FOOTBALL NEWS

26/06/2014 11:25, Report by James Tuck

Nani clings to last 16 hope

Nani has a very slender chance of joining his five Manchester United colleagues in the last 16 of the World Cup but, in truth, it would require two remarkable results in Thursday’s games.

Portugal, currently bottom of Group G with one point, must beat Ghana by a big margin and hope for a decisive result in the other clash between USA and Germany, who have four points apiece and know a draw would take both into the knockout stages.

Reds winger Nani will be hoping to be involved in the 17:00 BST kick-off in Brasilia, after scoring his side’s early opener in their last game, a 2-2 draw with the Americans.

Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj have no such worries as their Belgium side are already through, having won their opening two games. Marc Wilmots' men play South Korea at 21:00 BST and Januzaj will be eyeing his first action of the tournament.

As the group stage of Brazil 2014 comes to a close, five Reds have reached the last 16, with Fellaini and Januzaj joined by Patrice Evra, Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez.

The latter two could meet in Sunday’s encounter between the Netherlands and Mexico (17:00 BST), which would be only the fifth occasion that United players have been in direct opposition at a World Cup. Evra’s France take on Nigeria on Monday (17:00 BST), while Belgium will face one of Germany, USA or Portugal on Monday or Tuesday.

More: Valencia sees redWorld Cup blog | Nani scores vs USA

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