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SAMBA BEATS

No trophy, just toffee

Seoul: In a ‘bitter-sweet’ experience, the South Korean football team, who finished last in Group H at the World Cup, were pelted with ‘toffees’ on their arrival at the Incheon airport.

It may not have been up there with Italy’s tomato-pelting in 1966 or Hungary’s lengthy hideout in Tata in 1954 to avoid riots in the streets of Budapest, but this was unique, as people shouted ‘go eat a toffee’, considered an insult in Korea along the lines of ‘get lost’.

Tattoo tale

Santiago: Chile striker Mauricio Pinilla has tattooed on his back the last-ditch World Cup goal attempt that rattled the bar in their second round defeat by Brazil, local media reported on Tuesday.

“One Centimetre from Glory,” reads the tagline next to a drawing depicting the shot on Pinilla’s lower back. The ball hitting the crossbar radiates like a sun in the tattoo.

Revenge call

Paris: The present French side can avenge the painful defeats of their predecessors in the 1982 and 1986 World Cup semi-finals when they face Germany in Friday’s quarter-final, said Maxime Bossis, who played in both of those games.

“I will watch it with revenge on my mind. I want to tell (Didier) Deschamps’ men: ‘Avenge Seville’,” Bossis has said.

Win to fly

The Hague: In an ‘out of the world’ incentive, a Dutch aerospace engineering company has offered the entire Netherlands team a flight into space if they win the World Cup.

The offer is apparently inspired by Robin van Persie ‘taking flight’ to score his spectacular headed goal in the 5-1 thrashing of Spain.

Greek gesture

Fortaleza: Greece’s World Cup players want their bonus money to be used to build a new training site for the national team in the cash-strapped country.

Yiannis Andrianos, the government’s general secretary for sports, said Monday that players had written to Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras asking that the money be used to fund a new training site and that he had promised to do “everything possible” to respond to that request.

For Ticos

Rio de Janeiro: Costa Rica have been a World Cup revelation, reaching the quarter finals for the first time and their success has proved an unexpected bonus for Lotto Sport Italia.

The private sportswear firm has seen sales of Costa Rica shirts rise 20-fold as the Ticos qualified top of Group D, ahead of three former champions, and then beat Greece on penalties to make the last eight. It is a rare triumph for a smaller kit-maker.

Laser fine

Rio de Janeiro: The Algerian Football Association has been fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($56,400) by Fifa after its fans shone lasers at players during the World Cup Group H game against Russia.

Television images showed a green light, typical of the kind generated by laser pens, being shone in the direction of Russia’s goalkeeper before Algeria’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw on Thursday.