Luis Suarez confident Uruguay can keep France's Kylian Mbappe at bay

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Luis Suarez is confident Uruguay can keep France’s young striker Kylian Mbappe quiet when they meet Didier Deschamps’ team in the World Cup quarter-final clash later this week.

The Barcelona forward has shown trust in Uruguay’s defence, that has conceded just one goal in the tournament so far.

“Everybody knows he’s (Mbappe) a really good player, but I think we have a really good defence to control him,” Suarez said, while addressing the media at Uruguay’s training camp near Nizhny Novgorod.

19-year old Mbappe was clearly the star of the show as France secured a 4-3 win over Lionel Messi‘s Argentina in the last-16.

The PSG star not only scored a brace, but earned one penalty as well – as his pace proved too much for the Argentine defence.

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Suarez though believes – there is not only Mbappe to take care of, there is the threat of Antoine Griezmann as well.

Suarez though denied claims pointing towards Griezmann being half-Uruguayan because he plays with Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez at Atletico Madrid, drinks mate tea and even turned up at the airport wearing a Uruguay shirt to greet his teammates when they qualified for Russia.

“Antoine, no matter how much he says that he’s half-Uruguayan is French and does not know what the Uruguayan feeling is,” the former Liverpool striker said.

“He does not know the dedication and effort that Uruguayans make from boys to be able to succeed in football with so few people.”

Meanwhile, Suarez also revealed that the team would have to “wait and see” if his partner-in-crime Edinson Cavani, who sustained a calf muscle injury in Uruguay’s 2-1 win over Portugal last-16, will be fit to play on Friday.

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Joachim Low to stay as Germany's head coach despite World Cup debacle

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Germany coach Joachim Low insists he will make a full analysis of their premature World Cup exit but is already looking to the future after being told his job is safe.

Defeat to South Korea in the group stage produced the country’s earliest departure from the tournament in 80 years and put Low’s future in doubt despite him only signing a contract extension to 2022 in May.

At a meeting with Germany Football Association officials, the 58-year-old said he still wanted to continue and he received the full support from his bosses.

“I am very grateful for the confidence that the DFB continues to place in me, and despite the justified criticism of our departure, I also feel generally support and encouragement,” he told dfb.de.

“My disappointment is still huge but now I want to continue the whole set-up with the same motivation.

“I will analyse together with my team, have discussions and start again.

“All this takes time but it will all happen in time for the start of the new international season in September.”

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National team director Oliver Bierhoff is delighted that Low will continue in the role but admitted there was likely to be some restructuring as a result of their surprise elimination.

“I am very pleased that Jogi Low is at the helm of our national team,” he said.

“After 14 years of successful work, we now have to rebuild and we will now be thinking about it and about further structural changes.”

Germany captain Manuel Neuer offered his full support to Low, saying: “I am pleased that with Jogi Low we can continue on our long successful path and I have the confidence that together we will regain our strength.”

At his meeting Low was told he retains the backing of officials and they saw no reason for a knee-jerk reaction.

However, he and Bierhoff will be required to conduct a thorough in-depth review into their campaign in Russia.

“We have had a very open and trusting exchange in which we have addressed many points, and we are all convinced that with Jogi Low we have a national coach who will analyse very carefully and take the right steps,” said president Reinhard Grindel.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Gareth Southgate's man-management skills come to the fore as England win penalty shootout at World Cup

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It was a case of sweet redemption for Gareth Southgate.

England laid long-standing ghosts to rest by reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup via a penalty shootout.

Gareth Southgate’s men took a second-half lead – from the spot, as it were – but succumbed to an injury-time equaliser against Colombia, and after both sides held fort during extra time, the Three Lions were facing a dreaded penalty shootout.

The lottery of spot-kicks has never been kind to England, but they beat Colombia 4-3.

Here’s a closer look at Southgate’s performance on the night.

KEY STATS

Goals – 1

Shots – 16

Possession – 52%

Pass accuracy – 80%

Dribbles – 6

30-SECOND REPORT

Southgate stuck to his guns tactically – not that anyone expected otherwise – and remained committed to attacking football throughout, even though England still struggled to create chances from open play.

His man management is paying dividends, as this game showed how much the confidence is flowing through this England side – not least with their star striker. Harry Kane always seems to hold his nerve from the penalty spot.

Getting everyone else to do the same may end up being Southgate’s greatest achievement.

TACTICAL TALKING POINT

Attacking substitutions

Whether thinking ahead to penalties or simply trying to maintain as much of an attacking threat as possible, Southgate stayed bold with his substitutions. Instead of going conservative and bringing on a defender for Raheem Sterling with two minutes left in normal time, he made a like-for-like substitution with Jamie Vardy.

And when Kyle Walker went off injured, it was Marcus Rashford who replaced him. Vardy helped England control the second half of extra-time and Rashford converted a penalty.

VERDICT

Southgate’s contribution to this game was more in terms of rallying the troops, getting them to focus again after they’d been so close to securing the win in normal time only to be sucker-punched by an injury-time equaliser and then keeping nerves calm when his players were entering a dreaded penalty shootout.

His management allowed some redemption for his infamous penalty miss from Euro 96 – he’ll go down as manager of the first England side to win a World Cup penalty shootout.

RATING – 8/10

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