Germany's Podolski to miss Algeria game

Lukas Podolski is injured and will miss Germany's World Cup game against Algeria on Monday. (Arnd...

Lukas Podolski is injured and will miss Germany's World Cup game against Algeria on Monday. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)

Sun Wire Services

, Last Updated: 11:07 PM ET

Germany will be without winger Lukas Podolski in their World Cup last-16 match against Algeria in Porto Alegre on Monday after he picked up a thigh muscle injury in their last group game, coach Joachim Loew has said.

Podolski, who is no longer an automatic starter for the national team, was injured in the first half of their 1-0 win over the United States and was taken off at halftime.

Tests late on Saturday showed he would not be available for their first knockout game in the tournament.

The 29-year-old, who has won 116 caps and is playing in his third World Cup, came on as a late substitute in the opening 4-0 win over Portugal but did not feature in the other group game against Ghana.

Full back Jerome Boateng, who missed practice with a minor knee inflammation on Saturday, is expected to be back in training later on Sunday, according to Loew.

Germany are among the top title contenders in Brazil and are hoping to become the first European team to win the World Cup on the South American continent.

BELGIUM'S LUKAKU RETURNS

Striker Romelu Lukaku is set to return but concern over captain Vincent Kompany is still clouding Belgium's build-up to their World Cup last-16 meeting with the United States in Salvador on Tuesday.

Kompany skipped training again on Sunday as he battled with a groin problem, having now not worked out with the rest of the squad since before Belgium's last game against South Korea which he sat out.

Coach Marc Wilmots suggested Lukaku would be restored to the starting line-up for the match at the Fonte Nova arena after also missing the 1-0 win which ensured Belgium a 100 percent record in the first round.

This is despite the poor form in Brazil and the petulance shown by Lukaku when he was taken off against Russia in Rio de Janeiro last Sunday.

The striker jerked his arm away as Wilmots reached over to grab it and shake his hand after taking Lukaku off for a second successive match.

HERO STATUS FOR CHILE

Chile's so nearly conquering heroes are sure of an incredible welcome on their return from a World Cup where they eliminated champions Spain but were cruelly knocked out by Brazil for the fourth time in their history.

"The dream is over, but not the applause," said La Tercera newspaper in a chorus of praise round the nation. "Dry your tears and come back to Chile to be received with full honours."

One of the strongest Chile teams seen at a World Cup, 'La Roja' (The Red) lit up the tournament from swashbuckling wins over Australia and Spain to a heart-breaking loss on penalties to Brazil after a pulsating 1-1 draw in the last-16 clash.

It was a desperately harsh outcome for Chile, who had matched the hosts for 120 minutes of normal and extra time, and could so easily have snatched it at the death when Mauricio Pinilla smashed a glorious shot against the crossbar.

A few centimetres lower, and Chile would have overturned a painful history of defeats by Brazil, who knocked them out of the 2010, 1998 and 1962 World Cups.

TUNNEL INCIDENT

FIFA is probing an alleged confrontation between a Brazilian press official and Chile player Mauricio Pinilla in the tunnel at halftime in their World Cup match in Belo Horizonte on Saturday, the governing body said.

"There has been an incident and the disciplinary committee are currently analysing the matter," FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer told reporters on Sunday.

The media officer being investigated, Rodrigo Paiva, said after the match that there was a scuffle with Pinilla at halftime and that he shoved him in self-defence.

"It was a mess. It was not something only I was involved in. Pinilla came towards me and I only defended myself but I did not punch him."

Pinilla came on after 87 minutes of the last 16 match at the Mineirao stadium just before the match went into extra time. With seconds of extra time remaining, he slammed a shot against the Brazil crossbar.

With the scores level at 1-1 after 120 minutes the game went to penalties and Pinilla missed his during the shootout which Brazil won 3-2 to progress to the quarter-finals where they play Colombia in Fortaleza on Friday.

FANS FIGHT AT MATCH

Police used pepper spray to break up fights between Brazilian and Uruguayan fans during a World Cup match at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium on Saturday, a spokesman for the event's local organizing committee said on Sunday.

Minor scuffles broke out inside the stadium as Colombia beat Uruguay 2-0 to advance to the quarter-finals, though fighting intensified on the external concourse after the match, committee spokesman Saint-Clair Milesi told reporters.

"Yes, the police did use pepper spray," Milesi said, without elaborating further.

Press representatives for Rio de Janeiro's public safety authority could not be reached for comment, while a spokesman for Rio's military police was unable to immediately provide further details.

ODD FAMILY TRADE

A soccer fan's fanaticism has probably earned him a red card from his family.

Upset by the possibility that Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who has been sensational at the World Cup, will not be playing for his favourite French club Ajaccio in the fall, the man has decided to trade his wife, children, mother and house to keep the goalie at the club.

Ochoa has been without a club as his contract with Ajaccio expired this summer, and there are rumours that British Premier League giants Arsenal and Liverpool are interested in his signature.

According to England's The Telegraph, the man put his property and loved ones up for sale on the French equivalent of Gumtree, and hopes to flog them all for around $16 million in order to keep Ochoa on a $60,000-a-week salary at Ajaccio.


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