The Latest: Croatia goalkeepers coach heads home for funeral

PARIS (AP) — The Latest from soccer’s European Championship (all times local):


4:15 p.m.

Croatia goalkeepers coach Marjan Mrmic has left the squad to travel back home after his father died.

UEFA said on its website that he is expected to return to France on Friday when Croatia takes on Czech Republic in Group D in Saint-Etienne.

Mrmic is the second member of the Croatia squad to learn about the death of his father since the tournament started. Captain Darijo Srna also traveled back to Croatia to attend his dad’s funeral following the 1-0 win over Turkey. He has since rejoined the squad.


3:51 p.m.

Marek Hamsik scored one goal and set up another to give Slovakia a 2-0 halftime lead over Russia at the European Championship.

Vladimir Weiss left the Russian defense looking embarrassed by putting first-time finalist Slovakia in front in the 32nd minute after connecting with a long, diagonal ball from Hamsik.

In first-half stoppage time, Russia’s defense was again exposed as Hamsik curled a shot into the net off the inside of the far post.


3:45 p.m.

GOAL: Marek Hamsik scores for Slovakia in the 45th minute. Slovakia leads Russia 2-0.


3:40 p.m.

Slovakia forward Vladimir Weiss capitalized on a long pass by Marek Hamsik to give his team a 1-0 lead over Russia at the European Championship.

Coming into the area from the left wing, Weiss controlled the ball, made a quick move to wrong-foot two Russian defenders before sending his low shot past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.


3:32 p.m.

GOAL: Vladimir Weiss scores for Slovakia in the 32nd minute. Slovakia leads Russia 1-0.


3:25 p.m.

The animals are at it again, and they say Germany will beat Poland.

Nelly the Elephant on Wednesday predicted a narrow victory for the world champions by choosing — hesitantly — to kick a ball into a goal marked with Poland’s flag, according to her keepers at the Serengeti Park in Hodenhagen.

In Leipzig, a koala bear named Oobi-Ooobi chose a eucalyptus branch from a glass marked with the German flag.

Nelly correctly predicted Germany’s opening win against Ukraine. Her furry colleague, however, predicted a draw by refusing to touch either branch.

The craze for animal oracles started in earnest with Germany’s Paul the Octopus, who achieved cult status by correctly predicting eight matches at the 2010 World Cup. Other animals have struggled to achieve comparable stardom.


2:25 p.m.

Russia coach Leonid Slutsky is sticking with the same lineup that earned a 1-1 draw against England on Saturday.

Russia captain Vasily Berezutsky, who scored the stoppage-time equalizer against England, leads the defense while Artem Dzyuba will play with Aleksandr Kokorin up front.

Needing a victory after its 2-1 opening loss to Wales, Slovakia will feature three new names.

Coach Jan Kozak has picked defender Tomas Hubocan, midfielder Viktor Pecovsky and forward Ondrej Duda to replace Patrik Hrosovsky, Michal Duris and Dusan Svento.


2:15 p.m.

Here are the lineups for the match between Russia and Slovakia in Lille in Group B:

Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Igor Smolnikov, Vasily Berezutsky, Sergei Ignashevich, Georgy Shchennikov, Roman Neustaedter, Alexander Golovin, Oleg Shatov, Alexander Kokorin, Fyodor Smolov, Artyom Dzyuba.

Slovakia: Matus Kozacik, Peter Pekarik, Martin Skrtel, Jan Durica, Tomas Hubocan, Juraj Kucka, Viktor Pecovsky, Marek Hamsik, Robert Mak, Vladimir Weiss, Ondrej Duda.


2 p.m.

Amid fears of violence, seven arrests for public disorder were made in an otherwise calm buildup to Russia’s match against Slovakia in Lille.

The French government’s top administrator in the region, Prefect Michel Lalande says “we won the first leg, now we have to win the second.”

Lalande says those arrested included Russians, Slovaks and a woman from Ukraine. Four of them will be deported in the coming days.

Speaking in the control center for Lille’s massive security operation involving more than 2,000 officers, Lalande says a priority is to ensure that Russian fans don’t cross paths with the English fans who are coming for Thursday’s game against Wales in nearby Lens.

Lalande says “we were promised a tsunami. Nothing happened.”


1:40 p.m.

Croatia captain Darijo Srna is back at the European Championship after attending the funeral of his father.

The Croatia soccer federation says Srna has returned to the team base in Deauville. Srna was accompanied by coach Ante Cacic for the funeral in Croatia on Monday.

Srna was told of his father’s death after playing in a 1-0 win over Turkey in Paris on Sunday.

He should captain the team again when Croatia plays the Czech Republic in Saint-Etienne on Friday.

Srna’s 130 international appearances is a national record.


1:35 p.m.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been picked for Sweden’s provisional squad for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Swedish soccer federation announced a 35-man squad on Wednesday, which will be trimmed to 22 for Rio, where Sweden plays Nigeria, Colombia and Japan in Group B.

Sweden under-21 coach Hakan Ericson, who manages the Olympic soccer team, says the chances that Ibrahimovic will be part of the final squad are “not so great, but there is still a hope.”

The 34-year-old Ibrahimovic, currently leading Sweden’s attack at the European Championship, is one of three players over 21 allowed for the Olympic team.

Ibrahimovic left Paris Saint-Germain after scoring a career-high 38 league goals this season and is widely expected to join Manchester United.


1:10 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman says Moscow hopes that UEFA will give equal treatment to all those responsible for fan violence during the European Championship.

Dmitry Peskov also voiced hope Wednesday that the Euro 2016 will continue without any further “excesses.”

UEFA’s disciplinary body said Russia will be disqualified from the tournament if there is more fan violence inside stadiums in France after its fans attacked English supporters in Marseille after Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

Speaking in a conference call with reporters, Peskov said “we hope for a fair treatment during investigation into all excesses, with equal attention given to all the parties who might have been involved.”

He added that he wouldn’t “infringe on or comment on UEFA’s jurisdiction.”


11:45 a.m.

The roof of the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille will be closed when Russia plays Slovakia on Wednesday.

UEFA says a forecast for heavy rain prompted the decision to close the retractable roof before the 3 p.m. local time kickoff.

It’s not the first time a European Championship match will played indoors. Euro 2012 began in Warsaw with the National Stadium roof closed to protect the opening ceremony from a thunderstorm.

Poland coach Franciszek Smuda partly blamed “that sauna” for humid conditions after his team faded in the second half of a 1-1 draw with Greece that kicked off at 6 p.m.

The stadium in Lille previously hosted the 2014 Davis Cup final in tennis as an indoor venue.


11:30 a.m.

Russia’s game against Slovakia in Lille on Wednesday is the first European Championship match not to sell all tickets.

UEFA says it has 1,100 tickets available in the top category at the 50,000-capacity Stade Pierre Mauroy.

The Category 1 tickets are listed for sale at 145 euros ($163).

The first 12 games at Euro 2016 sold all tickets available except for some seats in corporate hospitality boxes.

UEFA says it also has unsold seats for two matches in Lyon: 2,000 tickets for Ukraine vs. Northern Ireland on Thursday, and 1,000 for Romania vs. Albania on Sunday.

The total Euro 2016 capacity is 2.5 million for the 51 matches.