FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) — Colombia's James Rodriguez, Brazil's Neymar, Germany's Thomas Mueller and France's Karim Benzema came into the World Cup quarterfinals with a combined 16 goals.
So with all that scoring ability on the pitch for Friday's two games, of course the goals were coming from defenders. Mats Hummels gave Germany a 1-0 win over France, then Brazil's Thiago Silva and David Luiz put Brazil up 2-0 against Colombia. Rodriguez went on to score in the 2-1 loss, though his goal came on a penalty.
FROWNING UPON FRED
SAO PAULO (AP) — A new poll published Friday makes it official: Fans feel that striker Fred is the worst player on Brazil's World Cup squad.
The respected Datafolha polling group says that for 21 percent of the close to 3,000 people questioned, the Fluminense forward is the Brazilian team's worst player. Nine percent said striker Hulk, and 6 percent said defender Dani Alves, who was removed from the starting lineup for Fridays' quarterfinal against Colombia.
No surprise: For 56 percent of the respondents, striker Neymar is the team's best player. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar is a distant second with 10 percent.
Datafolha questioned 2,857 people, and the poll has a margin of error of two percentage points.
— By Stan Lehman
FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) — Taking advantage of the huge Colombian crowd accompanying the national team at the World Cup in Brazil, Colombia's main newspaper handed out free copies of its daily to fans arriving for Friday's quarterfinal match against the hosts.
Youngsters dressed in the Colombian colors — blue, yellow and red — were giving away a special edition of the "El Tiempo" newspaper at traffic lights outside the Arena Castelao in the northeastern city of Fortaleza.
The newspaper says it's the first time in its 103-year history that it's being published in another country. The edition being handed out in Brazil has 12 pages of coverage about the Colombian team and the World Cup in general.
Colombia has one of the biggest fan bases in Brazil, packing stadiums and host cities everywhere the team has played. Colombians were the majority in the crowd in each of the team's first four matches.
— By Tales Azzoni — www.twitter.com/tazzoni
UPLIFTING SWISS FANS
ABOARD SWISS AIR FLIGHT LX093 (AP) — Disheartened Swiss fans returning to Zurich after their country's 1-0 World Cup loss to Argentina could at least take comfort in one parting treat — they were flying home with their beloved team.