Mario Balotelli (front) makes his exit after leaving England in tatters at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus. AFP
Drogba does the trick
Indian women fall for Messi
Campbell pulls off a coup
History on Germany’s side
Cirielo’s three goals spur Oz to thumping title win
Australia’s Kieran Govers celebrates a goal against Netherlands during their final of the men’s Hockey World Cup in The Hague on Sunday. REUTERS
Junior Asian Athletics
India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets
MANAUS, june 15
The game in steamy Manaus may not have had the entertainment value that Costa Rica produced in their surprise win but there was plenty to suggest that the two European teams have more than enough in their arsenal to deal with the bouyant Central Americans.
Italy, World Cup winners in 1982 and 2006, have a long established habit of winning games they do not dominate and Cesare Prandelli's 2014 version are evidently no different in that respect. Inevitably, Italy's possession play was controlled by the sublime Andrea Pirlo, who despite being a 35-year-old playing in extreme heat and humidity, once again dictated play and almost crowned his performance when he struck the bar with a late free-kick.
In Mario Balotelli, Italy also have a striker who has the invaluable knack of emerging from a largely anonymous performance to grab the decisive goal. "It was difficult, the climate was tough and England are strong... Italy suffer, they always suffer but the important thing is to win," said Balotelli.
The Italians took the lead through a well-executed, well-rehearsed set-piece, with Claudio Marchisio driving home after a clever dummy from Pirlo. After England fought back to level with a Daniel Sturridge goal, Italy restored their advantage with Balotelli's 50th minute header from a superb Antonio Candreva cross. — Agencies
Drogba does the trick
Recife, June 15 Yet Drogba's introduction was swiftly followed by quickfire headed goals from Wilfried Bony and Gervinho in the space of three second-half minutes that turned the match on its head. The victory at the Pernambuco arena moved the Ivorians level on three points at the top of Group C with Colombia, who beat Greece 3-0 earlier on Saturday. With coaches so often judged on their ability to make brave decisions, Ivory Coast's Sabri Lamouchi put his neck on the line by leaving out Drogba, for so long a talismanic presence in the lineup, in favour of the in-form Bony. He claimed after the match it was partly due to the striker's lack of fitness, but he also admitted it was a tactical decision. It initially looked a poor call as Japan had the better of the first half, but the striker's appearance proved decisive in wrestling the momentum towards the Africans. Within seconds of coming on he had driven at the heart of a swiftly retreating Japanese back four, inspiring panic in the massed blue ranks that had been previously unthreatened. When Didier Drogba came on the pitch everything changed," Frenchman Lamouchi told reporters. "When you have this caliber of player on the pitch you are very lucky. "Of course, he was frustrated to be on the bench but if you saw the joy when he finished the match... he is a champion." At 36 years old, Drogba is nearing the end of a career where he has made a habit of bullying defences into submission. — Reuters
Recife, June 15
Yet Drogba's introduction was swiftly followed by quickfire headed goals from Wilfried Bony and Gervinho in the space of three second-half minutes that turned the match on its head. The victory at the Pernambuco arena moved the Ivorians level on three points at the top of Group C with Colombia, who beat Greece 3-0 earlier on Saturday. With coaches so often judged on their ability to make brave decisions, Ivory Coast's Sabri Lamouchi put his neck on the line by leaving out Drogba, for so long a talismanic presence in the lineup, in favour of the in-form Bony. He claimed after the match it was partly due to the striker's lack of fitness, but he also admitted it was a tactical decision.
It initially looked a poor call as Japan had the better of the first half, but the striker's appearance proved decisive in wrestling the momentum towards the Africans. Within seconds of coming on he had driven at the heart of a swiftly retreating Japanese back four, inspiring panic in the massed blue ranks that had been previously unthreatened.
When Didier Drogba came on the pitch everything changed," Frenchman Lamouchi told reporters. "When you have this caliber of player on the pitch you are very lucky. "Of course, he was frustrated to be on the bench but if you saw the joy when he finished the match... he is a champion." At 36 years old, Drogba is nearing the end of a career where he has made a habit of bullying defences into submission. — Reuters
Kolkata, June 15
The survey also revealed that Brazilian midfielder Ricardo Kaka is considered as the 'Most Handsome Football Player' by 49.3% single women, followed by his forward team-mate Neymar Jr and Spanish player Fernando Torres. Apart from FIFA 2014 players, asked about the 'Most Admired Married Footballer', 48.2 % single women voted for former England player David Beckham. Another 31.3 % single women voted for Maldini, followed by Zidane.
David Beckham and his wife Victoria were voted as the 'Most Admired Celebrity Couple' by 48.2 per cent single women, followed by Gerard Pique and Shakira (28.3) and Cristiano Ronaldo and Irina Shayk (23.5). Over 4000 Indian women were surveyed to understand their sports preferences. — PTI
Recife, June 15
They face England in Sao Paulo next while the jubilant Costa Ricans, who have only once made it out of the group stages at a World Cup, travel to Recife to take on Italy. The Italians will not take that match lightly. Costa Rica were every bit as good as Uruguay in the heat of Fortaleza's Castelao arena and thoroughly deserved to win.
Promising young striker Joel Campbell set them on the way, chesting down a cross from the right after 54 minutes and slamming home a low shot to cancel out Edinson Cavani's first- half penalty. Centre back Oscar Duarte then put the Central Americans ahead just three minutes later with a brave diving header at the back post from a Christian Bolanos free kick. Substitute Marco Urena completed one of most memorable victories in his country's modest footballing history with a third in the 84th minute, silencing an army of sky blue-clad fans who had made the trip north from the River Plate.
To compound Uruguay's misery, defender Maxi Pereira became the first man to be sent off at this World Cup when he was shown a straight red for upending Campbell with a nasty kick to the shin in stoppage time. "I didn't hear anyone saying Holland would be favourites against Spain or that Costa Rica would win," Oscar Tabarez said. — Agencies
Salvador, June 15
A standout first round game, the Group G clash at Salvador's Forte Nova arena will see Germany's attractive mix of expert defence and sweeping attacks, led by the likes of Mesut Ozil and Thomas Mueller, come up against a Portugal side containing goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo.
Portugal's talismanic forward raised a collective sigh of relief in his home country earlier this week when he returned to the side after a troublesome knee injury to shine in a 5-1 friendly victory over Ireland. A thumbs up to journalists on Thursday confirmed he is fit.
Germany, semifinalists in South Africa four years ago and favourites to top the group which also includes the United States and Ghana, have had fitness boosts too.
Manuel Neuer, Germany's number one goalkeeper for four years, will start after recovering from a shoulder injury sustained last month, while Phillip Lahm has overcome an ankle injury and will feature in a holding midfield role rather than his traditional right back slot.
Bidding to end a 18-year title drought Germany coach Joachim Loew has been slow to offer many other clues as to how his side will line up, but right back Jerome Boateng is expected to play alongside Mats Hummels and Per Mertesacker, with Erik Durm and Benedikt Hoewedes battling for the left back spot.
Lahm's presence alongside Sami Khedira in midfield will allow Germany's exciting attack force of Toni Kroos, Ozil and Lukas Podolski to join ranks with Mueller - top scorer at the 2010 World Cup — to keep Portugal's defence busy. With the heat and humidity a concern, Loew will likely turn to an abundance of talent on his bench including Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Goetze early in the second half.
Portugal coach Paulo Bento has a fit squad after defender Pepe and midfielder Raul Meireles also shook off niggles. Rui Patricio will start in goal, with the fiery Pepe and Bruno Alves marshalling energetic fullbacks Joao Pereira and Fabio Coentrao.
Joao Moutinho will provide the craft in a three-man midfield that will look to use Ronaldo's pace and power at every opportunity. Hugo Almeida and Silvestre Varela will join Ronaldo in attack.
Goals may well rain down once more on Monday, with Germany having scored at least four times in four of their last six opening World Cup matches. However, Portugal's record of just one goal conceded in the group stage of the last two tournaments may prove a spoiler. — Reuters
Podolski defends under-fire teammate Ozil
Nigeria's Super Eagles ready to soar
USA face World Cup nemesis Ghana
The Hague, June 15
Before Australia clinched their second successive World Cup today, Germany were the only nation to have won two consecutive times.
The Netherlands opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Jeroen Hartzberger, but the Australians came back strongly to slam six goals to make it the most one-sided World Cup final ever. Australia equalised in the 19th minute through Cirello's first penalty corner conversion.
Australia gained ascendancy with a 24th minute field goal through Kieran Govers's reverse hit from top of the circle to go into halftime with a 2-1 lead. Glenn Turner beat goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann with a flick from close, three minutes into the second half before Cirielo scored with successive penalty corners in the 46th and 53rd minutes.
Jamie Dwyer rounded off the scoring in the 64th minute when he picked up a through ball on the left flank and darted into the circle to shoot home.
The result denied the Dutch a double title in front of their fans after their women's team defeated Australia 2-0 in the final yesterday. Netherlands were seeking to improve on their performance in the 2012 Olympic Games, where they won the women's gold medal, but the men lost the final to Germany.
Earlier in the day, Argentina's men defeated England 2-0 to clinch the bronze medal. This is the first men's World Cup medal for Argentina, whose women also got a bronze.
For the Argentine women, this was their fourth successive World Cup medal. They won the title in 2002 and 2010, but had to be satisfied with a bronze in 2006. — PTI
Junior Asian Athletics
Taipei City, June 15
Chand won the junior women's 200m gold with a time of 23.74secs. Singapore's Shanti Veronica Pereira (23.99s) and Nigina Sharipova (24.24s) of Uzbekistan were the other medalists.
Dutee won her second gold as she anchored the Indian 4x400m relay team to victory with a timing of 3:40:53. The quartet of VV Jisha, Jessy Joseph, Vijaya Kumari and Dutee finished ahead of Thailand and the home team.
India also won two silver and two bronze today to end the championships with two gold, five silver and five bronze. Rising star Navjeet Kaur Dhillon, who opened India's medal tally with a bronze in shot put on Thursday, bagged a silver medal in discus throw today. She hurled the disc to 53.66m for the second place while China's Xie Yu-Chen won the gold with 55.65m.
Heptathlete Swapna Barman won a silver by garnering 4962 points. Thailand's Kotchakorn Khamrueangsri won the event with 5290 points. Sanjivni Jadhav won a bronze medal in women's 3,000m, clocking 9:35:02. Sharwan Kharb took the bronze in the men's 5000m with a timing of 14:39:41. — PTI
PINEHURST, June 15
In pursuit of his second major title, the 29-year-old German conjured a miraculous eagle at the par-five fifth on the way to a two-over 72 in blazing sunshine at Pinehurst Resort where scoring was at its most difficult for the week. Kaymer, a commanding six strokes clear overnight after setting a U.S. Open low for 36 holes with a 10-under aggregate of 130, finished five ahead of Americans Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton, whose 67s were the best of the round.
Shiv Kapur tied 23rd
Shiv Kapur put up another spirited performance at the by signing a card of one-over-71 in the third round. Shiv mixed his card with six bogeys and five birdies to take his three-day total to four-over-214. Kapur’s third round performance placed him tied 23rd.
The 32-year-old, making his US Open debut, is now on course for the best-ever finish by an Indian at the second Major of the year. Jeev Milkha Singh currently holds the record for the best result by an Indian at the US Open thanks to his tied 36th finish at the 2007 edition of the tournament. — Agencies
Mirpur, june 15
Chasing a target of 273 in 50 overs, India were cruising along at 100 for one in 16.4 overs when the heavens opened up leading to a nearly two-hour delay.
This led to a revised target of 150 in 26 overs courtesy of D/L method, which India achieved with seven balls to spare. The foundation was laid by Rahane, who scored 64 off 70 balls and shared a 99-run opening stand with Uthappa.
It was an impressive comeback for Uthappa in India colours after a break of six years. He seemed to carry his IPL form into international cricket, hitting three fours and as many sixes.
Cheteshwar Pujara (0) would consider himself unlucky for being adjudged leg before off Shakib with the ball hitting him on the thigh pads and clearly going above the stumps.
Earlier, an inexperienced Indian attack led by fast bowler Umesh Yadav performed admirably on a flat track restricting hosts Bangladesh to 272 for nine in 50 overs.
Yadav grabbed three for 48 in nine overs as skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (59) and star all-rounder Shakib al Hasan (52) struck half-centuries after the former opted to make first use of the conditions.
Debutant Parveez Rasool (2/60) grabbed couple of important top-order wickets while Amit Mishra (2/55) struck twice in the rear. — PTI
T Iqbal c Saha b Yadav 0
AHaque c Rayudu b Rasool 44
M Haque c Saha b Yadav 6
M Rahim c Rahane b Rasool 59
S Hasan c & b Raina 52
Mahmudullah b Mishra 41
N Hossain c Rahane b Mishra 22
Z Rahman c Raina b Yadav 2
M Mortaza b Patel 18
A Razzak not out 16
A Hossain not out 1
Extras: ((lb 3, w 8) 11
Total: (9 wickets; 50 overs) 272
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-35, 3-87, 4-134, 5-199, 6-229, 7-234, 8-235
M Sharma 5.4-1-23-0
U Yadav 9-0-48-3
A Patel 10-0-59-1
A Mishra 10-0-55-2
P Rasool 10-0-60-2
S Raina 5-0-24-1
Uthappa lbw b Hasan 50
Rahane c Rahman b Mortaza 64
Pujara lbw b Hasan 0
Rayudu not out 16
Raina not out 15
Extras (w 8) 8
Total (3 wickets; 24.5 overs) 153
Fall of wickets: 1-99, 2-100, 3-135
Target revised as per D/L method
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Brief scores: England 575-9 declared & 27-0 v Sri Lanka 453 (Sangakkara 147, Mathews 102). — Agencies