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Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Bal­lon d’or – golden ball. He hasn’t been avail­able to dis­cuss his scor­ing, or even his chin stroking and new fuzz.

After the match, he walked past re­porters with­out stop­ping while hold­ing a mo­bile phone to an ear.

Else­where in group B, Spain chalked up the 1-0 win over Iran at Kazan Arena thanks to a strike from Diego Costa. The for­ward scored when Ramin Reza­eian’s at­tempted clear­ance bounced off the Spa­niard’s leg and into the net in the 54th minute.

Iran, with a vic­tory over ref­eree as the got a word in his ear that ‘goalscorer’ Saeid Eza­to­lahi was in fact off­side. The de­ci­sion was a dag­ger to Iran’s hopes of pulling off the up­set.

In group A, Luis Suarez put both Uruguay and host Rus­sia into the sec­ond round while elim­i­nat­ing Saudi Ara­bia and Egypt at the same time.

Suarez scored the win­ning goal in his 100th in­ter­na­tional ap­pear­ance for Uruguay, knock­ing in a cor­ner from Car­los Sanchez in the 23rd minute to give the two-time cham­pi­ons a 1-0 vic­tory over the Saudis.

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