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After a sluggish start against World Cup first-timers Panama, Belgiums highly-fancied team of stars eventually click into gear and run out convincing 3-0 winners.
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Robbie Williams shrugs off acoustic difficulties and offers a cheeky middle finger to the camera as Russia and Vladimir Putin welcome the world in the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony.
The World Cup is one of the rare occasions that transcends sporting taste. The Socceroos opener against France clashes with the Wallabies, AFL, NRL and one-day international cricket tomorrow but if you arent watching the action from Russia, you are not watching the big game, writes Richard Hinds.
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Brazil have won their first match at every World Cup since 1978, but join a host of big guns who have failed to fire early in the 2018 tournament with a 1-1 draw against Switzerland.
With the World Cup just days away, the excitement is building and the Socceroos squad is being pushed to a new level, writes Matildas star Sam Kerr.
Despite defeat in its World Cup opener against France, Australia should believe progression from Group C is very possible but changes, both tactical and mental, still need to be made.
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In a tense match where neither team had many clear cut chances, Serbias Aleksander Kolarov provided a moment of magic with a left-foot curling freekick to give his side a precious three points.
The opening few days of the World Cup have been wonderful. Upsets, VAR and goals galore. No 0-0 draws and to be fair, the new technology has played a large part in that. Technology not linked to Optus that is, writes Ed Kavalee.
The Socceroos have become masters of the brave defeat at World Cups, but if they want to advance from the group stage for the first time in 12 years, they have used up their one and only brave-defeat card for this tournament, writes Dan Colasimone.
Australia loses 2-1 to France in its opening World Cup clash in a gutsy performance that gives one of the tournament favourites an almighty scare.
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Portugal takes the lead twice but has to rely on an 88th-minute Cristiano Ronaldo free kick, his third goal of the match, to draw 3-3 with neighbours Spain in a World Cup classic.
If you heard it once during Australias weekend of nice efforts and against the odds bravery, you heard it three times. But the gallant performances leave open the door to anguished second-guessing and imagining about what might have been, writes Richard Hinds.
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Matildas star Sam Kerr says she wasnt sure of Australia before the World Cup opener against France, but she is now confident the Socceroos can get the job and get out of Group C.
Iran celebrates its first win since France 1998, only their second ever win at a World Cup, like they had won the whole tournament after Moroccos Aziz Bouhaddouz heads into his own net in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Russias incredible World Cup form continues on home soil with a 3-1 win over Egypt; a result that puts Mohamed Salahs Pharaohs on the brink of first-round elimination.
Tim Cahill has the chance to join a select group of legends, if he finds the back of the net at this World Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo may be a polarising figure, but there is little doubt in his ability to change a game.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull phones Tim Cahill, Mark Milligan and Mile Jedinak to throw his support behind the Socceroos ahead of tonights World Cup match against France.
Senegal takes full advantage of its opponents errors to beat Poland 2-1 in their opening Group H match, finally giving Africa something to cheer about at the World Cup.
After slow starts by the bookies leading lights, it is the perennially teased and tormented England and Belgium that have put a big hand up for World Cup glory in the first round of matches, writes James Maasdorp.
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Croatia wins their first opening game at a World Cup in 20 years with Luka Modric converting a penalty to ensure his side takes full advantage of Argentinas draw with Iceland.
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There will be no soft landing at Russia 2018 for the Australians on Saturday they take on France. But the Socceroos have barely talked about their opponents, instead trusting their coachs ethos: if the system works, the opponent doesnt really matter.
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There were huge performances all over the pitch as Australia ran France close in their opening World Cup fixture. Heres how the Socceroos rated in their agonising 2-1 loss in Kazan.
He plays like someone from another era, another country. But Tom Rogic is the here and the now as the Socceroos shoot for a World Cup longshot.
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Paul Pogba chips Mat Ryan to seal a tight 2-1 win for France over Australia in an enthralling World Cup encounter in Kazan. Look back at how the action unfolded.
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Having endured a torrid run with the introduction of the video assistant referee in the A-League, it was almost inevitable that the first team to come on the wrong side of VAR at a World Cup would be Australia, writes James Maasdorp.
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Lionel Messi had a penalty saved as Iceland chalked up another shock result to its portfolio of heroism, holding Argentina to a 1-1 draw on its World Cup debut.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
A prominent group that campaigns against racism and anti-gay abuse in sports is accusing Russian authorities of having it evicted from its premises on the eve of the World Cup, calling it a political attack on human rights.
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World Cup heavyweights Germany had not lost an opening game at a World Cup since 1982 or been defeated by Mexico since 1985, but the North Americans see those records tumble after a brilliant counter-attacking performance.
Playing in their first World Cup match in 36 years, Peru are left to lament Christian Cuevas first half penalty miss and the many saves of Denmark keeper Kasper Schmeichel in a 1-0 loss.
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Japan becomes the first Asian side to defeat South American opposition at a World Cup after downing 2014 quarter finalists Colombia 2-1, which had Carlos Sanchez receive the first red card of the tournament in the third minute.
With a fearless attitude and knack for improvisation forged on the streets of Iran, Daniel Arzani has come a long way to become the Socceroos wildcard at the World Cup.
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Optus announces all World Cup games will be simulcast on free-to-air SBS for two days after a wave of complaints about its subscription streaming service.
Optus is working around the clock to fix its streaming service after a series of embarrassing blackouts during the World Cup, but will the telco run out of time?
The Socceroos rise slightly in the World Cup Power Rankings after the first round of matches, but there are far more dramatic fluctuations both ways for both contenders and underdogs in Russia.
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VAR again plays its part as Sweden records a win in its opening World Cup match for the first time since 1958, with an Andreas Granqvist penalty sealing the points against South Korea.
Without Mo Salah and against a strong opponents, Egypt held on for nearly 90 full minutes until defender Jose Maria Gimenezs thumping header stole the points for Uruguay.
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Denis Cheryshevs brace of out-of-this-world goals lights up the World Cup opening clash, with his technique and elan sweeping away the severe doubts surrounding the Russian team, writes James Maasdorp.
Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak admits his disappointment at his teams 2-1 World Cup loss to France, but refuses to engage in the ongoing debate over the use of VAR in the match and tournament.
Having settled in to watch the first full night of World Cup action, Australian football fans are left raging at Optus as the telcos exclusive stream of Russia 2018 fails to deliver.
World Cup host Russia gets the FIFA World Cup off to a tremendous start with a clinical 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia, in a major step forward for its hopes to progress past the group stages.
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Harry Kane strikes at the death to give England all three points in its opening World Cup match against Tunisia, having been frustrated for so long in a 2-1 win.
Hours after Optus chief executive Allen Lew offers an apology for the telcos malfunctioning World Cup coverage and pledges to fix the issues, even more streaming issues render yet another game unwatchable for many.
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Thousands of exuberant soccer fans celebrating a World Cup goal set off seismic detectors in Mexico City but this isnt the first time revellers have felt the earth move under their feet.
This is the first Indigenous-run police station in Western Australia