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The sports wrap 18th June 2018

LanguedocLiving, Jun 17

Germany lose, Brazil draw in stuttering start to World Cup campaign.

Mexico shocked champions Germany 1-0 while five-time winners Brazil were held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland on Sunday as the favourites got off to a stuttering start in their 2018 World Cup campaigns. The opening matches in the qualifying groups gave no clues as to which of the fancied contenders for the title had found the form which would sweep them through to the last 16 knockout stages. France had an unconvincing 2-1 victory over Australia while European champions Portugal and 2010 winners Spain battled it out for a thrilling 3-3 draw, highlighted by a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick. In Moscow, Hirving Lozano's first-half goal was the difference in Mexico’s exciting win, with the Germans looking disjointed and vulnerable on the break even before West Ham United’s Javier Hernandez punished them with the pass that set up Lozano to cut inside and fire home. Toni Kroos almost replied instantly with a free-kick but Guillermo Ochoa tipped it on to the bar and that was the closest Germany came to an equaliser. Despite facing some sustained late pressure, Mexico held on to inflict a first World Cup defeat on Die Mannschaft since they lost to Spain in the 2010 semi-final. In, Rostov-on-Don Brazil failed to win their opening game of a World Cup for the first time since 1978 as Switzerland earned a valuable draw. Brazil started brilliantly and deservedly went ahead through a superbly curled shot by Philippe Coutinho on 20 minutes. But they failed to sparkle after that and even with Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Willian up front offered only fleeting moments of fluid play. Steven Zuber's second-half header from a corner earned the Swiss a deserved point. The draw brings to an end Brazil's run of nine wins in opening World Cup fixtures, and both sides now trail Group E leaders Serbia, who beat Costa Rica earlier on Sunday. In Kazan on Saturday, Paul Pogba's late goal broke Australian resistance as France started with a win and history was made with the World Cup's first VAR goal. The video assistant referee penalised Australia's Josh Risdon for a sliding challenge on Antoine Griezmann, allowing the Atletico Madrid forward to dispatch a penalty, the first World Cup goal influenced by VAR. However, a moment of madness from French defender Samuel Umtiti, who handled Aaron Mooy's free-kick, enabled Australia to equalise through Mile Jedinak's penalty in Kazan.The Socceroos looked on course to hold the fancied French until Pogba's lobbed effort deflected off Australia full-back Aziz Behich and the crossbar to fall inches over the goal-line. England open their campaign against Tunisia on Monday evening.

England, France lose again as Ireland level series with Australia

England lost their fifth Test in a row, France went down again to the mighty All Blacks, Scotland suffered a shock defeat to the United States, while Ireland and Wales both won to lift some of the gloom for European rugby fans. England coach Eddie Jones’ nightmare continued as South Africa wrapped up the series 2-0 with a 23-12 defeat in Bloemfontein.The tourists once again started well and raced into a 12-0 lead with Mike Brown and Jonny May scoring fine tries. The Boks fought back as a Duane Vermeulen try and Handre Pollard's boot gave them a one-point lead at the break. A penalty try saw the hosts stretch well clear and they kept England scoreless in the second half. It is the first time since 2014 England have lost five in a row. In Wellington, the relentless All Blacks beat France 26-13 to wrap up the series, a result rarely in doubt after France full-back Benjamin Fall was sent off for dangerous play after 12 minutes. Fall took out All Blacks fly-half Beauden Barrett in the air before the world champions ran in three first-half tries through Joe Moody, Ben Smith and Jordie Barrett. Full-back Barrett added another try in the second half after nice link-up play with Damian McKenzie before Cedate Gomes Sa scored a late consolation for the tourists. In Melbourne, Six Nations champions Ireland, secured a deserved 26-21 win over Australia to level their series at 1-1, with the decisive final Test to come in Sydney next week. Andrew Conway and Tadhg Furlong scored Ireland's tries, with Johnny Sexton kicking 16 points as the tourists were rewarded for a dominant performance. Ireland had not won away against Australia since 1979. The hosts ended Ireland's 12-match unbeaten run with an 18-9 victory in Brisbane in the first Test. but Joe Schmidt's side now have an opportunity to end their Grand Slam-winning season on a high by achieving a first series triumph in the southern hemisphere for 39 years. In Santa Fe, Wales finished their summer tour unbeaten after a resounding 30-12 win over Argentina. Warren Gatland's side eased to a 2-0 series win following victory over South Africa in Washington DC. Wales dominated throughout the match, fly-half Rhys Patchell notching up 20 points in a composed performance. It was Wales' first series win in Argentina since 1999. In Houston, the United States shocked Scotland 30-29 to register a first tier-one victory and a first ever win over their opponents. Blair Kinghorn missed a last-gasp conversion for the Scots.

France beat England to win World Rugby U20 championship

France fly-half Louis Carbonel kicked 23 points to inspire his side to a maiden World Rugby U20 Championship title with a thrilling 33-25 victory over England in Beziers on Sunday. England coach Steve Bates' side trailed 14-8 at the break with France scoring a try through Cameron Woki and Carbonel contributing nine points. A Marcus Smith penalty and Jordan Olowofela’s try took them to within six points at half-time. And despite a further Smith penalty and Joe Heyes' try as well as Olowofela's second, Carbonel kicked four penalties and Adrien Seguret touched down to give France their first ever U20 Championship title in front of a packed and loudly partisan crowd. England were appearing in their sixth-consecutive World Rugby U20 Championship final but after victories in 2013, 2014 and 2016 they were not able to add to that

American Brooks Koepka wins back-to-back US Open titles

American Brooks Koepka defended his US Open title with a one-shot victory over England's record-equalling Tommy Fleetwood at Shinnecock Hills. Koepka closed with a two-under-par 68 to top the leaderboard at one over and deny Fleetwood a first major title. Fleetwood had set the clubhouse lead at two over after a scintillating seven-under-par 63 - the equal lowest round in US Open history. World No.1 Dustin Johnson shot a 70 to finish third on three over. England's Justin Rose, who began the day one shot off of a four-way tie for th lead, finished tied for 10th after a three-over 73. Koepka, who claimed his first major at Erin Hills last year, became the first player to defend the US Open title since Curtis Strange won in 1988 and 1989. "This is incredible. I don't think I could have dreamed of going back-to-back. It's truly special and I am honoured," said the 28-year-old.

England take 2-0 lead in ODI series against Australia

Surrey opener Jason Roy scored a superb 120 to set up a 38-run win for England over Australia in Cardiff on Saturday and take a 2-0 lead in the one-day series. Jos Buttler, who captained the side after Eoin Morgan suffered a back spasm, made an unbeaten 91 from 70 balls as England posted a formidable 342 for eight wickets. Shaun Marsh (131) made his first one-day century since 2013 to keep Australia in the game, but partnerships proved hard to come by and Australia were bowled out for 304, with seamer Liam Plunkett taking four for 53. Despite Morgan being ruled out, England posted their highest one-day score against Australia though Marsh's innings took the visitors deeper into the game and gave the visitors a sniff of victory. However, Plunkett and spinner Adil Rashid (3-70) excelled in the final overs to dismiss Marsh and run through the Australia tail. The third game of the five-match series takes place at Trent Bridge on Tuesday..

Federer is back as No.1 and wins Mercedes Cup

Roger Federer beat Canada’s Milos Raonic to win the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart on Sunday after securing his return to No.1 in the rankings with a three-set victory over Australian Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals. The Swiss had not played since the Miami Open in March, after choosing to miss the clay-court season, but the win in Germany gives him a 98th Tour title. The 36-year-old 20-time Grand Slam champion beat Raonic 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in the final with the only break of serve coming in the third game of the match with Federer clinching it from a backhand winner. The second set was again tight as both players' serve dominated on the grass court but Federer edged it on a tie-break. Federer also sat out the clay-court season in 2017 but last year lost on his return in Stuttgart before going on to win the Gerry Weber Open in Halle and claim an eighth Wimbledon title. He will again compete at Halle this coming week, aiming for a record 10th title, before Wimbledon which begins on 2 July. He will begin a record-extending 310th week at the top on Monday, his third stint at No.1 this year as he and his old Spanish rival Rafael Nadal vie for supremacy.

Catalans squander 18-0 lead in tight loss to Huddersfield

The Huddersfield Giants came back from 18-0 down to edge past Catalans Dragons 26-25 on Friday for a fifth successive Super League triumph and an eighth spot on the table, one above the Perpignan side whose recent good form has moved them up from bottom place. Brayden Wiliame, Vincent Duport and David Mead scored within 17 minutes for the Dragons but the hosts replied with tries from Alex Mellor, Darnell McIntosh and Jermaine McGillvary. The away side hit back with a try from Remi Casty which saw them 24-14 up at half-time. After the break Adam O'Brien and McGillvary went over to level before Tony Gigot's drop-goal nudged Catalans ahead, but Oliver Russell's penalty gave Giants victory. It was the first and only time they led in front of a bumper crowd of 9,121, but there was time for more late drama as Benjamin Jason had a 78th-minute try ruled out for the visitors because of a knock-on. St Helens remained top of the table, six points ahead of Wigan Warriors, after a late drop-goal from Danny Richardson gave them a 23-22 victory over Leeds Rhinos following a nail-biting contest at Headingley. The Warriors ended their three-match losing run to remain second with a 14-10 victory at Hull FC.

Australia’s Richie Porte wins Tour de Suisse

Australian Richie Porte won the Tour de Suisse as BMC team-mate Stefan Kung took the time-trial victory in the final stage in Bellinzona. Switzerland's Kung, 24, was the only rider to complete the 34.1km course in under 40 minutes. He finished 19 seconds ahead of Team Sunweb's Soren Kragh Andersen, with BMC's Tejay van Garderen third. Porte becomes the first Australian to win the Tour de Suisse since Phil Anderson in 1985. The 33-year-old finished more than a minute ahead of Astana's Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark at the top of the general classification, with Movistar's Colombian rider Nairo Quintana third. BMC won the race's opening time trial and Swiss champion Kung wore the race leader's yellow jersey until the race hit the mountains on stage five. From there, Porte gained and never relinquished the overall lead, despite Quintana winning stage seven to narrow the gap at the top. The Tour de Suisse is one of the key races ahead of the Tour de France, which starts on Saturday, 7 July. In the Route d’Occitanie, Spain’s Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) sealed final overall victory on Sunday after he placed second behind Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) on stage 4 in Cazouls-les-Béziers. Already overall leader after winning Saturday’s queen stage, Valverde went on the offensive once more on the final leg, attacking in the company of his compatriot Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) with 68km remaining after the day’s early break had been swept up. In the overall standings, Valverde won by 14 seconds from Daniel Navarro (Cofidis), while Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky) took third overall at 20 seconds.

Fernando Alonso wins Le Man 24 Hours at first attempt

Fernando Alonso won Le Mans 24 Hours at the first attempt as he and team-mates Sebastian Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima finally ended Toyota's long drought. Toyota had never won the sportscar race despite years of trying but finally delivered in an event in which they were effectively without opposition. The Spanish driver’s victory completes the second part of motorsport's 'triple crown' for the two-time Formula 1 world champion. Twice a Monaco Grand Prix winner, he now wants to win the Indianapolis 500. Only Englishman Graham Hill has won all three classic races in the entire history of motorsport. Alonso joined Toyota's World Endurance Championship (WEC) programme this season with the aim of winning Le Mans, and is dovetailing it with his programme with McLaren in Formula 1. Toyota are the only team competing with a hybrid car in the top LMP1 class, and the privateer-run non-hybrids are not fast enough to challenge them.

Jorge Lorenzo wins home MotoGP at Circuit de Catalunya

Spain's Jorge Lorenzo claimed back-to-back MotoGP victories by winning his home race at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday. Championship leader Marc Marquez overtook Lorenzo, who began on pole, at the start but was quickly overtaken by his compatriot and finished second. Italy's legendary Valentino Rossi was third, while Briton Cal Crutchlow, who started 10th, finished in fourth. Three-time champion Lorenzo had struggled this season but won the Italian Grand Prix last time out before announcing he would be moving to Honda next year. Four-time champion Marquez, on a Honda, remains top of the title standings on 115 points, while Yamaha's Rossi is second on 88 points with Lorenzo seventh on 66. Italian Andrea Dovizioso won the race last year but crashed out with 16 of the 24 laps to go.

For full reports on all the weekend sporting events go to:

http://www.bbc.com/sport, http://www.espn.com, http://www.lequipe.fr, http://www.reuters.com/news/sports, www.skysports.com, www.eurosport.fr.

Calendar Keynotes: 18 – 24 June 

Monday, 18 June

Football: World Cup – Group F Sweden v South Korea, Group G Belgium v Panama, Tunisia v England.

Tennis: ATP Queens Club Championships, London (till 24 June), ATP Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany (till 24 June), WTA Mallorca Open, Spain (till 24 June), WTA Birmingham Classic, England (till 24 June).

Tuesday, 19 June

Football: World Cup – Group A Russia v Egypt, Group H Colombia v Japan, Poland v Senegal.

Cricket: England v Australia, match 3 ODI series,Trent Bridge (England lead 2-0).

Tennis: ATP Queens Club Championships, London (till 24 June), ATP Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany (till 24 June), WTA Mallorca Open, Spain (till 24 June), WTA Birmingham Classic, England (till 24 June). 

Wednesday, 20 June

Football: World Cup Group A – Uruguay v Saudi Arabia, Group B Portugal v Morocco, Iran v Spain.

Rugby League: Super League – Leeds Rhinos v Catalans Dragons.

Tennis: ATP Queens Club Championships, London (till 24 June), ATP Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany (till 24 June), WTA Mallorca Open, Spain (till 24 June), WTA Birmingham Classic, England (till 24 June). 

Thursday, 21 June

Football: World Cup – Group C Denmark v Australia, France v Peru, Group D Argentina v Croatia.

Cricket: England v Australia, match 4, ODI series, Chester-le-Street.

Tennis: ATP Queens Club Championships, London (till 24 June), ATP Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany (till 24 June), WTA Mallorca Open, Spain (till 24 June), WTA Birmingham Classic, England (till 24 June).

Golf: USPGA Tour, Travelers Championship. TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut, US (till 24 June), PGA European Tour, BMW International Open, Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof, Pulheim, Germany (till 24 June). 

Friday, 22 June

Football: World Cup Group D Nigeria v Iceland, Group E – Brazil v Costa Rica, Serbia v Switzerland.

Formula One: French Grand Prix, Le Castellet (till 24 June).

Rugby League: Super League – Castleford Tigers v Wigan Warriors.

Tennis: ATP Queens Club Championships, London (till 24 June), ATP Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany (till 24 June), WTA Mallorca Open, Spain (till 24 June), WTA Birmingham Classic, England (till 24 June).

Golf: USPGA Tour, Travelers Championship. TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut, US (till 24 June), PGA European Tour, BMW International Open, Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof, Pulheim, Germany (till 24 June).

Saturday, 23 June

Football: World Cup Group F – South Korea v Mexico, Germany v Sweden, Group G – Belgium v Tunisia.

Rugby Union: Internationals – Japan v Georgia, New Zealand v France, South Africa v England, Canada v United States, Argentina v Scotland.

Formula One: French Grand Prix, Le Castellet (till 24 June).

Tennis: ATP Queens Club Championships, London (till 24 June), ATP Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany (till 24 June), WTA Mallorca Open, Spain (till 24 June), WTA Birmingham Classic, England (till 24 June).

Golf: USPGA Tour, Travelers Championship. TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut, US (till 24 June), PGA European Tour, BMW International Open, Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof, Pulheim, Germany (till 24 June). 

Sunday, 24 June

Football: World Cup Group G – England v Panama, Group H – Japan v Senegal, Poland v Colombia.

Formula One: French Grand Prix, Le Castellet (race day).

Rugby League: Super League – Wakefield Trinity v Widnes Vikings.

Cricket: England v Australia, match 3 ODI series, Old Trafford.

Tennis: ATP Queens Club Championships, London (till 24 June), ATP Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany (till 24 June), WTA Mallorca Open, Spain (till 24 June), WTA Birmingham Classic, England (till 24 June).

Golf: USPGA Tour, Travelers Championship. TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut, US (final day), PGA European Tour, BMW International Open, Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof, Pulheim, Germany (final day).

 

 

 

 

 

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