Muslim Bosniak and half Catholic Croatian.

The myth of civilization is exposed on the broken avenue through the town, which runs...

 Posted by Andrea Canales
Jun 23, 2014

Mexico get past Croatia and move to next round

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez speaks with John Sutcliffe after scoring his third goal in seven World Cup matches.

A tough match for Mexico saw the squad not only survive, but thrive with a 3-1 triumph over a stubborn Croatia team. El Tri is now through to the round of 16.

Coach Miguel Herrera said before the game that Mexico's players would live out the words of their national anthem and fight until the final minute for the win. Translated, the anthem reads in part: "Think, beloved homeland, that heaven gave you a soldier in each son." In Recife, the enormous contingent of fans that turned out for Mexico...

 Posted by Chris Jones
Jun 23, 2014

Pressure? What pressure?

The ESPN FC guys look ahead to what we can expect from Matchday 12 at the World Cup.

RECIFE, Brazil -- In all the possibility of an empty stadium, Mexico took to the field. They were less than 24 hours from Monday's all-important group-stage match against Croatia, but they began their training by playing a children's game. Most of the Mexican players stood on the center circle; three were somehow nominated to occupy the middle. Then a ball came into the picture, and they kicked off a lighthearted session of Keep Away.

- Marshall: Five keys for Mexico
- Canales: Assessing Herrera's...