World Cup 2014: A Tie Sends France Through and Ecuador Out

“The goals came so easy, and so often, for France in its first two games at the World Cup that one could be forgiven for assuming it might never end. Three against Honduras. Five against Switzerland. When the well went dry in a scoreless tie against Ecuador on Wednesday, there were bound to be questions. Just do not bring them to France’s coach, Didier Deschamps. Unbeaten and safely in the second round as the first-place team in his group, he was not really interested in hearing them.” NY Times

Ramadan Poses Test to Muslim Players at World Cup
“Down the quiet, tree-lined Rua Gonzaga Bastos, less than half a mile from Estádio do Maracanã, the custodian of this city’s only mosque was preparing for the busiest time of the year. Mohamed Zeinhom Abdien, the custodian, was sitting at a desk opposite messy piles of boxes containing thousands of leaflets about Islam written in Portuguese, English and Arabic. The observance of Ramadan, one of Islam’s five pillars, is a religious obligation in which Muslims fast and forgo any liquids from dawn until dusk over the course of a month. The month begins Saturday night, and Abdien’s usually quiet mosque has been inundated with newcomers.” NY Times

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