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Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Sunday, 4 July 2010 17:37 UK

Sunday's World Cup round-up

Uruguay players celebrate beating Ghan

Extended Highlights - Uruguay 1-1 Ghana (4-2 pens)

Uruguay's Sebastian Abreu believes he should be treated like Zinedine Zidane following his outrageous penalty against Ghana that sent his country through to meet the Netherlands in the World Cup semi-finals.

Abreu converted the final kick of the shoot-out with a cheeky dink down the centre of the goal - reminiscent of France legend Zidane's own cool penalty in the 2006 World Cup final against Italy.

But when asked if he was mad to have tried such a trick, Abreu retorted: "What adjective did you use to describe Zidane's penalty? Crazy? No, magic. So why not Abreu?"

However, Abreu's national team captain Diego Lugano said: "We're used to his crazy things, it's not the first time he's done that. It's quality but he's as mad as he is intelligent. He studies opponents and goalkeepers. He's brave and smart."

Veteran Abreu, 33, also believes his country have a chance of beating the Dutch, saying: "If it was something political or commercial we would not be able to compete because we're up against first world countries. But seeing as it's football, we can have our say."

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas has credited his backup Pepe Reina for the penalty save that enabled his team to beat Paraguay 1-0 in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Casillas dived to his left to stop Oscar Cardozo's 59th-minute spot-kick, and team-mate David Villa then scored with seven minutes remaining to send Spain through to face Germany in the semi-finals.

Reina failed to save two penalties from Cardozo in Liverpool's 2-1 loss to Benfica in the Europa League last season, and Casillas revealed that his Spanish team-mate had "told me where he was going to shoot it."

German newspaper the Welt has been making comparisons between Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lionel Messi following Germany's 4-0 World Cup quarter-final victory over Argentina.

"Better than Messi: Schweinsteiger completes his masterpiece," proclaimed the Welt, adding that it was his "best game of the World Cup".

Meanwhile, Suddeutsche Zeitung has said the injury to Michael Ballack in the build-up to the World Cup was a blessing in disguise.

"The injury to Ballack, however hard it is for him, was a lucky break for [coach Joachim] Loew," the newspaper claimed.

"The 33-year-old was the last dominator who wanted to dictate the game as the leader and make the decisions. Without him, Loew was able to give [Philip] Lahm, [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, [Per] Mertesacker and [Lukas] Podolski more responsibility."

Uruguay striker Diego Forlan has revealed he swapped a promising career in tennis for football so that he could pay for his sister's education.

His sister Alejandra has not walked since the then 12-year-old was involved in a car crash that killed her boyfriend and left her with spinal injuries.

The Atletico Madrid striker, who decided to concentrate on football at 16, said: "My family is always united and that accident meant that we became even more so and I became a footballer in order to pay for the costs of her recovery."

World Cup organisers say they have no news on whether former South Africa president Nelson Mandela will attend next Sunday's final at Soccer City.

Organising committee spokesman Rich Mkhondo said the 91-year-old has "an open invitation to attend any matches he wants to attend ... If he comes, we will be very happy. If he does not, we will understand."

Fifa will not take action against Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino following his comments about the ruling body's disciplinary code at the World Cup.

Martino said that the referee wrongly disallowed Nelson Valdez's 41st-minute goal in Saturday's 1-0 quarter-final loss to Spain and made reference to Fifa's apologies to England and Mexico earlier in the tournament after errors contributed to their elimination.

But Fifa spokesman Pekka Odriozola said Sunday that FIFA had received no report or complaint about the comments.

Andres Iniesta insists Spain's Euro 2008 final victory over Germany will give them no psychological advantage when the sides meet in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

"I think it has nothing to do with what happened two years ago. That will have no part to play when we meet," said the Barcelona forward after Spain's 1-0 quarter-final victory over Paraguay.

"Germany have played a brilliant World Cup so far and they have brought in a lot of young players who were not there in 2008. They must be tremendously motivated but we are also at the top of our game and keen to progress further."

Brazil's team doctor Jose Luis Runco has admitted Kaka was not fully fit at the World Cup.

Runco told Brazilian media on Sunday that the Real Madrid playmaker never completely recovered from a series of injuries leading up to the tournament.

According to Runco, Kaka's fitness was at about "85%" and that "in a different situation he would not have played."

Updated throughout the day.



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see also
Saturday's World Cup round-up
03 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Friday's World Cup round-up
02 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Thursday's World Cup round-up
01 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Wednesday's World Cup round-up
30 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Tuesday's World Cup round-up
29 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Monday's World Cup round-up
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Sunday's World Cup round-up
27 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010


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